Slater Ashley

Ashley Slater was born in Schefferville, Canada in 1961, one of the coldest places in the inhabited world. At the age of about 6 months, Ashley, his parents and their cat moved to one of the hottest, Hanford on the edge of the Death Valley in California. He attributes his fairly extreme approach to life to this early experience. In 1977, he moved to Edinburgh, Scotland on his own, and there joined the regimental band of the 1st battalion the Royal Scots as a bass trombonist. He also got his first taste of minor stardom whilst standing in for the lead singer of Northern Irish R&B band Otis and the Elevators. In 1983 after leaving the army, he attended the National Centre for Orchestral Studies, after which he joined the anarchic big band collective "Loose Tubes". Over the next few years he was the bass and tenor trombonist of choice for the likes of George Russell, Carla Bley, Andrew Poppy, El Sonido de Londres, Billy Jenkins, Django Bates and Andy Sheppard. During this time he also worked as a session musician recording and arranging for The The, Fairground Attraction, Julia Fordham and the Rolling Stones. After a gig at Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London with Loose Tubes, Ashley was approached by Rob Partridge, the then head of the Antilles Label on Island Records. At this time Ashley and a fellow loose tuber, John Eacott had also been singing and writing songs for their funk band project called Microgroove. Their USP was an electric tuba played by one lunged turbo tubaist Oren Marshall, which gave the band a slightly New Orleans on crap acid feel. Rob heard the demos and was mildly freaked out by Ashley's vocals, which he compared to a 60 year old delta blues singer! They released one album called The Human Groove in 1988. In 1993, shortly after Norman Cook, a.k.a. Fatboy Slim, had remixed one of Microgroove's tunes, (Walkin') they teamed up to form Freakpower and went on to have a number one record in the UK with Turn On, Tune In, Cop Out. Freakpower released two albums, 'Drive Thru Booty' and 'More of Everything for Everybody', also on Island records. As Cook's Fatboy career took off, Ashley also went his own way and released music through Skint under the alias Dr. Bone. He also contributed vocals to and topline EDP's Sweet Music. He has also recorded with Dimitri from Paris and Rui da Silva and has contributed vocals to Fatboy Slim's albums, and the mighty Krafty Kuts. After a break of about five years from playing the trombone Ashley was lured back by Gary Crosby from the Jazz Jamaica All Stars. Since then he has toured with Sam Rivers, Hermeto Pascoal, Roy Nathanson's Jazz Passengers,Hugh Masekela and his own band BigLounge. He also recently appeared with Elvis Costello and Debbie Harry at the London Jazz Festival.