Recording with Ike Isaacs

A gentleman and a scholar, Ike Isaacs had a career in music spanning over 5 decades. I was lucky enough to record with him in 1992, only a few years before his death. The occasion was the recording of Ian Coopers' debut album Soundpost, an album of swing by this classical violin virtuoso.

Peter Inglis and Ike Isaacs in the recording studio.
Peter Inglis and Ike Isaacs in the recording studio.

Ike was an endless fount of ripping yarns from the world of performing, I remember in particular the story of his first gig with Stephane Grappelli... Stephane: "No rehearsal... see you tonight at 8'o'clock!"
Ike: "What are we playing?"
Stephane: "Don't worry about it... you know the tunes!"
Needless to say, all went well and Ike went on to spent many years on the road with Stephane.

Listening to some of Ike Isaac's ripping yarns!

Ike exuded enthusiasm and energy combined with a totally relaxed and spontaneous style of improvisation. It was a privilege to have the opportunity to play with Ike and the music world is poorer for his passing.


I played classical guitar on this one. Introduction - Violin and classical guitar set it up, then Ike Isaacs overlays beautiful harmonies during the melody section.

Ike Isaacs takes the guitar solo in it's entirety with myself backing on nylon string. The two guitar sounds blend beautifully. Of course you can't go wrong with a player of Ike's calibre!

At the end of his solo Ike takes the tune in a completely different direction. FADE TO - the last few seconds - where one of those magical jazz moments occured. Ian Cooper's violin harmonics set off a trigger in Ike and myself and this rocking / contrapuntal 2 guitar figure appeared from absolutely nowhere. That was not how we'd rehearsed it. That's jazz!