Once described as one of the London jazz scene’s best-kept secrets, Ray Carless is a tenor soprano saxophonist who has been creating groovy, melodic music with the great and the good for four decades.
He was part of the original ‘Brit funk’ movement and a founding member of London’s best jazz funk outfit Incognito. He has also played with most of the other bands on the Brit Funk scene such as Hi-Tension, Central Line, Linx and Light of The World.
Ray scored a chart hit with his single Tarantula Walk before moving on to become a founding member of the Jazz Warriors, the all black Big Band that launched the careers of many such as Courtney Pine (OBE), Gary Crosby (MBE) of Jazz Jamaica, Roland Sutherland, Jason Yarde, Steve Williamson, Cleveland Watkiss, Julian Joseph and Orphy Robinson.
He has made creative contributions to and worked with local and International artists like Elvin Jones, Hugh Masakela, Billy Ocean, Loose Ends, ABC, Five Star, Tippa Irie, Will Downing, Jocelyn Brown, Skatalites, Big Youth, Bob Andy, Luciano, the late and greats John Holt, Alton Ellis, Gregory Isaacs, Jean Adebambo, Louisa Marks, and most recently Grammy smasher Adele.
Ray has also worked with artists including Black Roots, Beris Hammond, The Heptones, Aswad, Black Slate, Beggar & Co, Jazz Jamaica, The Skatallites, Delroy Pinnock, Lloyd Brown, Michael Gordon, Patrick Augustus’ Elements Band, Cleveland Watkiss, Janet Kay, Caroll Thompson, Beverley Skeet, Alan Weekes, Ska Cubano, The Heliocentrics, Mica Paris, Jennifer Phillips, Immani, Janet Kay, Chris Tummings & Victor Romero Evans, Heather Haywood, Joy Rose, Ava Golding, The Engine Room Collective, Rico Rodriguez, Skatallites trombonist Vin Gordon, Shireen Francis, Siemy Di, vibesman Orphy Robinson and Afrikan Revolution.
Ray was invited to join Cymande and has become an integral band member. He recently summed up his move from pure Jazz to multi-genre music: “These days I need lots of variety in my music and I know that I will always retain my strong jazzy flavour. I love my jazz but I’m happiest when I’m able to express myself utilizing the various African Caribbean flavours that I’ve grown up with.”
Performed with the Redskins as part of the Redskins Brass.
- 1 Vocals
- 111 Instruments & Performance
- 14 Writing & Arrangement
- 6 Featuring & Presenting
- 9 Production