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Group Listening is a new project from Stephen Black (Sweet Baboo) and Cardiff based experimental musician, Paul Jones. They debut release on PRAH recordings, Piano and Clarinet: Selected Works Vol. 1, is a collection of ambient work from the like of Brian Eno, Arthur Russell and Robert Wyatt arranged for the aforementioned instruments.  

Having met at music college, Black and Jones went separate ways creatively. Black delved into pop, recording albums and touring extensively under the guise of Sweet Baboo, as well as working with Cate Le Bon, H. Hawkline and others. Paul leaned into the piano and pursued a career as a jazz pianist and experimental musician. He played with Keith Tippett, formed The Jones O'Connor Group, performed with noise improv bands and composed orchestral and chamber music.

Reconnecting years later, the pair discovered that their musical tastes, bizarrely, met in the middle. They have a shared love of The Beach Boys, Ghost Box Records, Messiaen and Angela Morley. They both like ambient and new age music, bubblegum pop, Artie Shaw, Moondog and the Songs in the Key of Z.

Having seen Stephen Black’s brilliant diversity in various incarnations of Sweet Baboo, not least his last album’s foray into electronica, this album still comes as a surprise in terms of its direction.  One moment he is playing bass with Cate le Bon, then he is playing solo acoustic shows in Northern Quarter cafes… it seems that there is little he can’t do, but perhaps most importantly he appears to be liberated, functioning on all creative cylinders and boasting a rich and varied creative CV.  In reuniting with his former college mate, Paul Jones, of the Jones O’Connor group, they have produced something golden.  These are the artists and artworks the world needs. ‘ Louder than War