Broken Parachute is fronted
by Marcus Taylor (guitars, bass) and Ben Bell (vocals, keys).
Marcus Taylor and Ben Bell have been collaborating on musical projects since the late 1990s when they began playing together in a number of blues and rock bands at the University of Warwick. These included the rock group ‘Crazy Dogs’ and the aptly named blues quintet, ‘Cheese Trauma’. While the blues provided a useful meeting point, the pair explored mutual interests across the musical spectrum – drawing on progressive rock and jazz fusion while keeping a close eye on strong songwriting and engaging solo improvisation. Broken Parachute originally started as a vehicle for Marcus’ new compositions and Ben’s desire to test his abilities as a lead singer. Separated by the Atlantic ocean owing to the demands of paid employment, the pair availed themselves of new technology to aid their transatlantic collaboration. The resulting album – ↓↓Down is the New Up↑↑ – is the first showcase product of their creative energies.
Inspired by the music of Buddy Guy and Luther Allison, Marcus picked up an old nylon guitar age 16 and attempted to play the blues. After finally realising that nylon strings weren’t part of the Chicago sound, the following year he bought an electric guitar and didn’t look back. While his first influences were primarily blues, blues-rock and Carlos Santana, he was soon blown away by John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola and other fusion players (with particular respect to Nguyen Le). After a narrow escape from devoting his life to jazz, he now tries to be studiously eclectic in his approach to song writing and guitar playing. Alongside Broken Parachute, Marcus also composes and plays in the band Crosswinds and has a slow-burning world fusion project called Kashgar.
Marcus lives in Kingston, Canada. When he isn’t following his musical pursuits or spending quality time with his family, he masquerades as an Associate Professor in the department of Global Development Studies at Queen’s University.
Ben avoided all attempts to trap him into writing another bio, and hence the following was constructed for him from hearsay.
Ben was once an aspiring piano player who never fully recovered from being exposed to Deep Purple at a formative stage. After many years of rehabilitation he is now able to balance his compulsion to abuse hammond organs with the considered pursuit of the finer points of progressive rock. Recently he has become seduced by the dangerous allure of synthesizers but expects to make a complete recovery by late 2015. Ben lives in Surrey, England, plays and writes for Fusion Orchestra 2, and fills the rest of his dwindling free time noodling away on his own personal projects.
Guest Musicians / Contributors:
The album ↓↓Down is the New Up↑↑ features Matt Snowden on drums. With 15 years experience both as a professional drummer and sound engineer, Matt has worked with artists such as Amy Winehouse, Pete Townsend and Julian Lennon. You can contact Matt at http://www.online-drums.com/
A huge debt of gratitude is owed to Gene Rankin, who inadvertently helped start this whole project off when he showed Marcus the lyrics to Nine Miles. Marcus promptly recorded music for the track and sent it on to Ben to add keys and vocals. A transatlantic recording project was born that culminated in Broken Parachute! Gene also provided lyrics for three further tracks on ↓↓Down is the New Up↑↑ (Snake, Can Man, Supernova).
When he isn’t composing or tending to his garden, Gene runs Rankin Sound recording studio in Kingston, Ontario.