The Michael Boguski Trio’s latest album A Newer Morning (For John), features the Blue Rodeo’s keyboardist reimagining much of Suede’s 2002 album A New Morning as instrumental Jazz. It was Suede’s final collection prior to a seven-year hiatus, one which did not even receive an official North American release at the time. The Trio’s album will will be released July 8th, 2022 on Goliard Records with all proceeds to be donated to charitable causes, including medical aid for former Suede tech John Brandham and Stroke Association UK.
I was a pretty big fan of Suede back in the ‘90s. Fast forward to 2021 and, like everyone, I’m stuck at home with too much time on my hands. I noticed a list of the year’s must-read books in an English newspaper, which included Coal Black Mornings by Brett Anderson. It took me a minute to realize this was the singer for Suede, so I decided to pick up a copy.
To say the book was both transformative and a brilliant read is to put it mildly. It depicts class, poverty and family in a visceral manner—very Dickensian. It touched on some incredibly powerful and latent emotions regarding my own relationship to my late father, and some of the struggles in my own life. I subsequently went down a bit of a Suede rabbit hole and began diving into their later material, which admittedly I had neglected listening to.
While in that Suede rabbit hole, Boguski learned of a fundraising campaign for longtime Suede stage tech John Brandham, who suffered a severe stroke in 2019. Boguski wanted to help, and was able to contact one of Suede’s managers, who subsequently arranged for any publishing royalties generated from Boguski’s efforts to be donated to Brandham’s recovery fund.
Boguski first recorded the track “Positivity” from A New Morning in a Bill Evans Trio style, which prompted Brett Anderson to send word that he now preferred Boguski’s version to the one his own band recorded. From there, Boguski set about tackling the rest of A New Morning.
The die-hard Suede fan will immediately recognize that the arrangements don’t sound anything like the originals, and that was deliberate on my part. I didn’t want to re-do what has already been done. That said, very careful attention was paid to each arrangement. For each track, I carefully quote the melody in a specific way so as to anchor the piece and allow my trio to improvise. Anyone familiar with my previous releases like Blues For The Penitent, and my collaborations with Michael Timmins [“December,” “Message From Mars”] will know that improvisation remains at the heart of my keyboard playing.
In 2018, Boguski and other Canadian musicians formed the Cold Manitoba project to benefit the Native Addictions Council of Manitoba. He has also given his support to Toronto’s Regent Park School of Music. Following the release of his 2018 debut solo album Blues For The Penitent, he formed the Michael Boguski Trio and released the album Detour in 2019.