Famed drummer Simon Phillips, known for his work as both a session player and in Toto, has released his first solo project in 14 years — the jazz/rock/fusion instrumental Protocol II, featuring Ernest Tibbs on bass.
Tibbs is a renowned session player (David Benoit, David Garfield, Pat Kelley and Kevin Toney) who also teaches at the Musician’s Institute. Phillips says he wanted to create an album that was very “live and organic” to be recorded a week after a NAMM Show. He went into the idea hoping that guitarist Andy Timmons would be on board, and he agreed readily. Keyboardist Steve Weingart, with whom Phillips had worked with previously, also signed on, Phillips says on the Protocol II website.
Phillips knew about Tibbs after talking to him about some live dates a few years earlier — dates that Tibbs ended up unable to make. However, things were different this time around, and he also agreed to join the group.
The first song they recorded together was “Moments of Fortune,” and Phillips says it revealed the band’s great chemistry. Check it out:
Protocol II Track List:
- Moments of Fortune
- Upside in Downside Up
- First Orbit