Zhenya Strigalev with new ‘Smiling Organizm’ Launch date You Tube teaser video!

Our favorite Russian Zhenya Strigalev has just posted a classic video in true Zhenya style talking about his new WWR Album ‘Smiling Organizm’ (which now has its own dedicated page here on the WWR site, but no music previews yet, we’re keeping those a secret until the launch party!!)  and the official live launch dates in London coming in June at Charlie Wrights (13-16 June).  The video shows some footage of the recording in New Jersey with some cameo appearances by all the members in the band.  And of course, no one can present in the way Zhenya does, so there’s plenty of giggles to be had, check it out for yourself and get on down to the launch gigs in June, the band will feature Zhenya on alto sax, Steve Fishwick on Trumpet, Liam Noble on Piano, WWR artist Michael Janisch on acoustic bass, and over from the USA will be the one and only Tim Lefebvre on electric bass (YES!!!!) and Obed Calvaire on drums.  If you haven’t heard of Mr. Calvaire before, you’re in for a big treat!

Zhenya Strigalev Video Teaser for

Live Launch Dates in celebration of his debut WWR release

Smiling Organizm

June 13-16 2012

At Charlie Wrights in London

Address: Charlie Wright’s International, 45 Pitfield Street, London, N1 6DA (Old Street tube)
Tickets from www.ticketweb.co.uk
Start 7.30pm


Jeff Williams w/ Cheltenham Jazz Festival headline concert + UK tour in support of ‘Another Time’ with NYC based Quartet


Legendary jazz drummer and WWR recording artist Jeff Williams (whose career has spanned 40 years with performances ranging from Stan Getz to Paul Bley and Lee Konitz) brings his New York-based quartet featuring Duane Eubanks-trumpet, John O’Gallagher-alto saxophone and John Hébert-bass to the UK for the first time in May 2012.  This is the exact same group that appeared on his debut WWR release ‘Another Time,’ which has been universally praised in the worldwide jazz press. Some of the highlights have included two, 5 star reviews from Mainland Europe Periodicals (Aargauer Zeitung and Mittelland Zeitung), a 4 star Guardian (UK) and Downbeat review, CD of the Year (2011) honor from UK Jazz Radio, and the critics list for best album of 2011 from All About Jazz.  The proof is in the pudding so to speak– the album features four improvising giants at the top of their game, delivering a group sound and vibe that is rarely heard on records these days.  This comes as a result of their extensive playing experience which has lead to a near telepathic group empathy compounded with a compositional approach which lends itself to allowing the ultimate improvisational freedom by its members.

Excitedly, Jeff’s group will appear at one of the UK’s most famous of Festivals, The Cheltenham Jazz Festival on the 6th of May, and other dates are The Vortex in London on the 7th, Turner Sims Hall (another major UK arts venue) in Southampton on the 8th and at The Cross in Birmingham on the 9th.  Don’t miss this opportunity to see a jazz legend working in the comfort of his own ensemble, which will hit the British Isles for their very first tour as an ensemble.

Jeff will have copies available of ‘Another Time’ on the road, or you can pick up a copy today here on our website.  More of Jeff’s dates can be found in the Events section.  Enjoy!

Phil Robson’s ‘The Immeasurable Code’ up for Jazz Album of the Year for the 2012 Parliamentary Awards

Another major award nomination for Phil Robson and his first WWR album

The Immeasurable Code‘ — ‘Jazz Album of the Year’ Nomination for the Parliamentary Jazz Awards


Just in from the folks over at JazzWise online magazine breaking news, (reprinted below):

“The nominations for the 2012 Parliamentary Jazz Awards have been announced, with the winners revealed at the awards ceremony which will take place at the House of Commons, Terrace Pavilion on 16 May. The most prestigious awards for the jazz loving public and jazz fans in the UK, they will once again be presented by  Paul Gambaccini who returns to host the ceremony, now in its eighth year, which is organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group (APPJAG). 

The awards are sponsored by music licensing company PPL and Jazz Services and feature nine categories, Jazz Musician of the Year, Jazz Album of the Year, Jazz Ensemble of the Year, Live Jazz Award, Jazz Journalist of the Year, Jazz Broadcaster of the Year, Jazz Publication of the Year, Jazz Education Award, and the Services to Jazz Award.

A record 1,864 members of the public sent online entries for the Awards via the Jazz Services website. The shortlist was then voted upon by the Selection Panel who represent a broad cross-section of backgrounds united in their endeavors for their love and knowledge of jazz. The winners are chosen by judging members of the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group in Parliament.”


‘The Immeasurable Code’ features Phil Robson on guitars and compositions, Gareth Lockrane on flutes, Mark Turner on saxophone, WWR founder Michael Janisch on bass, and Ernesto Simpson on drums.  

Congratulations to Phil for his second major nomination in less than a month! And a big thanks to all his fans and supporters for voting for him and his latest album! If you don’t have a copy of ‘The Immeasurable Code’ check out some examples of the music on the album page and pick up a copy today.

Jeff Williams with JazzTimes review, March 2012


Veteran Drummer Jeff Williams, who’s performed with everyone from Joe Lovano to Stan Getz, released ‘Another Time‘ on WWR at the end of last year.  The press campaign is ongoing, and we’ve just heard news that hes received a great review from the folks over at Jazz Times in their March 2012 edition.

100 Advance, Signed Copies of Euan Burton’s ‘Occurrences’ now available!!

It’s been a very busy couple of years for Euan Burton, not only did he have his usual quota as a full time bassist as one of the premier jazz musicians working on the Scottish scene today, but he’s also found time to compose a new Suite of music for  a remarkable cast of musicians which has all resulted in the  imminent May 14th release of his debut album for Whirlwind Recordings, titled ‘Occurrences.’

Well… We have some very exciting news for you all.  

 As of today, we are now offering 100 ADVANCED COPIES  of ‘Occurrences’ on a first come first serve basis.  These will be the only copies for sale until the official release, and you can only get them from the official ‘Occurrences‘ Page at Whirlwind Recordings.

Also, EACH ALBUM WILL BE AUTOGRAPHED by Euan himself, and then the copy will be sent right to you ! 


Double bassist, composer, bandleader, promoter, and educator Euan Burton has been a lynchpin figure on the Scottish Jazz scene for nearly a decade, working also across a multitude of genres and collaborating with like-minded creative artists from around the globe. As well as being a first call bassist with many of Scotland’s most high profile jazz artists, Burton has been seen and heard recently with many US heavyweights such as Ari Hoenig and Jonathan Kreisburg. His playing boasts a beautiful touch and warm tone, a measured assurance in his improvisations, and a solid foundation when in support mode. As a composer, Burton marries a wonderful blend of heart and mind, providing playful yet tricksy structures for which his band members take great flight. In May, 2012, Burton releases his debut release for Whirlwind Recordings Ltd. Titled ‘Occurrences,’ this album represents his most conceptual and mature musical statement to date.

“I wanted to make a cohesive record that felt like a whole rather than a collection of compositions.” explains Burton from his Glasgow home. His new release ‘Occurrences’ finds him at the peak of his creative powers with a recording several years in the making. A suite consisting of seven parts, Burton creates a melodic narrative through the story arc of the album with each member of the group playing key roles as the music unfolds. The group consisting of his long term collaborators– all with highly visible international profiles in their own right– including London born, New York based saxophonist Will Vinson (Gonzallo Rubalcaba, Aaron Parks), fast rising Irish Guitar sensation Mark McKnight (Seamus Blake, Sam Yahel), acclaimed Scottish pianist Steve Hamilton (Gary Burton, Earthworks, Tommy Smith) and James Maddren (Kit Downs Trio, Gwilym Simcock Trio) on drums.

“Occurrences was written as a suite but it can also be thought of as seven pieces. Each piece functions like a chapter helping the story to progress,” Burton continues. “That’s certainly how I’m feeling this record, but the idea was to create a story in which the listener can relate each part to the whole, and can transfer stories from their own life into the music, but to mean something unique and personal to their own experience. My number one concern throughout the entire process of conceiving this record was that of the listener and how the music comes across to them. Is it connecting? Is this section furthering the story? I was trying to think like a film director or screenwriter in some ways, developing a narrative, pacing it right for the audience and leaving space for the actors to make their roles their own while nudging them in the right direction.”

In a world addicted to speed and turnover, artists who carefully and conceptually craft their music are a welcomed rarity. On ‘Occurrences,’ Burton has done just that, and the results are powerful. He has given us a body of work that not only reaches to jazz audiences, but an open invitation to all lovers of music, song, and story.

Phil Robson with feature article in ‘Jazz Journal’ for ‘Immeasurable Code’ featuring Mark Turner, March 2012


Guitarist Phil Robson, who released ‘The Immeasurable Code‘ to rave reviews in late 2011, including many of the ‘best of’ lists, is still bringing in the press for the live-recorded, debut WWR release, featuring iconic saxophonist Mark Turner.  Check out Jazz Journal for more information, but we’ve done our best to recreate the article below:

Saxophonist on the rise George Crowley announces Launch dates for his debut album, ‘Paper Universe’ May – July


Mark your calendars for the live launch dates of George Crowley, one of the most talented young saxophonist/composers working in Europe today…..


George Crowley Quartet

UK Launch dates in celebration of his debut album ‘Paper Universe


George Crowley Saxophones, Compositions

Kit Downes, Piano

Calum Gourlay, Bass

James Maddren, Drums

Releases UK Stores/Worldwide Digital May 7th 2012

Tuesday May 15th, 8:30 @ The Vortex, London N16 8AZ  www.vortexjazz.co.uk/

Tuesday May 29th; 8:30 @ The Cori Tap, Bristol, BS8 4AX   www.thecoronationtap.com/ £5

Monday June 11th, 8:30 @ The Oxford, 256 Kentish Town, London NW5 2AA  theoxfordjazz.com £5

Friday 6th July, 8:30 @ The Con Cellar Bar, Camden Town, London,NW1 0QT   concellarjazz.co.uk/ £5

Tuesday 17th July, 8:30 @ The Amersham Arms, New Cross, London, SE14 6TY   secollective.blogspot.com/ £5

Wednesday July 18th, 8:30 @ Dempseys, Cardiff. CF10 1BZ    jazzatdempseys.org.uk/ £5

About ‘Paper Universe’

In a market flooded with new releases by young artists from every corner of the world, it is a welcomed rarity when an album bursts out amongst the crowd and is glistening with maturity of concept, sound, emotion and true empathy within the group. George Crowley has accomplished this and more on his debut album ‘Paper Universe.’ This is not some casual outing, but rather a true artistic statement of depth by a group of twenty somethings with highly accomplished resumes, who have been developing their musical cohesion and concept since their teenage years.

‘Paper Universe’ finds Saxophonist and Composer George Crowley playing his colorful, characterful and melodic originals in the impressive company with peers and long-standing collaborators. Crowley and Kit Downes (piano) in particular have been playing together and making music regularly since the age of sixteen and have enjoyed a long musical friendship, on which the music of the quartet draws heavily. The remaining band members, Calum Gourlay (bass) and James Maddren (drums) are musical associates made at music college at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music, where all four studied, while racking up countless hours honing their collective craft. The result of this history, therefore, is a high level of near telepathic communication and empathy in the music, as if they have been performing for decades, and one cannot stress enough how rare this is in debut albums.

The musical world of ‘Paper Universe’ is playful and unpretentious, but the songs themselves take the listener on a journey from gentle and lyrical plains through to the tempestuous and fiery realms of freer improvisation, to more straight ahead jazz playing, referencing an impressive range of influences, all maturely and fondly treated by this engaging quartet.

Each member of the group plays flawlessly, yet it is Crowley’s emotionally charged improvisations executed with the precision and wit one would equate to a saxophonist twice his age which lead the way on ‘Paper Universe.’ Crowley has certainly arrived as an instrumentalist, composer, and musical conceptualist, and ‘Paper Universe’ succeeds greatly in its sincerity and ability to capture the imaginations of both novices and the most learned audiences in jazz and improvising music.

Whirlwind Artists on a Roll!!– Michael Janisch named a finalist in the International Songwriting Competition with 2 original compositions

We’re having a great week here at WWR.  Founder and WWR recording artist Michael Janisch has just received news that not one, but two of his compositions  have been selected as a finalist in this years International Songwriters Competition.  Finalists were chosen from over 16,000 entrants in one of the most competitive years to date musically for ISC, and Michael is the only artist in this years ISC Jazz category to be nominated for two compositions.  Other prominent musicians in this years’ jazz final include the much talked about Gregory Porter and UK pianist Zoe Rahman.

All finalists’ songs get sent to the ISC celebrity judges (McCoy Tyner will be among the jazz judges!!) who then select the winners. The winners will be announced in late April or early May as soon as the results are in. All results will also be posted on the ISC website.  The grand prize is 25,000 US Dollars and there are significant prizes for those who win first place in their own genre category.

You can view Michael in the jazz list, and all the finalists by going to www.songwritingcompetition.com/winners

The two compositions that were nominated by Janisch were ‘Pukl-n-Pappo’ and ‘Shumshi’ from his debut album ‘Purpose Built,’ which was our inaugural release at WWR in 2010 and an album that firmly established Janisch as one of the premier bassist/bandleader/composers of his generation.    Pukl-n-Pappo is a rhythmically and harmonically dense composition that features a labyrinth of angsty harmonies with an angular melody full of dips and spikes, and features the precision trumpet playing of Jason Palmer, Mike Moreno on guitar, Johnathan Blake on drums, and Janisch on acoustic bass.   Here’s a you tube clip of the song and the artist who provides the drawing animation is Alban Low, who submitted this to us after he drew the animations in London’s famous Kew Gardens.

And by clicking HERE you can stream ‘Shumshi’ from ‘Purpose Built’  for free, which features the one and only Walter Smith III on tenor saxophone who takes the listener on an epic journey during his featured improvisation, along with vibraphonist Jim Hart, drummer Johnathan Blake, and Janisch on bass.  This composition was influenced by one of Janisch’s all time musical heroes, the great Charles Mingus.

The people’s Voice for the ISC awards are now open for voting.  If you use Facebook, and want to vote in the People’s Voice portion of the competition.  Click HERE and then follow the instructions for voting.  To vote for Janisch’s compositions, please scroll down to the Jazz category and submit your vote.  Happy Voting again! 🙂


For those of you wondering:

What is the International Songwriting Competition?

The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is an annual songwriting and music contest whose mission is to provide the opportunity for both aspiring and established songwriters to have their songs heard in a professional, international arena. ISC is designed to nurture the musical talent of songwriters on all levels, and promote excellence in the art of songwriting.   ISC has the most prestigious panel of judges of all the songwriting contests and music contests in the world, offering exposure and the opportunity to have your songs heard by the most influential decision-makers in the music industry and give away over 150,000 dollars worth of awards each year.

Alex Garnett and Phil Robson nominated for the 2012 London Awards for Art & Performance!!

Great news for Whirlwind Recording artists Alex Garnett and Phil Robson came in today as a result of their nomination for the 2012 London Awards for Art & Performance.

About the London Awards for Art and Performance:

The London Awards for Art and and Performance award recognizes an artist or performer who has made an outstanding contribution to their art form in the UK. It is the country’s most expansive awards and represents the best in British art and entertainment across 11 categories.  Nominations are based on recent and highly rated reviews of the artist or performer’s work, and a recognition of their talent and skill in their art form.  Both Robson and Garnett released albums on WWR in 2011 which made many of the country’s “BEST OF” lists both critics and readers polls, and brought in a plethora of great praise by the international community.  Phil Robson’s album ‘The Immeasurable Code’ can be viewed HERE and Alex Garnett’s album ‘Serpent’ HERE.

As current and excellent practitioners of their art, the nominees themselves are the best people to judge each category. Therefore, they will be asked to pick their top artists or performers to arrive at the shortlist and award winner who will receive the trophy. The shortlist and winner will be announced at the Presentation Ceremony.

Public voting is also open in all the awards. If you believe in the music of Alex Garnett and Phil Robson as much as we do, please vote on the award page where you can see the results.  Click on the category to go to the page.  Alex and Phil are in the JAZZ category. The only frustrating thing (for us) is that the award’s website server recognizes IP address, so that means only one vote per computer! We know, hard choice right?!!? (We used two different computers (on different networks) and voted for both of them hint hint :-))

Phil’s nomination profile is here.

Alex’s nomination profile is here.

The Presentation Ceremony will be in the Axis Restaurant, One Aldwych Hotel, Covent Garden, June 20, 7 pm.

Congratulations to both Alex Garnett and Phil Robson for their nomination.  It goes without saying that both of these world class musicians represent the real backbone of the UK jazz scene– they are first call performers across the cliques and genres of jazz, and are respected by critics, fans, and musicians alike. Both have contributed greatly over the last two decades to the ‘soundscape’ of the UK creative music scene, and we’re thrilled to see them recognized for their musicianship. 

Happy Voting!

Mark McKnight receives great review from ‘Drummer Magazine’ Feb Issue


Yeah, we know, we know… He’s a guitarist.  It’s okay, drummers can give love to guitarists too 🙂 —

‘Drummer Magazine’ has just reviewed Mark McKnights debut WWR album ‘Do or Die‘ which is out in stores now.  Here’s their WEBSITE.   The entire concept of ‘Do or Die,’ which showcases a completely unique take on the guitar/organ quartet, firmly established both McKnight’s playing and compositional skills as a guiding light amongst peers of his generation of creative improvising musicians.

McKnight Launched ‘Do or Die’ in Sept 2011 and launched the album in style, touring literally across the UK from Northern Ireland (his homeland) to Scotland to Wales and England, in what was surely the most far-reaching geographic jazz tour of the year in the UK, and notably a release party at the famed Ronnie Scott’s in London.  The tour also featured the members of the album and luckily McKnight was able to get Seamus Blake (whose majestic tone and rapid-fire trajectory of infectious improvisations are another highlight of ‘Do or Die’)  to come over which was a great treat for the UK audiences.  If you’re a fan of contemporary guitar and saxophone, this is the record for you.  Check McKnights’ group out on YOU TUBE

For those of you who are fans of McKnight from the USA, there are rumors that he will be headlining some major festivals this summer.  Stay tuned for more information.