BIG NEWS: WWR Signs bassist and composer Matt Ridley + his debut album ‘Thymos’ launches 14th Oct worldwide + Fall Album Launch Tour


Announcing the signing and debut album from bassist and composer Matt Ridley.


release date: October 14, 2013 worldwide

Matt Ridley – Double Bass
John Turville – Piano
George Hart – Drums

Jason Yarde – Saxophones
Attab Haddad – Oud
Vasilis Sirikis – Percussion


Whirlwind Recordings is proud to introduce Thymos, the ambitious debut solo-album from double bassist and composer Matt Ridley, a London-based musician who is known as one of the prominent talents of his generation. An album that blurs the line between genres, the origins of Thymos came from Ridley’s collaborations with Oud virtuoso Attab Haddad (featured on the album), and Azeri violinist Sabina Rakcheyeva (joint composer of ‘Hijaz’), in a band featuring pianist Mercury Award Nominated artist Kit Downes and percussionist Vasilis Sirikis (also featured).

“I envisaged a sound encompassing the exotic flavors and emotions of Middle Eastern music with the jazz sensibility of improvisation on complex structures,” says Ridley on the inspiration behind the original music on the album. By fusing the modal and rhythmic elements of Middle-Eastern music with the harmonic complexities of jazz, Ridley’s composition ‘Siddhartha’ was born, and what followed was a stream of ideas which aligned themselves into the other music on the album, with influences as diverse as funk, contemporary jazz inspired by both the London and NYC scenes, composers Kenny Wheeler and Vijay Iyer, as well as 20th century minimalism.

The core of the album is the tight unit that is the Matt Ridley Trio. Comprised of the award-winning pianist John Turville, the highly musical (not to mention fiercely virtuosic) drumming talents of George Hart, and Ridley at the helm, the trio soars through the leaders’ genre-bending improvisational territory with wit and aplomb, no matter if the musical terrain is tricksy or serene, creating a unique sound world unlike any working unit in London today. As a bassist, Ridley is solid to the core, yet light on his fingers across the fretboard as he navigates his own compositions, using them as a vehicle for expression as both a bassist and accomplished soloist. Special guest saxophonist and globally recognized composer Jason Yarde perfectly assimilated the feeling of RIdley’s compositions, singing the melodies from the depths of his soul, and improvising in a way that few saxophonists working today could conceive.

The result is Ridley’s shining achievement; a debut album that is an honest and genuine representation of his musical tastes and experiences, featuring brilliant improvisations from all members of the band, and retaining an inspired and exciting cohesive group-sound throughout.





Catch the Matt Ridley Trio on tour across the UK starting with the official album launch at the Pizza Express Jazz Club.  Matt’s group will embark on a major UK album launch tour starting in OCT and for more information on dates visit our Events page or here’s a quicklink to Matt’s dates here.




Jeff Williams Review from Jazz Weekly + International Trumpet Guild Review of Andre Canniere’s ‘Forward Space’


In today we have a review from Jazz Weekly for a recent WWR release – Jeff William’s The Listeneras well as a review from the  International Trumpet Guild for Andre Canniere’s release Forward Space

The review of The Listener, which can be viewed here, associates the album to the music of Ornette Coleman and describes the band as in sync and displaying ‘fine solos by the horns’. The Listener has had great results with the press, with a 4 star reviews from The Guardian, Marlbank and The Financial Times and many other glowing reviews.

International Trumpet Guild describe Andre Canniere’s Forward Space as an “exciting and imaginative album that highlights an impressive UK recording debut”  and “a real gem and heralds impressive things to come from a young player.” 

The Listener Low Res

To purchase The Listener please and  Forward Space, as well as information on the release, reviews and sound samples, please visit the Whirlwind Recordings store.

New Reviews in for Recent WWR Release ‘Mike Gibbs + 12 Play Gil Evans’ from Herald Scotland, Jazz Camera, The Jazz Breakfast, Metro, The Telegraph PLUS Airplay on BBC Radio 3

12-play-gil-evansWe have a collection of glowing reviews in today for our latest release – ‘Mike Gibbs +12 Play Gil Evans’ which has received great praise from critics, with the Herald Scotland announcing the release as “not so much a homage as a living, continuing tribute”, and with the Jazz Camera describing that “Gibbs has retained all the warmth, the textures and the depth of Evans’ arrangements while adding an extra dimension of harmonic surprise.” 

mike gibbs

The Jazz Breakfast speaks well of the current music scene, stating that “This project and this recording says so much about the modus operandi currently operating to such fine effect in this country’s jazz community” and that “the overall highlight of the recording, as with the concerts, is the composing, arranging and subtle leadership of the unmistakable Mike Gibbs”.

London’s Metro have also given a review on the release, announcing it as “a lush tribute to a jazz great” as well as The Telegraph, who have given the album 4 stars in their recent review. The new release has also aired recently been played on BBC Radio 3 (broadcast on the 18th August).

To purchase please visit the album page, and featured below we have a full length sample track of ‘Wait Till You See Her’.

‘A Whirlwind Comes to Town’: The Whirlwind Festival 2013 covered in Kings Place Blog, JazzWise magazine, Camden Review, Jazz Mann, Jazz in Europe, Time Out and more!!


The inaugural Whirlwind Festival takes place on OCT 10-12 at the Kings Place in London, and we’re very excited to see there has been an incredible amount of buzz about it across the UK music community the past few weeks.

WWR’s founder and internationally renowned bassist Michael Janisch has been featured in the Kings Place magazine and blog site, and other Festival previews have come from Camden Review, The JazzMann, Jazzwise Magazine (below), John Watson’s site, and Time Out (below)


Also, a huge shout out and thanks goes to the great website “Jazz in Europe” for doing a big feature on the festival which you can view here and here.

Here’s our comprehensive overview of the festivalThere are also day and festival passes available.  See you there!

Whirlwind Festival - Jazzwise - September 2013

Whirlwind Festival -  (Booking  Now) - TimeOut - 27th August 2013

Sam Crowe’s ‘Towards the Center of Everything’ gets some major airwave love, appearing on NextBop as well as Jamie Cullums BBC Radio 2 show.

More exciting news for Sam Crowe’s Towards the Center of Everything, which has been a hit since its April worldwide release, and just recently the music from the album has been featured on the NextBop website as well as Jamie Cullum’s BBC Radio 2 show. Not bad at all. Big thanks to both for featuring Sam’s music. The album has also blown up in Japan and we can barely keep up with the demand for more albums. Click here to pick up your copy today.

More great press for John O’Gallagher’s “Anton Webern Project”, 4 Stars in The Financial Times + great review in the Jazz Breakfast.

Just yesterday we shared the great news that John O’ Gallagher was featured in the “A Noise from the Deep” podcast by Dave Douglas over on the Greenleaf music site, talking about the making of his new album and debut WWR release The Anton Webern Project.  Some more great press has hit for the record including a 4 Star review in the Financial Times as well as a great write-up on The Jazz Breakfast site

John O’ Gallagher interviewed on Dave Douglas’ ‘A Noise from the Deep Podcast’ on the Greenleaf Site.


The Anton Webern Project is the debut WWR release from John O’ Gallagher, the grammy-award winning alto saxophonist who is known as one of the most compelling improvisers, composers and music conceptualists at work today on the avant-jazz scene. 

This recording features reworks and adaptations of the music of Anton Webern (the Austrian composer known for his innovations in twelve-tone technique and the musical movement known as ‘Serialism’) for his seven-piece contemporary jazz ensemble, showcasing many of the most respected creative musicians on the global music scene.

The album has been getting a lot of well deserved press (“Courageous stuff and easily the most innovative album of the year.” is what JazzWax said recently) and just yesterday we were very excited to find out that John appeared as the featured guest on “A Noise from the Deep Podcast” over on the Greenleaf website, the record label owned by master trumpeter and composer Dave Douglas.  In the interview John discusses his recent Anton Webern Project release and a new book he authored on Twelve-Tone Improvisation: A Method For Using Tone Rows in Jazz.



The album also features: Matt Moran – Vibraphone, Pete McCann – Guitar, Russ Lossing – H. Organ, Rhodes, Piano, Johannes Weidenmuller – Double Bass, Tyshawn Sorey – Drums
Margret Grebowicz – Voice


We’d like to thank Dave Douglas and everyone at Greenleaf for featuring John (and one of our releases!) on their amazing and highly informative podcast.  And we recommend that all of you check these out, as well as all the music on the Greenleaf label.



BIG NEWS: Whirlwind Recordings moves to Proper Note/Proper Distribution

 2906557Big news for us at WWR: After a few uncertain months on the physical CD distribution front, we’ve signed an exclusive deal with Proper Note, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Proper Distribution (the UK’s largest independent distributor) to take our label forward, after the recent snap announcement from GEM Logistics (who held our stock on behalf of Cadiz Music) to stop dealing in CDs and DVDs.  This caught us by surprise and we had one month to find a new home for all our physical products, but the end result is that we are now working with the UK’s finest independent, award-winning distribution company that expertly deals in specialist music on both the physical (cd) and digital side of things, has an amazing forward-thinking online presence (with an online store as well as online music magazine), and parallels the same goals we have at WWR for spreading the word about our catalog on all platforms.  Our titles will now be accessible to even more lovers of music and through Proper Distribution our international outreach will be growing and growing.  Proper also has an on-site warehouse that holds all our stock which is much more cost effective for us, which means we can share more profits with our artists.  We couldn’t be happier with this move.

propernoteWWR Founder Michael Janisch has this to say:  “The last few months have been pretty hectic as a result of the GEM closure, but I’m very excited to be working with Graham Griffiths, Eddie Wilkinson and the entire team at Proper, who have proven themselves over the years to be a dynamic, forward-thinking and very importantly an enduring distribution company, and this is exactly what WWR needs for pressing forward in the current music sales climate.  I have no doubt that this move will take WWR to the next level by an increase in CD sales– which will enable us to continue to do what we do– and also by raising the profile of all the world-class artists who release such special music with us.”

And they are already hard at work for us.  Check out their recent newsletter by clicking here, where they have chosen our latest release by Mike Gibbs as their Editor’s choice, and they’ve also done a feature on our label as well. Pictures reprinted below.  Here’s to the future!

Featured Release


Label Feature















Jeff Williams Article Featured in London Jazz News

The Listener Low ResWe have below an article written by drummer Jeff Williams, featured in London Jazz News, of his recent trip to Brazil where he performed with his UK quintet at the established Amazonas Jazz Festival. 

“Every so often, and not nearly often enough, something happens in the way you wish everything would. For the past two years my group has played at the Green Note in Camden during the London Jazz Festival and will return for this year’s on the 20th of November. Profound gratitude is felt for Alexa Von Hirschberg, who books the series. And not only for the opportunity to play at this gem of a venue before a thoroughly engaged audience. That is certainly sufficient to warrant a thank you. But it’s what happened after last year’s performance that moved things up several notches.

A man came up to me just as we concluded and said he wanted to bring us to a jazz festival in Brazil. I asked if he wanted a CD and he said he didn’t need one–he had heard all he needed to and his mind was made up. Subsequently, after returning to Brazil, he realised he knew me from my work with Dave Liebman. But his motivation to have us play at the Amazonas Jazz Festival in Manaus was purely based on his enjoyment of us and had nothing to do with name recognition or anything else. That’s what I meant by things happening the way they’re supposed to. His name is Rui Carvalho, festival artistic director, drummer and conductor of the Amazonas Big Band, which this year featured Bob Mintzer as guest composer and soloist.

Finn PetersJosh ArcoleoPhil RobsonSam Lasserson and I had performed only a handful of times before this trip, though more than enough for me to know the band’s potential. Last Friday our concert proved the point, further evidenced by the audience’s standing ovation. We spent five days in Manaus. We heard fantastic street musicians, played with some of them, absorbed the atmosphere of the place, took a boat trip into the Amazon jungle and enjoyed each others company throughout. We came to know each other much more through this shared experience. The concert reflected this completely. Playing the music was a continuation of the on-going conversation. Ten rehearsals would not have produced such complete unity. We became a real band.

So, for all of us struggling for such opportunities, it’s good to know that occasionally they happen simply because someone hears you and likes what you’re doing. Take heart and work on the music.”

Jeff recently released his second album on WWR – The ListenerThe band recorded on the album consist of his New York quintet with Duane Eubanks, trumpet; John O’ Gallagher, alto saxophone; John Hébert, double bass. The album received many glowing reviews, and 4 star reviews by The Guardian, The Jazz Mann, The Financial Times, Marlbank, and being noted by Jazz Views as “music that seethes with intelligence, creativity and zest. This is a glorious record, varied, full of subtleties and surprises.”

To purchase the album please visit the album page.

Phil Robson Summer News Update

Below we have featured an in-depth blog update from WWR Artist, guitarist and composer Phil Robson, describing his recent touring in the USA with highlight performances in NYC and the Rochester Jazz Festival. 

“I recently spent a really exciting 3 weeks in the USA, and here’s what happened!:

 On June 19th, I set off for JFK with Christine Tobin & Dave Whitford. The prime reason for the whole US trip was that we had been invited to play at the Rochester Xerox International Jazz Festival in NY state with Christine’s amazing ‘Sailing To Byzantium’ band as part of ‘Made In The UK’. This is a series of UK bands which the festival showcase in the beautiful Christ Church venue in conjunction with UK promoter John Ellson & funded by Jazz Services. We were due to do this on the 23rd June but we went over early to acclimatise & to get our batteries charged up by getting into the NY vibe first, not to mention wanting to adjust from the endless winter here to the intense summer weather there! Myself & Christine were lucky enough to be able to rent a great apartment in Brooklyn from a musician friend for the bulk of the trip as he was away on tour so now we had our base!

IMG_0915 I have to mention that it had been recommended that we ask the incredible Spencer of ‘Jazz car’ to collect us from JFK & he and his colleague Darryl became an intrinsic part of the whole experience as we had many trips to & from the airport. Spencer is someone who has taken up driving musicians to airports in his retirement as he loves Jazz & musicians so much. Even Herbie Hancock has checked him out with his people carrier, welcoming A.C. & lovely personality!

 Before heading up to the festival, we managed to catch Mark Turner’s amazing band with Joe Martin, Marcus Gilmore & Avashai Cohen (tpt) at the Village Vanguard which got me,Liam Noble, Dave & Christine firmly into the zone & I finally got to meet Mark’s wife!

Two nights before leaving the UK, I had received a phone call from the ‘Made In The UK’ office, telling me that one of the UK bands had visa problems & sadly might not make the gig & could I help out? My friend (& drummer in my quintet,) Ernesto Simpson had been booked as part of that band & was not affected as he holds a US passport. He wanted to salvage his gig at the festival on the 21st as well as an extra gig back in the city on the 24th at the Zinc Bar. To cut a long story short, we ended up doing both of these unexpected gigs as a trio with myself, Ernesto & Dave at the last minute. Internal flights were altered & we had a fantastic time playing with the trio after flying up to Rochester on the morning of the 21st. The festival is really good fun, with so many great musicians playing & hangin’ there & we were looked after wonderfully. It was also great to see Anne Rigg from Jazz Services & long term friend, Sue Edwards, who had both come over to go to the festival. Christine’s gig was truly magical, culminating with Christine walking through the church singing acapella as the finale. She got a really big audience who were very responsive. Her band was completed by Liam Noble & a fab local cellist called Hilary Glen who slotted in as if she had been in the band for years although we were sad that we had been unable to take our regular brilliant cellist Kate shortt this time. RE Rochester, special mention must go to Moe’s Bar which is an amazing place to hang & also to killing guitarist Bob Sneider who runs the hotel jam & also accompanied Christine for her workshop. We left Rochester on the 24th hoping to have plenty of time to get to our 8pm slot at the Zinc Bar. Unfortunately we had a 2 hour 30 min flight delay but thanks to the heroic driving & problem solving of Spencer we managed to get to the gig on time, Dave having to pick up a bass in Brooklyn first! It was another fun gig & we had a great time with Ron Afif, Willard Dyson & lots of other fab musicians who were jamming at Ron’s regular Monday late slot after we played.

The next thing on the horizon was a gig I had got under my own name at ‘The ShapeShifter Lab’ in Brooklyn on the 27th with my quintet, a fairly new, hip venue, run by ace bassist, Matt Garrison. Before that, we had a couple of days to get back into the city vibe. This included seeing Liam play a great down town loft gig with Ingrid Laubrook & Tom Rainey as well as seeing the super swingin Sheryl Bailey Organ Trio at the 55 bar plus doing some laundry as it was seriously hot & humid by this stage!

 IMG_0878For the ShapeShifter gig I booked John O’Gallagher (Alto), Boston’s Jason Palmer (tpt), Dave Whitford (bass) & my old friend Billy Hart (drums) under the name of ‘Robson’s Philanthropix’! Although we had not played together before as a group, I knew all the musicians individually & felt confident that it would gel easily & that I had a mega band. We rehearsed in the afternoon at the venue & then played after the Andrew D’angelo ‘Dna Orchestra’. We all really enjoyed our gig & it was great to see members of the orchestra such as Ben Monder & Bill McHenry stick around to check us out as well as being supported by friends including Liam, Jeff Williams, Ingrid Laubrook, Will Vinson, Sheryl Bailey, (poet) Eva Salzman & many more. Billy Hart was explosively creative from the first beat &, having not played with him for many years, I was reminded of how inspiring it is to play with a true master of the music. The gig was filmed & I may release some clips somewhere down the line if I can improve on the audio from the camera’s own mic. Dave & Liam headed back to the UK on the 28th. Over the next few days we soaked up the sounds & sights of the city which included catching some of the gay pride parade & enjoying lots of Mexican food (which I can’t resist over there) as well as escaping the heat in cool bars like the 11th St bar between A & B, The Kettle Of Fish & calling in at all the great venues like Smoke, Smalls etc with Christine & Anne Rigg who was in town by that stage, having come down from Rochester. I stayed in Astoria in Queens for a few days when my friend returned from touring & it is a really interesting part of town which I hadn’t seen before. I also played in a really enjoyable basement session in Harlem with Sheryl Bailey & some of her friends as well as catching up with Michael Mwenzo up at the Lincoln Centre etc, etc!

IMG_0870I was now looking forward to my final gig at ‘Smalls’ with the Jeff Williams Group on the 6th July, which was also Jeff’s birthday! On the 4th, I went to celebrate independence day on the roof of John O’Gallagher’s apartment in Park Slope where all the residents get together to have a big barbeque & party & watch the fireworks over Manhattan from their incredible viewpoint of the city. It was a real privilege to be invited to be part of normal family life in that way. With more trips to JFK I was now on my own so I went to stay with Jeff & Lionel Shriver for my final two nights, which was like being at home as they made me so welcome. Jeff’s gig was very exciting & in some ways was the one that I was a little nervous about. The reason for that is because I was so aware that it is such a strong unit as a quartet, with no harmony instrument. His band features John O’Gallagher, Duane Eubanks (tpt) & John Hebert (bass) who really interpret Jeff’s unique tunes brilliantly. Smalls has also become a very important venue & I had never played there before. Any self consciousness vanished as soon as we started to play as the musicians are so open & adapt so quickly, plus, the audience were great & I enjoyed having them less than 1 foot away from me! It really is a wonderful place to play.

I took my final trip to JFK with Spencer on the 7th feeling exhausted & very sad to leave NY but also very happy to have had such a great experience & in great anticipation of the forthcoming trip to Brazil with Jeff’s English band on July 23rd! Truly, it was the best summer I have had for many years & one which I hope will influence & enrich my future music making.”

Phil Robson’s WWR release The Immeasurable Code is available from the Album Page on the WWR site, and to view the album promo video please click here.