RELEASE DAY: Cloudmakers Trio ‘Abstract Forces’ out worldwide

Cloudmakers Trio AF

We’re proud to announce the official release date for Abstract Forces by Cloudmakers Trio.  Check the events page to see where the band will be playing this fall in support of the release.


Abstract Forces is the second release from Cloudmakers Trio, the brainchild of vibraphonist Jim Hart which features WWR founder Michael Janisch on double bass and Dave Smith on drums. The album is a powerful mix of strong grooves, catchy hooks and, as the title suggests, very open improvising. Hart’s writing explores different textures, moods and eclectic sound worlds, rendering the music unpredictable and exciting while at the same time beautifully accessible.

The album is an organic continuation of a well-established musical relationship originally formed to collaborate and record with the NYC-based trumpeter Ralph Alessi in 2010 (the result was the Cloudmakers’ debut Live at the Pizza Express, one of the most lauded albums of 2012 in the UK jazz/improv press). It was during the buildup to the tour and recording of the live album that Hart had the good sense make this trio the focus of his new compositions and arrangements.

Hart explains, “After years of playing together as a rhythm section for many artists, Michael, Dave and I decided to get together and prepare new music for a collaboration with Ralph, and during those rehearsals we three played a lot, sometimes up to eight hours a day. It was during these rehearsals that I realised it was the right moment to begin exploring, in greater depth, what potential the ‘vibes trio’ might have. I began writing music just for the trio and over the last four years we have developed and expanded the repertoire through regular touring. This record is a document of where we’re at in this process and I am extremely proud of it. It can sound much bigger than just three players at times whilst also having the dynamic interplay that you can only have in a trio.

For me, Abstract Forces is also the culmination of more than ten years of experience performing as a vibraphonist, as well as leading bands and writing for this instrument. Since I formed my first quartet band ‘Gemini’ in 2003 I have been trying to develop a sound and an approach to the vibes as the only harmony instrument in the ensemble. It is a role that I have always felt under exploited for the the vibes and I have made it my mission to do something about that. In a way I have been quietly developing Cloudmakers Trio from within various quartets since that time.

The name of the group and album comes from the analogy of a trio of rhythm section instruments acting as an engine room within the music. I thought of it like a power station that also produces clouds which have an abstract, ethereal quality to them. Our music is definitely highly charged and has a strong rhythmical focus on the one hand, but at the same time it is absolutely jazz in that it celebrates the freedom and openness of improvisation without being constrained by the compositions. There are abstract forces at work.”



Cloudmakers Trio ‘Abstract Forces’ in the Guardian, Marlbank, Northern Echo, Jazz Mann, AP Reviews and more ahead of tomorrow’s worldwide release.

Abstract Forces is the second release from Cloudmakers Trio, the brainchild of vibraphonist Jim Hart which features WWR founder Michael Janisch on double bass and Dave Smith on drums. The album launches tomorrow worldwide.

In the run up to the release we’ve had some great press hit for the album, and the highlights are below:

“Cloudmakers continue to advance their collective aptitude for making a threesome of rhythm-section instruments sound forceful and ethereal by turns.”
The Guardian


“A real tour de force.”
AP Reviews

“An album of solid grooves and free improvising create the foundation for a high quality eclectic contemporary Jazz record… Should you ever have the opportunity to catch them live then I recommend that you do so.”
Bebop Spoken Here

“Fiercely interactive trio… The musical intelligence and sophistication of each member of the trio is gloriously apparent throughout as they make playing this often complex music sound easy.”
4 Stars, The Jazz Mann

“To take the instrument [vibraphones] to more abstract places takes effort, motivation and a good deal of thought. Vibist Jim Hart on Cloudmakers trio’s Abstract Forces has managed to draw out the many complexities of the instrument on seven of his own knottily absorbing compositions.”

“With the driving bass of Michael Janisch and trademark drumming vigor of Dave Smith, Cloudmakers Trio continues to produce inventive, oblique, tricksy-but-accessible grooves.”
AP Reviews

“Vibes player Jim Hart, double bassist Michael Janisch and drummer Dave Smith combine their remarkable individual talents in this stimulating album. Jim’s varied compositions cover a wide range of moods and tempos on a set which is both virtuosic and thoughtful.”
Northern Echo

Partisans with 5 Star review in BBC Music Magazine, 4 Stars Irish Times + Idrum Magazine, AP Reviews + UK Tour

Swamp is the fifth studio album from Partisans which releases in two days on the 22nd sept.  We’ve had some great news for the band including a glowing 5 Star review from BBC Music Magazine, 4 Stars in the Irish Times and some others. Here are the highlights:


“This heavyweight jazz quartet continues to carve its own niche, with an eclectic jazz mix.”
5 Stars, BBC Music Magazine


“Their sound artfully straddles the boundary between acoustic and electric music, equally capable of digging into a dirty funk groove or soaring to freer, post-bop altitudes.
4 Stars, Irish Times

“An incredibly exciting and uplifting album.”
iDrum Magazine

“A bold, renewed statement of intent.”
AP Reviews


Make sure to see the band on their upcoming UK Tour, dates below:

LONDON – 29/09/14
The Cockpit Theatre

gateforth St NW8 8EH
****CD LAUNCH****

BRIGHTON – 10/10/14
the Verdict
159 Edward St BN2 0JB

MARSDEN – 11/10/14
Marsden Jazz Fest

BIRMINGHAM – 23/10/14
Hare & Hounds
106 High St Kings Heath
B14 7JZ

Keepers la. leavenheath
Essex CO6 4PZ

LEICESTER – 5/11/14
Leicester jazz house
venue tbc.

CHELTENHAM – 14/11/14
Victory Club
Burlington House
Lypiatt Rd GL50 2SY

LEEDS – 20/11/14
Seven Jazz
31A Harrogate Rd
Leeds LS7 3PD

LONDON – 21/11/14
the Vortex
11 gillett sq N16 8AZ

JC Sanford Press Update: Worldwide acclaim for this debut orchestral album ‘Views from the Inside’

Views from the Inside is the stunning new album from the multi-faceted trombonist, composer & conductor JC Sanford and his 15-piece orchestra. A multiple-award winning composer and 2 X Grammy-nominated artist as a member of the John Hollenbeck ensemble. Sanford’s wide-ranging compositional palette is deeply rooted in the traditions of the jazz and classical worlds yet pushes both boundaries to create a landmark recording of the new jazz orchestra renaissance, featuring bold sonorities, unexpected colors and arresting sonic textures.


Over the past few months there has been a truly impressive amount of great things said about the album from the US, UK, Germany, Austria and Switzerland music press. Here’s some of the highlights:


“The emphasis is as much on the orchestrations as the musicianship… triumphant.” Jazzwise Magazine

“Mature, playful, classical and futuristic, full of dynamic and sometimes gladiatorial tensions.” 4 Stars, Jazz Journal

“Big Bands do not have to romp through nostalgia… JC Sanford aptly redefines what it means to write for large ensembles with an exquisite album.” Hifi (Germany)

“A rare record… It starts with the idiosyncratic handling of his instrument, and continues in the unorthodox composition of his 15-member troupe and ends at the shirt-sleeved arrangements that can safely and only be described as outrageous (in a good way).” Sound & Image (Germany)

“A dozen amazing musical statements.” Saarbrücker Zeitung (Germany)

“JC Sanford’s music cannot be pigeonholed.” Spiegel Online (Germany)

“A collection of sophisticated pieces that mix the harmonies and rhythms of modern classical with the gestalt of jazz.” Jazz Weekly

“Throughout this excellent album, Sanford extends his music into areas other than jazz by drawing on modern classical and World music genres, and there are plenty of moments of lyricism and mystery on this wide-ranging collection. It’s an encompassing journey filled with multi-scenic variety. ” Textura

“Composer-trombonist-conductor JC Sanford’s recent release Views From The Inside on Whirlwind Recordings delivers loads of aural surprises wrapped up in layers of jazz orchestra.” New Music Box

“A breath-taking album… bold sonorities, unexpected timbres and captivating sound textures.” ReinMain Magazine (Germany)

It’s an album with remarkable melodies and enticing performances.CD Aktuell (Germany)

A total of 12 pieces with alarming diversity; at times spherical, sometimes dramatic and then again slightly lilting passages with a spectrum of moods.” Hörspiegel (Germany)

With every listen you will be drawn deeper into the musical cosmos of the JC Sanford Orchestra.” Music an Sich (Germany)

“Often sweeping and exciting compositions.” Jazz Thing (Germany)

“Sanford draws from his overflowing and unbelievable reservoir of knowledge of classical and jazz, and his harmonious puzzle pieces form paintings that describe the lively scene and the inexhaustible energy of a city like New York where he is based.” Jazz Podium

If you want to raise a new term, then postbig-band jazzfor JC Sanford’s is appropriate, as it goes way beyond the conventional idea of a big band sound.” Music Reviews (Germany)

And across Germany, Austria and Switzerland we’ve heard JC’s album being played on: AFK M94.5 Basement Jazz, BR Jazznacht, BR Jazztime, Deutscchland Radio Kultur, HR2 Jazz Now, Radio Okerwelle-Klangdimen, Radio Okerwelle Jazztangent, Radio T, Radio Underhort, SWR2 Radiophon








Partisans CD release show Sept 29th ‘Jazz in the Round’ Cockpit Theater + new N. American Tour videos + 4 Stars from the Arts Desk & London Jazz

Swamp is the fifth studio album from Partisans, who since their formation in 1996 have been thrilling audiences the world over with their ferociously energetic performances of tightly knit themes and the great freedom coming from their years of playing together.  The album releases on the 22nd of this month and the worldwide anticipation has been high.  The band has also enjoyed a big North American tour and you can watch some of those highlights on their playlist on our YouTube channel to the left (scroll through to see more).

They will have their official CD launch show at the Cockpit Theater in the monthly BBC Radio 3 presentation of Jazz in the Round on the 29th.



And we’ve had some more great press in for the band including a 4 Star review from The Arts Desk and just today a glowing review from London Jazz, with highlights below:

“These pieces, closely focused and intricately woven, are masterpieces of detailed performance.”
4 Stars, The Arts Desk

“Reaffirms their standing as one of the most rewarding bands anywhere.”
London Jazz







RELEASE DAY: Andy Milne & Dapp Theory ‘Forward In All Directions’

Andy Milne FB

WWR is proud to announce the worldwide release of Forward in All Directions by Andy Milne & Dapp Theory, produced by Grammy award winning Jimmy Haslip and also a celebration of 15 years together for the band.  Click here to visit our store and purchase the physical album (also FLAC and ALAC) if you are from outside the USA, and for all you Americans, please visit our partners on this release Contrology Records for US orders.


Forward In All Directions is the new album from Andy Milne & Dapp Theory and his first for Whirlwind Recordings. Produced by Grammy Award winner Jimmy Haslip and featuring guest performances from Ben Monder, Jean Baylor and Gretchen Parlato, the album is Dapp Theory’s third release and marks the quintet’s 15th anniversary, blending “contemporary funk, groove and hip hop into jazz,” according to LA Weekly.

The title and the music reflect Milne’s diverse artistic vision. Forward In All Directions chronicles the journey Dapp Theory has taken in its 15 years. “It’s a milestone, a celebration, and a reflection of the changing times for artists. My life as an artist, entrepreneur, and educator requires me to move in all directions at all times and I derive joy in meeting this challenge.”

Milne’s compositions mirror this openness and draw upon the considerable strengths of his musicians. His band mates represent a litmus of what’s happening in the world of music today. “I’m blessed with musicians who genuinely inhabit a wide range of musical spaces that span the globe. They share an understanding and sensitivity of musical palettes ranging from Appalachian folk, traditional Armenian, heavy metal, funk, hip-hop, jazz, pop, and classical music.” Milne combined the talents of poet John Moon, saxophonist Aaron Kruziki, bassist Chris Tordini and drummer Kenny Grohowski, helping to re-draw and extend the boundaries of jazz. “It’s a special group to me because everybody understands what I’m trying to do musically and they trust me.” In their 15 years, the band has evolved and built a loyal following of fans who appreciate their indefinable sound, blending influences ranging from Joni Mitchell and KRS One to Thelonious Monk and Van Halen.

Forward In All Directions is the first Dapp Theory recording to feature music that Milne initially composed for other projects and later rearranged for this group. It’s also the first recording to be guided by an outside producer from start to finish. When asked about working with Jimmy Haslip, founding member of The Yellowjackets, Milne said “Jimmy’s grounded and relaxed nature was essential in my completing this recording. His ears, instincts, and resourcefulness were an amazing asset and his unrelenting support has made him an invaluable partner.”

A seminal member of Steve Coleman’s groups in the 1990’s, Milne is considered by his peers as one of the most important and respected voices in jazz today. He is the recipient of numerous awards and commissions, including the prestigious Civitella Fellowship and New Jazz Works from Chamber Music America. Milne has composed and produced seven original film scores for acclaimed actor/director William Shatner. In 2012, Milne was commissioned by The Japan Foundation and New Music USA to create Strings and Serpents, a multi-disciplinary project featuring artists from Japan, France, Canada and the U.S with a premier at Lincoln Center.



Rory Simmons live review of ‘Monocled Man’ at Jazz in the Round

Rory Simmons released Southern Drawl in April with his new band ‘Monocled Man’ and was recently seen around the UK on tour.  Below we have reprinted a Jazzwise live review from Jez Nelson’s Radio 3 show Jazz in the Round held at the Cockpit Theatre in London.
Jazzwise Sept 2014 - Live reviews

“Uncategorizable, beautiful – a real force to be reckoned with.” says Jamie Cullum about Alice Zawadzki + Jazzwise Magazine Feature, London Jazz and AP Reviews for ‘China Lane’

Alice Zawadzki’s & her debut album China Lane continue to get incredible mentions in the major UK press.  Here are the latest highlights:

“She showed that she not just an immensely able singer with a wide range of vocal timbre, but also a songwriter AND a lyricist AND a violinist AND a pianist AND an entertainer…. The possibilities are just limitless.” London Jazz Live Review

“As enchanting to experience ‘live’ as in this fine recording, Alice Zawadzki is most definitely one of contemporary’s jazz’s stars of the present and the future, possessing, as she does, remarkable musical dexterity and personality. A fine solo album debut.” AP Reviews

And recently on his BBC Radio 2 show, none other than Jamie Cullum stated Alice was “Uncategorizable, beautiful – a real force to be reckoned with.”

“A debut album with a truly unique sound world.” 4 Stars, Jazzwise Magazine and feature reprinted below


Jazzwise Sept 2014 - Taking Off

‘Devotion’ by Marko Churnchetz with 4 Star review from Jazzwise, The Jazz Mann, BBC Radio 3, JazzViews, and more

Devotion is the debut WWR release from Slovenian-born pianist and composer Marko Churnchetz, and features saxophonist Mark Shim, bassist Chris Tordini and drummer Justin Brown.  The album has had some fantastic reviews in the press as of late in addition to some regular airplay on BBC Radio 3, here are some highlights:

“A strong piece of work impressive not only for the quality of the writing but also for the wholehearted absorption and development of its ethos by the whole band.” The Jazz Breakfast

“Devotion” is a stunning début. Churnchetz sounds like a musician -and composer- who is just bursting with ideas.” 4 Stars, The Jazz Mann

“A possessor of dazzling technique, in terms of speed, accuracy and the ability to turn a phrase into a big run.” Marlbank

“THAT MOMENT when the ears prick up and the spine tingles. In the world of contemporary jazz, it happens fairly frequently… but not so often to this level. Debuting on the Whirlwind label, Slovenian pianist/keyboardist and composer Marco Churnchetz may just have entered the annual ‘best of’ stakes with Devotion – an outstanding programme of originals. A wondrous release.” AP Reviews

“The disc delivers everything we have come to expect of modern contemporary jazz: brilliant virtuosity; powerful and complex rhythmic drive, all informed by intelligent eclecticism.” Jazz Views


And a great feature from Jazzwise Magazine reprinted below:

Jazzwise Sept 2014 - review  Devotion


Cloudmakers Trio album trailer video for ‘Abstract Forces’ out Sept 29

Cloudmakers Trio AF

Later this month we’re releasing the second album from Cloudmakers Trio titled Abstract Forces, below we’re happy to share the new promo video for the album: