Andre Canniere talks to Radio Cardiff about his career, his album ‘Coalescence’ and his plans for the future.


(defined as “the union of diverse things into one body or form”) is the latest solo album from trumpeter, composer & bandleader Andre Canniere, an American who’s currently based in London. This album is Canniere’s second release for Whirlwind and follows his critically acclaimed Forward Space, which received no less than a 5-star review from The Guardian as well as being called “one of the best debuts in a long time” by Jazzwise Magazine.

Recently, Andre talked to Rhys Phillips of Radio Cardiff’s ‘Jazz Breakfast’ about his career, his album and his future plans. You can hear the whole interview here: Interview


Here’s the promo video for Coalescence


BIG NEWS: Phil Donkin to release ‘The Gate’ March 9 2015 worldwide featuring Ben Wendel, Glenn Zaleski and Jochen Reuckert + Launch tour + promo video + full track

Phil Donkin FB


“To my ears, Phil Donkin does it all, he propels The Gate relentlessly/effortlessly with his melodic, interactive, driving basswork (Macon Groove is evidence enough). Not to mention the fine writing, his keen ear for detail and an eye fixed on the big picture, and larger vistas just ahead.”
– Drew Gress, (internationally renowned bassist)

The Gate (click here) is the debut album from Phil Donkin, one of the preeminent bassists of his generation in jazz and improvisation-based music. Originally from the UK, he established himself in London and subsequently made the move to New York City where he lived for a number of years. Currently based out of Germany he maintains a hectic international touring schedule and has performed with many of world’s marquee artists including Kurt Rosenwinkel, John Abercrombie, Kenny Wheeler, Julian Arguelles, Evan Parker, Nils Wogram, Marc Copland, Bill Stewart, Ralph Peterson, Nasheet Waits, Edward Simon, Kevin Hays and others.

Featuring Grammy-award nominated saxophonist Ben Wendel, drummer Jochen Rückert and pianist Glenn Zaleski, The Gate is a debut of depth and maturity with ten original compositions and two covers (Thelonius Monk and Dmitri Shostakovich). With plenty of wit and intelligence the pieces are navigated expertly by the four members, displaying a myriad of textures and emotions.

Phil explains: “I wanted to create a program of music that anyone can enjoy, but doesn’t dumb down to a notion that non-jazz audiences need to be condescended to. I think good music regardless of genre communicates on a human level, and the dividing forces that have been created artificially by the music press and industry now dictates how people are allowed to enjoy and receive music. I think that notion is wrong and I want my music to defy it.”

The Gate doesn’t hold back; it both challenges and engages the listener. Pieces like ‘Matriarch’, ‘The Lost Shoe’ and the title track show a somewhat subdued and melancholic subtextual nature, pulling at the listener’s heart-strings but somehow with a fiery visceral energy that creates a juxtaposition of emotions. ‘La Jurona’ and ‘Introspection’ display some of the rhythmic subtleties for which Donkin is known, displaying the bass player’s uncanny ability to glide effortlessly through forms and time changes with poise, elegance and muscularity. Complemented by Rückert the rhythm section excel throughout, playing off each other astutely; one hears the depth of listening, sharing responsibility to drive the band while taking turns in directing the music and supporting the others as risks are taken, of which there are plenty.

Donkin explains “This music is in no way safe. We’re all taking risks and supporting each other at the same time. For me, that has always been the most exciting thing to listen to and to play, because it’s human. I don’t want an album which has been perfectly edited and so therefore shows no sign of weakness. That is boring and doesn’t show anything of the soul of the music. I need there to be both empathy and bravery for me to enjoy it. This obviously requires intense listening, and I think unfortunately that doesn’t happen enough in jazz now. What I hear a lot of is virtuosos who have become a self-sufficient tower of strength, who somehow aren’t responsive to their musical environment. Of course we all want to be as good as we can be, but when playing with others we are vulnerable because we don’t know what’s going to happen. To overcome that problem we must trust, and have faith that amazing things can happen if we let go and listen. One would hope that through years of playing and practicing, our hands know what to do, so listen and let the heart take over.”

There’s a healthy amount of swing on this record as well. ‘Macon Groove,’ named after the street in Brooklyn where Donkin lived, displays his ability to play an extremely nimble melody resonant of Warne Marsh and Lennie Tristano. Other pieces like ‘Butterfingers’, ‘One for Johnny,’ and ‘Yesterday At My House’ are quirky tunes which invite creativity from the entire band, something they do with aplomb throughout the record. With The Gate Donkin not only showcases his virtuosity as a bassist, but arrives as a notable composer of breadth and originality.

Listen to a full length track from the album:


Check out the upcoming tour from Phil and band and for direct links to venues and tickets visit our EVENTS page

Phil Donkin Nov14 Poster copy





RELEASE DAY: Alex Garnett’s Bunch of Five release ‘Andromeda’ today, worldwide

Alex Garnett FB


Andromeda (click here for CD, digital albums) is the second solo release from London-based saxophonist and composer Alex Garnett and is the debut recording of ‘Bunch of Five‘ his new two tenor saxophone project. This quintet brings the classic dueling saxophone format into a contemporary context, giving it a fresh face without losing its gladiatorial edge. The musical ethos is strongly routed in groove and swing and combines the eclectic tastes and experiences of the ensemble members while leaving plenty of room for liberties and unexpected twists within the various song structures.


The two frontmen, Garnett and the NYC-based Tim Armacost, have a collective 50 years of combined playing experience on the international stage, frequently appearing at festivals and clubs across the map. Finally a situation has matured to allow these two men to join forces and expand upon their mutual admiration, and their individual sound, phrasing and approach to playing the saxophone compliment each other greatly while at the same time pushing each other to their improvisational limits.

‘Bunch of Five’ engages in original repertoire which at once is both grounded in the tradition yet aspires to push beyond the comfort bubble in its harmonic considerations and improvisations. Rounding out the group is a versatile rhythm section featuring UK pianist Liam Noble, American bassist Michael Janisch, and one of London’s in demand young drummers, James Maddren.

The compositions are all Garnett’s creations reflecting a broad sweep of influences from the last twenty years of his musical journey. Material is spawned from varied sources including the effect of hearing a life changing Benny Golson concert in the early 90s, a fascination with astronomy and the relationship of universal frequencies, Alex’s love of (and skills in) comedy, to even the more recent impact of fatherhood and its spiritual demands.

The title track of the album, ‘Andromeda’, is dedicated to the mythological Greek Princess and far away galaxy of the same name. In a musical metaphor, the two saxophones weave their way towards each other finally converging in the eerie 7/4 time slash chord groove. Garnett cryptically informs the listener that this serves as a “reminder of the darker elements of her intentions towards us” and that In 3.75 billion years or so the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are set to fatally collide.

Although the concept of time is basically a human construct, you could say that emotionally this latest creative release of Garnett’s has been twenty years in the making but spiritually speaking hasn’t come a moment too soon.


Check out the official video for ‘Her Tears’ from the recording session.




Simon Purcell’s Red Circle makes MOJO Magazine’s Top Ten Jazz Albums of 2014 plus 4* Review and show details.


Red Circle is the debut release from pianist, composer and educator Simon Purcell, currently the Head of Jazz at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Dance and Music in London. The intention behind the material (all by Purcell) is less about complex themes, instead providing attractive contexts for improvisation where the band members can masterfully stretch out.



Simon Purcell is appearing in London at  ‘Jazz In The Round’ Jan 26th. For more information, click  Show details

Red Circle has made MOJO Magazine’s Top Ten Jazz Albums of 2014 list and received a four star review that we reproduce below:



4 star review from Marlbank for Ant Law’s upcoming ‘Zero Sum World’ plus tour dates.

Zero Sum World
is the second solo release from guitarist and composer Ant Law and launches in February of this year.
The music was recorded immediately after an extensive 29 date UK tour and a brief sojourn to Brazil where Law finished the writing in two parts. His band features Ivo Neame (piano), James Maddren (drums), Michael Chillingworth (​multiple reeds​) and Tom Farmer (bass).


We’ve just received this 4 star review from Marlbank:

“Law surfaced first in 2013 with Entanglement, an album that certainly made scene-watchers at the time sit up and take note of the hitherto little known guitarist. Zero Sum World is even more accomplished, particularly in the writing department. 2015 augurs well if the imaginative essentially acoustic jazz sounds found here are at all representative of what’s in store.”
4 Stars, Marlbank​ (Read full review)

The Zero Sum World tour starts in February and is at Pizza Express Soho on 16th and 17th Feb. Tour Dates

Two great reviews in for Alex Garnett’s Bunch of 5’s upcoming release ‘Andromeda’ including 4 stars from Marlbank plus track from the album.




Alex Garnett will be releasing his second album as a leader, Andromeda, with his new band ‘Bunch of Five’ on January 26 2015.  The group features long time musical associate and fellow tenor saxophonist Tim Armacost, pianist Liam Noble, bassist Michael Janisch and drummer James Maddren.



Here are two early reviews in for Andromeda:

“The writing throughout (mostly Garnett’s) is very convincing… Garnett and Tim Armacost bounding around like labradors.”
4 Stars, Marlbank (Full Review)

“The two tenor front line has long been a classic combo format – Think Sonny Stiit/Gene Ammons; Teddy Edwards/Dexter Gordon; Gordon/Wardell Gray; Zoot Sims/Al Cohn; Lockjaw Davis/Johnny Griffin and, of course, the Jazz Couriers in the form of Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes. However, comparisons are odious or, in this case, melodious, and this quintet can stand up and be counted alongside any of their predecessors.”
Bebop Spoken Here (Full Review)

Have a listen to ‘Her Tears’ from the album here:

Marlbank reviews Zhenya Strigalev’s Smiling Organizm’s ‘Robin Goodie’


Russian alto saxophonist Zhenya Strigalev returns with his acclaimed fusion-edged six-piece Smiling Organizm and their second album, Robin Goodie (click here), his second release for Whirlwind Recordings to be released next month on Feb 2. Following their much-praised debut – described as having “all the knife-edge momentum and skilled improvisatory abandon of its leader” by Jazzwise Magazine and “a real sense of a band in the making” by the Financial Times – Strigalev’s band includes Blue Note-signed trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, double bassist Larry Grenadier (known for his work with Brad Mehldau and Pat Metheny), electric bassist Tim Lefebvre (sideman to Wayne Krantz and Michael Wollny), pianist Taylor Eigsti (whose many credits include Joshua Redman and Christian McBride) and high-profile drummer Eric Harland (whose recent work includes being a member of bassist Dave Holland’s band Prism, as well as work with Charles Lloyd and McCoy Tyner).


We’ve started getting some great press in for the album and the first review so far is from Marlbank, the highlight below:

“An album that has its rollercoaster qualities but surprising amounts of tenderness stitched in there too, Strigalev on a roll.”
Marlbank (Read full review)

Find details for Zhenya Strigalev’s Smiling Organizm’s Robin Goodie European tour here: Tour Dates

And listen to the title track from the album below:

Jochen Rueckert’s ‘We Make The Rules’ featured in November issue of Jazzthetik

We Make The Rules is the debut Whirlwind release from the multifaceted drummer & composer Jochen Rueckert, a German native who’s been based in NYC since 1995, where he’s become one of the preeminent artists of his generation known for his work with Marc Copland, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Nils Wogram’s Root 70, Sam Yahel, Will Vinson and Seamus Blake.

The album features Reuckert’s quartet, a stellar cast of players which has been together since 2009, featuring long standing musical cohorts Mark Turner on tenor saxophone, Lage Lund on guitar and Matt Penman on double bass; all three guiding lights of their generation.


Here’s a highlight from the recent feature in German Magazine Jazzthetik:

“Possibly only someone like Billy Hart can succeed at channeling the enormous force of such a band as discreetly and effectively as Rueckert. In this setting of unlimited freedom of movement and empathy, Mark Turner’ s shimmering sound, weaved into a spiderweb of Lund’s lines, even works a tad better. In between, Rueckert stays constant: a magician of moods, whose rules should absolutely be common knowledge.”

Zhenya Strigalev ‘Robin Goodie’ Album trailer video, ft Ambrose Akinmusire, Taylor Eigsti, Tim Lefebvre, Larry Grenadier, Eric Harland



Zhenya Strigalev FB


Here’s the new album trailer for our upcoming Feb 2 release from Zhenya Strigalev, Robin Goodie ….


More reviews for Andy Milne & Dapp Theory – ‘Forward In All Directions’ from Jazz Thing, Westzeit, Jazz Podium and more…



Forward In All Directions is the new album from Andy Milne & Dapp Theory.
The title and the music reflect Milne’s diverse artistic vision.

The album 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.”
Andy Milne



We bring you highlights from the latest reviews from across Europe:

“A work that places traditional jazz virtues next to a modern focus… dreamlike, space-creating interaction.”
Sol (DE) (Read Review)

“With illustrious guests as Ben Monder and Gretchen Parlato [Andy Milne’s] album features intricate jazz with rock, funk and Spoken Word Poetry to thrilling sound patterns that recall many a time spent in Steve Coleman’s sound world.”
Zeitungshaus Bauer

“Andy Milne state the intentions of his new album perfectly with the title ‘Forward In All Directions’.”
Saarbrücker-Zeitung (Read Review)

“His apprenticeship with Steve Coleman shimmers and is also heard in his openness to diverse styles from classic modern jazz to hip-hop to even distant folklore and rock. The ten compositions are like chapters in a book, logically sequential, multi-dimensional, deep in focus with sensual intensity. The vocal texts increase the urgency of the auditory image and recalls today’s urban metropolises. This is music of great relevance with guitarist Ben Monder and vocalists Jean Baylor and Gretchen Parlato as guests.”
Jazz Thing (Read Review)

“timeless… elegant melodies…”
Westzeit (Read Review)

“Andy Milne plays voltage-rich piano playing and sometimes ecstatic improvisation spirals… Milne’s compositions feature lively dynamic changes.”
Jazz Podium (Read Review)

Watch the promo video for the album here: