Ant Law’s ‘Zero Sum World’ named Jazz Views album of the week plus 4* from All About Jazz and reviews from Jazzwise Magazine, Medien-Info, Musik an Sich and tour dates…

 

Zero Sum World is the second solo release from guitarist and composer Ant Law and his first for Whirlwind Recordings.
Zero Sum World ​showcases an ​eclectic mish-mash of influences from musics around the world, but it’s Law’s thematic writing and playing that binds its eleven tracks together into one uniform statement.

 

 

 

Zero Sum World was recently named by Jazz Views as it’s ‘Album Of The Week’. Read why: Review

 

The album continues to collect plaudits from the music press in the UK and across Europe. Here are the highlights:

 

“It progressively beguiles as greater depth and detail is revealed.”
4 Stars, All About Jazz (full review)

“Along the way we hear post-M-Base-ish metric twists, a funky revamp of a South Indian cyclical rhythmic etude as well as more ambient , jangly folk-rock guitar moments…”
Jazzwise Magazine (website)

“Marking his debut release on the Whirlwind label, guitarist Ant Law’s second album Zero Sum World assembles something of a British contemporary jazz dream team to realise the frequently freewheeling adventure of his own eleven compositions.”
AP Reviews (full review)

“His unorthodox and unconventional guitar style marks him as a driving force in the new, improvisation-focused music.”
Jazz Zeitung (website)

“How refreshing is this Englishman who romps in the border areas between the bop and modern jazz guitar of the post Peter Bernstein-generation, it’s self-assured and thoroughly convincing.”
Jazz Podium (website)

“One of the most original voices of the European Jazz Scene.”
Musik Reviews (full review)

“With “Zero Sum World” Law establishes himself as one of the notable guitarists in the field of contemporary improvisation.”
Medien Info (full review)

“A high level of music that is equipped with resourceful and such properties as wit, skill, flexibility and variety.”
Musik an Sich (website)

“No less than 70 minutes of music with influences from all over the globe… formidable, highly professional musicians… Thumbs up, up, UP!”
Nachrichten

 

The Zero Sum World Tour starts tomorrow at Fleece Jazz and will take in the following dates.

For full details including how to buy tickets see here: Tour Details

 

May 1st – Fleece Jazz Stoke by Nayland Hotel

May 4th –  The Sage Gateshead

May 8th –  The Fisher Theatre, Bungay, Suffolk

May 11th –  Kenilworth Rugby Club

May 15th –  Red Lion, Birmingham

May 16th –  The Crypt, London

May 20th –  Queens Hall Arts Centre, Hexham

May 21st –  Bonington Theatre, Nottingham

May 22nd –  Capstone Theatre, Liverpool

May 23rd –  Zeffirellis, Cumbria

May 24th –  Royal Clifton Hotel, Southport

May 28th –  MauMau Bar, London

 

Here’s the full length version of ‘Mishra Jathri’ from the album:

 

Free Whirlwind 15-Track Sampler included with the purchase of any CD from our site

General Album Sampler

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All customers who purchase a CD will receive a FREE 15 track sampler album with their order as a special thank you for your continued support.  Note: this offer is not included with digital purchases.

Artists featured include Partisans, John O’ Gallagher, Cloudmakers Trio, Andy Milne & Dapp Theory, Alex Garnett, Nia Lynn, Jeff Williams, Partikel, Alice Zawadzki, Matthew Stevens, Tori Freestone, JC Sanford, Patrick Cornelius, Zhenya Strigalev, Joel Harrison, Anupam Shobhakar.

 

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Released today! Samuel Blaser’s ‘Spring Rain’ feat Russ Lossing, Drew Gress, Gerald Cleaver plus full track preview and promo video.

SAMUEL BLASER FB

Click here for a CD or digital albums (ALAC, FLAC, MP3s and more)

 

 

Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser makes his Whirlwind debut with his new quartet album Spring Rain, a tribute to US clarinettist and composer Jimmy Giuffre. Intentionally blurring the boundaries between jazz, blues, free improvisation and contemporary classical, along with an ear for strong melody, Blaser is a musician who seeks to widen the musical scope of his instrument while retaining its tonal identity.

 

 

His own playing is rooted in classical training and with beginnings in blues and swing he gained a scholarship to study in the Unites States. His early penchant for breaking free of constraints has resulted in a number of successful collaborations, most notably with his established, trusted quartet of Russ Lossing (piano/keyboards), Drew Gress (bass) and Gerald Cleaver (drums).

Following an already impressive back-catalog – most recently his informed interpretation of works by medieval composer Guillame de Machaut (Consort in Motion: A Mirror to Machaut, 2013) – on Spring Rain Blaser takes the melodic focus and considerable but perhaps lesser-known output of Jimmy Giuffre (1921-2008) to inspire new compositions and interpretations which bristle with spontaneity and invention. Possessing a lyrical tone as well as a mastery of multiphonics (often achieving extraordinary, gritty results with these carefully-crafted embouchured/sung clusters), Blaser duels with the myriad keyboard colors of Lossing (including Wurlitzer, Fender Rhodes and Minimoog), driven by intuitive, intelligent bass and drums.

Artistically directed by the renowned Robert Sadin (Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Sting), Blaser’s latest expression as a leader revels in the possibility of free improvisation which emanates as much from the influence of Stravinsky and Morton Feldman as it does high-grooving swing and blues. The diversity of the album is exemplified by the unpredictable, increasing tumult of “Missing Mark Suetterlyn”, the breezy almost Ellingtonian swing of “Temporarily”, the dark Bartokian spaciality of “Umbra” and then riotous, improv-fusion-spirited “The First Snow”.

Blaser thrives on continually developing and communicating new expressions in improvisation, keen for audiences to discover and appreciate the trombone in other forms. Spring Rain clearly displays that intent with an immersive soundworld which rewards with deeper understanding. He explains: “With this album I would like to show that the trombone can be melodic and have various forms of expression, and that I am not just interested in free jazz – you can’t categorize my music in one space. I want people to know that there is jazz, blues, classical music, beautiful melodies and no boundaries.”

Here are some highlights of the first reviews we have received for Spring Rain’

“Blaser sometimes experiments skillfully with the technique of multiphonics on the trombone while playing the melody or improvising to create parallel audio layers.”
Jazz Buzz (Greece)

 

Here’s a  full length track, ‘Temporarily’ from the album:

 

Early reviews for Matthew Stevens’ ‘Woodwork’ (release date May 26th) from Ottawa Citizen and Indie Shuffle.

NYC-based Guitarist and composer Matthew Stevens is heralded as one of the most promising young artists in contemporary jazz music through his associations with NEXT Collective, Christian Scott, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Walter Smith III, and Harvey Mason. Now Stevens comes fully into his own with his debut recording as a leader, Woodwork. The album showcases Stevens’ diverse influences, his warm, robust sound, and his fluid, emotive playing at the helm of a stellar quintet which features multiple Grammy-nominated pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Vicente Archer, drummer Eric Doob and percussionist Paulo Stagnaro.

Woodwork is exclusively available on iTunes until May 26th. Click the link to go to the relevant site wherever you are.

smarturl.it/matthewstevens

 

Here are two early reviews for ‘Woodwork’ and the full length title track from the album.

“Stevens has vaulted quickly to the forefront of his jazz generation… distinctive originality… Stevens’ sense of drive and commitment help make the music as lucid as it needs to be and then some.”
Ottawa Citizen (full review)

“Matthew Stevens is a dedicated young guitarist who has been making waves in the world of jazz through his guitar wizardry and collaborations with folks like Esperanza Spalding.”
Indie Shuffle (full review)

Mikkel Ploug’s ‘At Black Tornado’ gets 4* from The Irish Times plus reviews from Marlbank, Concerto Magazine and more from the UK and European music press.

 

At Black Tornado is the Whirlwind debut from guitarist Mikkel Ploug, a Denmark native currently based in Copenhagen with six previous albums released to worldwide acclaim. This new outing features his long-standing trio who’ve toured globally the past ten years and captures the feel, development, groove and joy of three like-minded musicians.

 

 

 

Since it’s release earlier this month, the album has continued to be well received in both the UK and Europe and here are some highlights from the latest reviews:

 

“In all the band’s music there is a refreshing lack of interest in showing off technique with the focus resolutely on making good music, with simplicity or complexity neither here nor there. It’s a really lovely listen.”
The Jazz Breakfast (full review)

“Recorded last year in intimate circumstances at Black Tornado Studios in Copenhagen, the location lending its name to the album title, the material is largely Ploug tunes, easily digestible in the main, at their best when the tidiness of the writing gives way to a sprawling spilling out beyond the bridge, a Nordic Americana the flavor.”
Marlbank (full review)

“The music is deserving of the widest possible audience.”
Bebop Spoken Here (full review)

“Appeals to a wider audience which will give them the greater exposure and recognition that they deserve.”
Sandy Brown Jazz Reviews (full review)

A highly individual sound…”
Concerto Magazine (website)

“Ploug is part of a generation of guitarists who absorbed as much from Radiohead as they did from Bill Frisell, so while there is all the openness and adventure of an improviser with his own distinctive language, it is informed by a more rugged, indie-rock sensibility, driven forward by Carpio’s subtle, ever-changing grooves.”
4 Stars, The Irish Times (full review)

Here’s a full length track ‘Waking Up’ from the album:

 

“Donkin has waited for the right moment with a debut straight from the top drawer.” 4* from Jazzwise amongst latest reviews for ‘The Gate’ plus 4* from Music OMH and reviews from Jazz Podium, Musik Review and more…

The Gate is the debut album from Phil Donkin, one of the preeminent bassists of his generation in jazz and improvisation-based music.

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 myriad textures and emotions.

 

We have had a whole raft of reviews in for The Gate and we present the highlights here. Scroll down for photos of the CD launch party at Pizza Express last month.

 

“Magnificent set… These are musicians adept at creating different environments, of responding to each other and of pushing the whole ensemble to higher levels. This makes The Gate a thoroughly absorbing listening experience and hopefully a big step towards Donkin becoming more well known as a composer and leader.”
4 Stars, Music OMH (full review)

“Donkin has waited for the right moment with a debut straight from the top drawer.”
4 Stars, Jazzwise Magazine (website)

“The troup demonstrates how vibrant and exciting acoustic jazz can sound in the 21st century. The ten original compositions of Donkin score with crisp bass lines, catchy melodies and intricate rhythms. A solid work from the stars of tomorrow.
Jazz ‘n’ More (website)

“As a leader, Donkin supplies thematic counterpoint, quietly accompanying voices and his solos are a tour de force… Let’s hope that his work with the international jazz elite will still allow him enough time to create more music such as on The Gate.”
Jazz Podium (website)

“Donkin’s musical tastes are broad, and this comes through in the most natural way on The Gate.”
Jazz Thing Magazine (website)

“Donkin intersperses elastic-rhythmic accompaniment and his solos are virtuosic. The album is very successful at being expressive music that is not too highly suspended in the intellect so that it can be enjoyed by all lovers of music, and it’s full of energy and playfulness.”
Music an Sich (website)

“The Gate is Donkin’s debut; an album with a lot of depth and experience.”
Medien Info (website)

“This is simply good music. The Gate raises Donkin’s profile to new heights.”
Nachrichten

“A beautiful and above all always surprising album.”
Musik Review

Images Lena Ganssmann

Images Lena Ganssmann

 

Euan Burton’s ‘Too Much Love’ reviewed in Northern Echo.

We have received a further review for Euan Burton’s recent release Too Much Love.

“A beguilingly attractive selection of new compositions. Well worth checking out.”
The Northern Echo (website)

Too Much Love is the latest release from Scottish double bassist, composer and producer Euan Burton.  On this record Burton deepens his penchant for developing thematic material that runs the course of the album, while artfully balancing composition with improvisation.

 

Here’s a full length track, ‘Krakow’ from the album

BIG NEWS: Phil Robson to release ‘The Cut Off Point’ feat: Ross Stanley and Gene Calderazzo on May 18th 2015.

Phil Robson CofP FB

 

 

The ever-searching, eclectic guitarist Phil Robson has released four contrasting solo records to date and is known throughout the world for his contribution to the long-running quartet Partisans (their release Swamp won Album Of The Year in the 2015 Parliamentary Jazz Awards in the UK where he’s based). As a sideman he’s performed with Kenny Wheeler, Mark Turner, Billy Hart, Barbara Streisand, Django Bates, Christine Tobin, among others.

Now with a recently-formed organ trio – having revealed and honed new material during their summer 2014 tour, followed by recording in the fall – Robson, Ross Stanley (Hammond organ) and Gene Calderazzo (drums) release their debut The Cut Off Point. Influenced by the jazz eminence of Pat Martino, Wes Montgomery and John McLaughlin, but also with a heavier rock-grooving predilection, this close-knit triumvirate punch their way through seven of the leader’s compositions, as well as a hustling interpretation of a number by US saxman David Liebman.

The organ trio format offers fascinating opportunities – Robson writing specifically with this in mind – affording the guitar the flexibility to carry melodies in different ways, roaming freely against the solid low voicings and varietal registrations, textures and dynamics of Stanley’s authentic Hammond. And with that unmistakable, saturated sound palette, Stanley is authoritative in the combined role he provides: a chordist, bassist and soloist dualizing improvisational diversity with the fluctuating distortion and tender shaping of Robson’s guitar. Drummer Gene Calderazzo (who shares a long association with Robson) displays a telepathic ability to respond to every rhythmic twist and turn; his shifting, chameleon-like colorizations here quite different to the density of his work with Partisans.

From the swinging ebullience of Herbie Hancock-styled ‘Thief’ to the lofty spaciality of “Astral” (dedicated to Kenny Wheeler), the mercurial moods of “Second Thoughts” to the quirky, almost ‘60s sci-fi feel of “Dimi and the Blue Men” and effervescent angularity of title track ‘The Cut Off Point, here is a recording that takes the organ trio format into fresh spheres, and the groove is irresistible.

 

Phil Trio

 

Phil will be launching the CD with a UK tour starting in June (dates listed below):

For the latest updates, including how to buy tickets, click: here

 

Friday June 5th 2015    The Red Lion, Birmingham   8pm

Saturday June 6th 2015    The Vortex, London   8pm

Sunday June 7th 2015    Hawthorn Centre, Herts   8pm

Friday June 12th 2015    Swanage Jazz Festival   4.15pm

 

Images by Monika Jakubowski

RELEASE DAY: Mikkel Ploug releases ‘At Black Tornado’ ft. Jeppe Slovbakke and Sean Carpio and gets 4 star reviews from Concerto Magazine and The Irish Times

Mikkel Ploug Trio FB copy
At Black Tornado (click here for CD’s and digital albums) is the Whirlwind debut from guitarist Mikkel Ploug, a Denmark native currently based in Copenhagen with six previous albums released to worldwide acclaim. This new outing features his long-standing trio who’ve toured globally the past ten years and captures the feel, development, groove and joy of three like-minded musicians. With Jeppe Skovbakke on double bass and Sean Carpio on drums, the threesome have often toured and recorded in the company of  musicians such as Mark Turner and Loren Stillman, but the goal of this new record was to capture the aesthetics they have come to inhabit as their own sound.

Ploug’s new album unfolds with ease; listen as they settle into the first track “Waking Up” and allow the music to evolve organically while hinting and exploring the DNA of the composition. Their sound, in part, stems from the mix of Carpio’s ever evolving, longsighted rhythmic variations; the melodic and chordal Monk-inspired quirk of Mikkel’s phrasing (along with his signature dusty and woody guitar tone); and Jeppe’s 1950’s inspired high string height— think no amp— double bass sound with the rootedness he brings as a result of touring with the popular Indie Rock band ‘I Got You On Tape’.The trio’s aim for this recording was to play as ‘live’ in the studio as possible and as such their set up consisted of forming a circle configuration with no partitions, resembling their typical concert layout. In addition they approached the music as if performing a live concert: they played just one take of each song in a determined setlist order. There have been no edits or overdubs of any kind. To keep things fresh the forms were improvised at times as well, just listen in as Mikkel yells out “rhythm section up front!” during the count in to “Comacina Dreaming”.
Mikkel explains, “The album was a sort of homecoming for us; a zone that occurs when the three of us come together and make music. It was also time for us to record again as a trio and focus our attention on that sound. We’ve done a lot of playing with wonderful musicians over the years, but for this record we wanted to document just the three of us and our development as a unit with our own identity. We’re not in a rush with the music and we’re very content in each other’s company while still surprising and inspiring each other every time we play— it’s a great situation to be in. I feel all this comes through in the music.”

We have received two excellent early 4 star reviews for At Black Tornado. Here they are:

 

“A highly individual sound… ​A thoroughly enjoyable affair.”
4 stars Concerto Magazine

 

“Ploug is part of a generation of guitarists who absorbed as much from Radiohead as they did from Bill Frisell, so while there is all the openness and adventure of an improviser with his own distinctive language, it is informed by a more rugged, indie-rock sensibility, driven forward by Carpio’s subtle, ever-changing grooves.”
4 stars The Irish Times

Listen to two full tracks from At Black Tornado

 

Rachael Cohen supports debut album ‘Halftime’ with upcoming dates to include 606 Club on April 14th, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, BBC Radio 2 appearance, Mostly Jazz and Funk Festival and more…

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Alto saxophonist and composer Rachael Cohen released her debut album Halftime with us and continues her touring across the UK with  a number of special concerts. Here are the details below:

 

 

 

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April 14th, 8pm – Rachael Cohen Trio at The 606 Club. Book Tickets Here

April 17th – Rachael Cohen Quartet ft: Phil Robson at Embrace Arts Centre, Leicester

May 3rd, 6pm – Rachael Cohen Quartet ft: Phil Robson at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Parabola Arts Centre.

ALSO THAT NIGHT – Rachael and Phil will be on Clare Teal’s live BBC Radio 2 show. 

May 26th, 9pm – Rachael Cohen Quartet at Dempseys, Cardiff. 

July 3rd, 7.30pm – Rachael Cohen Quartet ft: Phil Robson at Fischer Theatre, Suffolk.

July 11th, 7.30pm – Rachael Cohen Quartet ft: Phil Robson at Swanage Jazz Festival.

July 12th – Rachael Cohen Quartet ft: Bruno Heinen at ‘Mostly Jazz and Funk Festival’