Prestigious ELU and CHOC awards for ‘Panacea’ by Tam de Villiers amongst latest reviews from European music press.

Tam de Villiers works closely with his regular team of musicians, Karl Jannuska, David Prez  and Frederic Chiffoleau on Panacea, his debut album for Whirlwind Recordings. Resolutely idiosyncratic, his music surprises the listener with a melting pot of influences seamlessly combined into an original voice.

Panacea has recently received two prestigious accolades. It has been given a ELU award by Citizen Jazz and a CHOC award for album of the month in Jazz Magazine.



The highlights of the latest reviews for Panacea are reproduced below (scroll down for full features):


“Panacea is a fluid and powerful album. Certainly the most accomplished yet, of the quartet. Not to be missed, the prescription is universal.”
Citizen Jazz (FR) (See here)

“Here is an album that stands out from the crowd. From the first listening, one is struck by the sheer unpredictability of the routes laid out in each piece.”
Jazz Magazine (website)

“De Villiers smoothly intertwines art rock structures to classical counterpoint, and uses haunting motifs.”
Musik Reviews (website)

“The music of Tam de Villiers is decidedly idiosyncratic. They surprised and astonish the listener with a melting pot of different influences that are seamlessly combined.”
RheinMain Magazine (website)

“Tam De Villiers is a highly talented guitarist, composer and creator hermetic poetry.”
Jazz Podium (website)

“The group interaction is constantly apparent; this is musical communication of the first rank.”
Musik an Sich (website)

“The final result is a collection of richly varied instrumental and vocal pieces, performed by an excellent band in exuberant interaction with incredible musicality.”
Medien-Info (website)

“Straight off the bat, an exhilarating conversation.”
Jazz News (FR)




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Nine Whirlwind artists make the Downbeat Magazine’s 63rd annual Critics Poll

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The Downbeat Magazine’s 63rd annual critics poll has been published. We are especially pleased to send congratulations to the following artists that have recorded albums with Whirlwind and that are included in the ‘Rising Star’ section of this prestigious poll:



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Clockwise from top: JC Sanford, Patrick Cornelius, Dan Tepfer, Jim Hart, Joel Harrison, Matthew Stevens, Samuel Blaser, Gareth Lockrane, John Escreet.


Big Band
#11 Joel Harrison
#13 JC Sanford

# 4  Samuel Blaser
#11 Joel Harrison

#11 Gareth Lockrane

#15  Dan Tepfer
#16  John Escreet

# 4  Joel Harrison
# 9  Matthew Stevens

# 8 Jim Hart

#12 Samuel Blaser

Alto Sax
#21 Patrick Cornelius

Matthew Stevens’ receives 4.5* review in DownBeat magazine for ‘Woodwork’ and releases live video recording of ‘Ashes’.

NYC-based Guitarist and composer Matthew Stevens is heralded as one of the most promising young artists in contemporary music and has just released this new live video recording of the track ‘Ashes’ from Woodwork his debut that just launched with us in May. The album has just received a 4.5 Star review in this month’s DownBeat Magazine (reproduced below).





Possessing a truckload of chops tempered with exquisite taste and a composer’s vision, Matthew Stevens makes his startling debut as a leader with Woodwork… Stevens has fashioned a fresh group sound here with the contributions of stellar sidemen.
4.5 Stars, Downbeat Magazine


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Massive ‘2 for 1’ summer sale and free 15 track sampler album with any CD purchase until August 31, 2015


Free 15-Track Sampler Album
with any CD Purchase until end of 2015

2015 is our 5th anniversary and as a big thanks to all our supporters we’re including a free 15-track sampler album with the purchase of any CD from our site from now until the end of 2015.

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.

Visit the Whirlwind Store Page


Whirlwind ‘2 for 1’ Summer Sale

Offer ends August 31, 2015


Customers will receive a free digital album (your choice of MP3 320, FLAC or ALAC) to accompany any CD purchase on the selected titles below.  In each case we’ll contact you within 24 hours of your purchase to find out what format of digital album you’d prefer.  Then, we’ll simply send you a link right to your email address to download your free album.  And don’t forget, you’ll still be getting a free 15-track sampler album as well with the CD purchase (yep, three albums worth of music for the price of one CD)…

All digital albums contain embedded artwork, meta data, and a separate album artwork PDF booklet
Note: Some of these offers are marked “(or vice versa)” which means you can chose which album in the 2 for 1 deal you want as the CD.  If they are not marked in this way then the offer is set as indicated.

Rachael Cohen 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Rachael Cohen’s latest album Halftime as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of
Lee Konitz, Dan Tepfer, Jeff Williams & Michael Janisch’s First Meeting (or vice versa).

RC Front Cover                                                                                           first-meeting 2

Phil Robson 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Phil Robson’s latest album The Cut Off Point as a CD, and receive a
free digital copy of his first Whirlwind release The Immeasurable Code.

Matthew Stevens 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Matthew Steven’s latest album Woodwork as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of Michael Janisch’s Purpose Built.

Partikel 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Partikel’s latest album String Theory as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of their first Whirlwind release Cohesion.


Zhenya Strigalev 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Zhenya Strigalev’s latest album Robin Goodie as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of his first Whirlwind release Smiling Organizm Volume 1.

Robin-Goodiesmiling (Duplicate) (Duplicate) (Duplicate)

Alice Zawadzki / Marko Churnchetz 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Alice Zawadzki’s latest album China Lane as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of Marko Churnchetz’s Devotion. (or vice versa)


The ‘Large Ensemble’ 2 for 1 Deal

Buy JC Sanford Orchestra’s latest album Views From The Inside as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of Mike Gibbs + 12 Play Gil Evans. (or vice versa)
sanford_900pxMike Gibbs Album Low Res

George Crowley 2 for 1 Deal

Buy George Crowley’s latest album Can Of Worms as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of his first Whirlwind release Paper Universe.

Can-Of-Worms-CoverPaper Universe

Alex Garnett 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Alex Garnett’s ‘Bunch of 5’ latest album Andromeda as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of his first Whirlwind release Serpent.


Euan Burton 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Euan Burton’s first Whirlwind album Occurrences as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of his latest release Too Much Love – Deluxe Edition (featuring two previously unreleased bonus tracks).


Cloudmakers Trio 2 for 1 Deal

(Check out their upcoming N. American tour)
Buy Cloudmakers Trio’s latest album Abstract Forces as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of their first Whirlwind release Live in London feat. Ralph Alessi.


Tori Freestone / Monocled Man 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Tori Freestone’s first Whirlwind album In The Chop House as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of Southern Drawl by Rory Simmons & Monocled Man. (or vice versa)


Simon Purcell 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Simon Purcell’s latest album Red Circle as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of The TransAtlantic Collective’s Traveling Song(or vice versa)


Nick Vayenas 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Nick Vayenas’ latest album Some Other Time as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of his first Whirlwind self-titled release.

NV-Album-Cover1nickv (Duplicate)

Andre Canniere 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Andre Canniere’s latest album Coalescence as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of his first Whirlwind release Forward Space.


Patrick Cornelius 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Patrick Cornelius’ latest album Infinite Blue as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of his first Whirlwind release Fierce.


Jeff Williams 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Jeff William’s latest album The Listener as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of his first Whirlwind release Another Time.

The Listener Low Resanother-time

Pianists of New York 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Bobby Avey’s latest album Authority Melts From Me as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of Andy Milne’s release Forward in All Directions (or vice versa).


Nia Lynn / Romain Pilon 2 for 1 deal

Buy Nia Lynn’s latest album Points Of View as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of Romain Pilon’s first Whirlwind release Colorfield (or vice versa).


The Bassment 2 for 1 Deal

Buy Max Luthert’s latest album Orbital as a CD, and receive a free digital copy of Matt Ridley’s release Thymos (or vice versa).



BIG NEWS: Release day today for Ivo Neame’s ‘Strata’. 4.5* from All about Jazz, 4* from Marlbank and further reviews and features from NextBop, Jazz FM, The Jazz Breakfast and London Jazz.

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Known widely for his linchpin roles with Phronesis and Marius Neset, effulgent beacon of contemporary jazz piano, Ivo Neame, takes a side step from his octet and other projects to release this exciting new quintet title Strata. Collaborating again with UK luminaries (including three fellow Whirlwind artists) Tori Freestone (saxes/flutes), Jim Hart (vibraphone), Tom Farmer (bass) and Dave Hamblett (drums), this collection of eight Neame originals gyrates energetically with complex written grooves and varying instrumental colors to spark opportunities for venturous, improvised blowing.

Ivo’s intention for this recording– extensively gigged and carefully honed prior to studio time – was to explore harmonic and textural detail in greater depth in order to forge numbers which each take on their own identity. As such the resulting core quintet landscape, augmented by Neame’s sustained synth and accordian layers plus Freestone’s dazzling flute extemporizations, does indeed traverse many different levels.

From the rapid vibraphone swing of “Personality Clash” and “Crise de Nerfs”, via the crescendoing Weather Reportian synth-and-tenor stature of title track “Strata”, to an effusively hypnotic “Folk Song”, there’s an intensity of sound to savour. Coltrane-imbued “OCD Blues” is both powerful and mercurial, courtesy of Farmer and Hamblett’s bass and drum agility; and, pared down to piano trio for “Eastern Chant”, the leader is at his searching best. Intriguingly-titled “Miss Piggy” is, in fact, a finely-measured ballad showcasing the unremitting, resonant inventiveness of tenorist Tori Freestone; and the diaphanous atmospheres of “Snowfall”, enhanced by Hart’s ethereal vibes, are spatially illuminated by exquisitely drifting solos.

At the heart of such vibrancy and diversity is the inquiring, pianistic mastery of Neame, striking richly eclectic seams which, at times, might just as easily suggest Debussy or Stravinsky as the more obvious influences of Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea and John Taylor. A player whose style – whether through programmatic or differing improvisatory structures – is certainly distinct amongst today’s jazz pianists, his particular aspiration for Strata is that it might reveal “memorable themes which make an impact on the listener, both musically and emotionally”. Truth is, however many or few layers of creativity you delve into here, this is a significant statement from a premier British quintet… And an enduring listen.

‘Strata’ has received some great reviews and the highlights are reproduced here:


“Ivo Neame’s complex compositions and gorgeous arrangements married with his searching yet unequivocal soloing results in an album of exceptional depth and originality, indubitably enhanced by his choice of such a talented coterie of collaborating musicians.”
4.5 Stars, All About Jazz  (full review)

“Neame has a restless imagination as an improviser.”

“What’s here, the state of flux set to one side, is thrusting, exuberant, virtuosic playing, coming out of post-bop acoustic traditions. Neame has the wit and vitality to respond to the wave of energy coming from his band that he himself has set in motion embedded in the hints and clues of his writing.”
4 Stars, Marlbank (Recommended Release) (full review)

“Strata features a singular yet compelling instrumentation.”
NextBop  (full review)

“Neame is one of the most highly regarded British pianists in his field… stellar quintet.”
JazzFM  (full review)

“[Strata] will give rewards for years to come.”
The Jazz Breakfast  (full review)

“A highly enjoyable album of original compositions.”
Bebop Spoken Here  (full review)

London Jazz talked to Ivo prior to the start of the ‘Strata’ tour and here’s the interview: (read)


Here’s the full length version of the title track from Strata


Jeff Williams at Smalls NYC Thursday 2nd July and will be releasing his new UK Quintet album early 2016.

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Drummer and Composer Jeff Williams’ career has spanned over four decades performing at the vanguard of jazz music.

Jeff will be appearing at Smalls in New York on Thursday 2nd July with a line up that includes Duane Eubanks – Trumpet and John O’Gallagher – Alto Sax  (Details) both of whom appear on his previous albums Another Time and The Listener

One to look out for!

Jeff has also finished recording a new album, to be released with us in March 2016 with his UK Quintet featuring Phil Robson, Kit Downes, Josh Arcoleo and Sam Lasserson.



Here’s ‘She Can’t Be A Spy’ from Another Time


Latest reviews for George Crowley’s ‘Can of Worms’ including 4* from All About Jazz and The Jazz Mann and news on forthcoming performance at ‘Jazz In The Round’ Monday 27th July.

Can of Worms explores that happy and unpredictable space where written and improvised worlds collide, diving deep into group improvisations and compositions featuring taut, tense grooves, wailing sax-confessionals and all-out glorious free-jazz.
The album features a razor-sharp, interactive line-up of some of the most distinctive musicians on the burgeoning London scene consisting of fellow tenor saxophonist Tom Challenger (Brass Mask, Dice Factory), and rhythm section Dan Nicholls (Strobes, Vula Viel), Sam Lasserson (Jeff Williams, Julian Argüelles) and Jon Scott (Kairos Quartet, Mulatu Asktake).


George will be appearing at ‘Jazz In The Round’ on Monday 27th July (details).

In the meantime, Can of Worms continues to collect favourable reviews from the music press. Here are the highlights:

“Free-form, muscular sounding jazz with plenty of exchanges between tenor saxes.”
Jazz Journal (website)

“A twin tenor album this might be but don’t expect those hard bop or swing contests, such as we’ve known from the classic encounters. Crowley has found a whole new context for this line-up and while there are some moments when the two saxophones are intertwining their lines in compelling fashion there is a lot more five-way interaction.”
The Jazz Breakfast (full review)

“Album of the week”
Jazz UK (feature)

“The conversation between the horn men is fertile and free of platitudes, energetic and intellectual but, and most importantly, accessible to everyone with an ear tuned to simulating, discursive interplay.”
Jazzviews (full review)

“… varied and artistically exciting territory. It all bodes well for the future, with Crowley’s development as a player and writer promising much.”
4 Stars, All About Jazz (full review)

“Crowley’s strongly melodic themes provide the jumping off point for vigorous group interaction and the balance between the written and the improvised and between the accessible and the abstract is excellent throughout.”
4 Stars, The Jazz Mann (full review)


Here’s a full length version of ‘Terminal’ from Can of Worms


Announcing the new Deluxe Edition album for Euan Burton’s ‘Too Much Love’ now available feat. 2 previously unreleased bonus tracks

Deluxe Edition Cover

Today we release the Too Much Love – Deluxe Edition album from Euan Burton & Occurrences.  Too Much Love was released in November of 2014 to critical acclaim and the new Deluxe Edition contains an additional two bonus tracks that were previously unreleased.  It’s available as a digital album only but customers who purchase CDs will get an immediate download of the full Deluxe Edition digital album.  Check out this brand new track:

For customers who prefer to purchase on iTunes and other digital online retailers, the Deluxe Edition album will be available on the 22nd of June. Euan will also be touring the music throughout 2015, stay tuned for more information.


ABOUT: Too Much Love

Too Much Love is the follow up release from Scottish double bassist, composer and producer Euan Burton, whose first Whirlwind album Occurrences (May, 2012) was met with international acclaim. On this latest record Burton deepens his penchant for developing thematic material that runs the course of the album, while artfully balancing composition with improvisation.

After the release of Occurrences, which featured musicians from his native Scotland, London and New York, Burton looked to form a new group with musicians from the Glasgow scene (where he’s currently based) to develop a cohesive rapport with his new material. Following tours around the UK and Mainland Europe they went to Castlesound Studios (Scotland’s premier recording facility) to document the suite of music composed by Burton that makes up Too Much Love.

Burton explains: “The title comes from the notion that so many of the things that go wrong, or the mistakes people make, come from a place of either people having misplaced love or having so much love that they don’t know how to deal with it and channel it properly. I guess it’s a rose-tinted way to look at certain darker and more upsetting aspects of life and this struck me as a good starting point for writing a new album, this idea of ‘too much love’.”

As always his collaborators play a central part in the music and although this may be a new quartet it contains three of his long-time associates. Featured on piano is Tom Gibbs, one of Burton’s oldest collaborators; their co-led group released 2010’s Forgotten Things which had Ari Hoenig on drums. Burton also produced and played on Gibbs’ 2012 Whirlwind release Fear of Flying. Alyn Cosker (drums) is a powerhouse of the Scottish music scene and while he and Burton have never recorded together they have been performing in various projects since 2006. Cosker’s virtuosic talents come from years of experience with jazz artists such as Tommy Smith, Lee Konitz and Joe Locke and his attention to detail and considered touch on Burton’s music is one of the highlights of the record.

Alto saxophonist Adam Jackson may be a new name to many, but he and Burton have known each other since attending high school together. A former student at Birmingham Conservatoire he developed in the ranks of Tommy Smith’s Youth Jazz Orchestra. His tone and melodic development during improvisations show a maturity beyond his years and this album provides a great platform for showcasing this rising star of the Scottish scene.

Burton himself contributed all the emotive compositions, performs as bassist, produced, mixed and mastered the album, displaying an impressive palette of musical skills. As a bassist his warm tones and poignant improvisations give nod to the Charlie Haden school while retaining his own voice throughout. He’s a first call as a sideman across many genres in Scotland and has appeared on dozens of albums to date, as well as performances with many contemporary jazz greats including Ari Hoenig, Gilad Hekselman, Walter Smith III, Will Vinson and Jonathan Kreisberg. Some session highlights include performances with folk legends Aly Bain & Phil Cunningham, pop group Texas and Burton can be heard on the latest Disney Pixar film Brave.






Big News: Cloudmakers Trio announce 12 date ‘Abstract Forces’ North American tour starting 18th June.

Cloudmakers Trio will be embarking on a 12 date North American tour in support of recent release Abstract Forces. The tour starts on June 18th in Cambridge MA. For the very latest details on each date, click: here

Abstract Forces is the second release from Cloudmakers Trio, the brainchild of vibraphonist Jim Hart which features Whirlwind founder Michael Janisch on double bass and Dave Smith on drums. The album is a mix of strong grooves, catchy hooks and, as the title suggests, very open improvising.


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Zhenya Strigalev’s show at Smalls, June 11th 2015, is NY Time Out’s critic’s pick and album ‘Robin Goodie’ receives 4.5* from Downbeat Magazine and 4* from Jazzwise and The Jazz Mann amongst it’s latest round of reviews.

If Smiling Organizm’s debut album introduced the world to Strigalev’s highly personal musical vision, then Robin Goodie finds the band stepping up a gear, increasingly comfortable as a unit, growing to become more than the sum of its considerably talented parts. Matching quirky humour with serious musical intent, delicate melodic hooks with heavyweight rhythmic muscle, this is a band and an album that leaves a vivid impression.

Zhenya will be back for two dates in London later this month. Before that, next week, he will be in NY and his show at Smalls Jazz Club has been selected as critic’s pick in NY’s TimeOut Magazine. (All show dates)

Recent release Robin Goodie continues to gather glowing reviews from the music press. Here are the highlights:

“At the root of it all is Strigalev, whose compositions are so strong that they live up to the talents of the musical titans who join him on this CD. This could be the kind of jazz album that has something for everyone, not out of some sense of catering to the crowd, but because the mood it creates is so universally appealing.”
4.5 Stars, Downbeat Magazine (scroll down to see feature)

“Alto saxist Zhenya Strigalev juices up retro-minded postbop with cutting-edge grooves and madcap intensity on his excellent latest, Robin Goodie.”
TimeOut, NY (scroll down to see listing)

“It can be fast and furious, tender and emotional and a whole lot of fun too, for the listener as well as the musicians. How many jazz recordings can you say that about these days?”
4 Stars + feature, Jazzwise Magazine (scroll down to see feature)

“Expands upon the promise exhibited by the first Smiling Organizm record. An album that is once again bursting with ideas.”
4 Stars, The Jazz Mann (full review)

“Everything is exuberantly, madly creative… All six musicians play with verve and power, the horn section parts being particularly fruity, and the album doesn’t really have any low points, just lots of surprises all the way to the end.”
The Jazz Breakfast (full review)

“This is no stretch limousine of glossy, forgettable soft jazz, but rather an impassioned outpouring of the sax man’s quirky, raw, yet ultimately tuneful creations as composer and instrumentalist…. Crank it up.”
AP Reviews (full review)

“Countless shades and colors, and new ones open up with each listening. Intoxicating!”
Jazz Thing Magazine

“Together with his Smiling Organizm Group consisting of American musicians, some of even Blue Note fame, the exceptional musicians embark on a journey through the depths of jazz expressiveness and combines them with unpolished harmonies and quirky guitar runnings, creating a unique sound world of electronic effects, distorted noise and hectic swing styles. No simple feat, but exceedingly tasty!”
In Music

“Sometimes a CD seems to fall straight from the sky… Strigalev has generated a veritable personal style while surfing through the entire history of jazz… The only certainty is that this music has humor and is highly musical.”

“Smiling Organizm is one of the most interesting formations in recent years.”
Boblinger Bote


Jazzwise May 2015