Julian Argüelles and ‘Tetra’ – Summer tour dates announced.

Julian Argüelles’ Tetra is an immersive, hour-long sequence of material featuring” Kit Downes (piano), Sam Lasserson (bass) and James Maddren (drums).

Known widely as an original member of seminal big band Loose Tubes, as well as for his outstanding involvement with the Frankfurt Radio Big Band, smaller creative ensembles have always been close to Argüelles’ heart. With Tetra, his respect for, and collaboration with, today’s eclectic strain of younger jazz musicians kindles a mutually imaginative spark with an equal emphasis on composition and freedom of improvisation.


This summer, the band will be touring the UK. For further details click: here

9th June – Hidden Rooms Cambridge, 8pm

10th June – Adrian Bold Hall Birmingham, 8pm

11th June – RNCM Theatre Manchester, 7.30pm

12th June – Colston Hall, The Lantern Bristol, 8pm

13th June – Kings Head Bexley, 8.30pm

16th June – Vortex Jazz Club London, 8.30pm

17th June – Y Theatre Leicester, 8pm

18th June – The Hive Shrewsbury, 8pm

Release day: Jason Palmer and Cédric Hanriot ‘City of Poets’ featuring Donny McCaslin, Michael Janisch and Clarence Penn.

City of Poets FB


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


Airplay for City Of Poets  

Jazz FM ‘The Performance Series’ (here)

Jazz FM The Blueprint 


The very essence of American trumpeter Jason Palmer and French pianist/composer Cédric Hanriot’s improvisational concept City Of Poets – centered around Olivier Messiaen’s 7 Modes of Limited Transportation and US author Dan Simmons’ acclaimed, four-novel science fiction series Hyperion Cantos – is sufficiently intriguing to prompt further exploration of its background and, indeed, the artistic collaboration and musical output it has inspired.

A French/American jazz exchange project (in association with the French-American Cultural Exchange and Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation), its overarching melodic frameworks are based on Simmons’ literary themes of pilgrimage and the life stories of his prominent characters – hence these varied ‘tales’ from The Priest, The Soldier, The Poet, The Scholar, The Detective and The Consul, as well as mysterious four-armed, semi-organic creature The Shrike.

Writing for quintet – completed by colleagues Donny McCaslin (tenor saxophone), Michael Janisch (double bass) and Clarence Penn (drums) – Palmer and Hanriot chose to restrict themselves to Messiaen’s seven modes, each of which are defined by differently shifting degrees/intervals (though always symmetrical and each sharing the same beginning and ending reference point). Once the melodic structure was in place, Palmer explains, the harmonic and rhythmic content for each of the seven tracks arrived quite easily: “It was quite an exercise in creative periphery, the art of taking in literary work and creating musical work simultaneously.”

Launched in 2014 and emphasising its cross-cultural ethos with concerts and masterclasses in the USA, UK and France, the work has taken on an energy of its own at the hands of these stellar improvisers. From the colourful, two-horned vibrancy of ‘The Priest’s Tale (Mode II)’ to dusky piano/bass blues ‘The Detective’s Tale (Mode VII)’, this is music which shrieks spontaneity and whispers the work of imagination, reflecting the creative, cultural roots of both its inspirers and realizers. Percussively piquant ‘The Shrike (Mode I)’ revels in Palmer’s blistering trumpet extemporisations, whilst Michael Janisch’s supple, effected bass enhances the mystery of ‘The Scholar’s Tale (Mode III)’. ‘The Soldier’s Tale (Mode IV)’ swings coolly to Hanriot’s pianistic deftness, and the broad landscapes of both ‘The Poet’s Tale (Mode V)’ and ‘The Consul’s Tale (Mode VI)’ throw the rich fluidity of McCaslin’s tenor into the spotlight.

This recording, captured before a receptive, live audience at London’s Pizza Express Jazz Club, expresses all the intended fervor and vigor of this original music and the excitement and freedom emanating from the quintet’s sparky invention. To put a musical slant on the words of English philosopher Bertrand Russell, quoted in Dan Simmons’ Hyperion: “Language serves not only to express thought but to make possible thoughts which could not exist without it.”


City of Poets - pic live in Paris (1)

★★★★ from The Scotsman, The Evening Standard and UK Vibe among latest reviews for Preston Glasgow Lowe debut album.

Preston Glasgow Lowe is the eponymous debut album from London-based trio David Preston (guitar), Kevin Glasgow (six-string electric bass) and Laurie Lowe (drums).

The sheer, virtuosic rapidity of the playing found within these 65 minutes is striking – from the tumultuous, firecracker synchronicity of ‘C:\>PU’ and ‘Colour Possesses’ to the melodic guitar breadth and animated bass grooving of ‘Everything in Everything’, and the breathless six-string bass velocity of ‘Elephant and Castle’ to Laurie Lowe’s viscerally penetrating drum eruption at the centre of three-part ‘Within You’. Presenting a cool, synthy spatiality, ‘Song to the Citadel’ prompts exquisite fretboard roaming and pitch-bending from both Preston and Glasgow; while the intensifying, rock-infused urgency of ‘The Priory’ – written in part as a through-composed drum solo – features Lowe’s relentless yet nuanced drumming.

Here are some of the highlights from the many excellent reviews rolling in for Preston Glasgow Lowe:

“A trio fast-playing and fast-reacting with often spectacular ease.”
★★★★ The Scotsman (full review)

There’s a real buzz around this London trio, whose live rock energy and left-field smarts are evident on their eponymous debut.”
★★★★ The Evening Standard (scroll down to read) (website)

“There’s subtlety, there’s grace, and there’s excitement. The variation on the themes are exceptional.”
★★★★ UK Vibe (full review)

“A dazzling level of technical proficiency and a wide ranging harmonic sensibility that puts them at the forefront of progressive jazz.”
Jazz Views (full review)

“A great band… Exactly what you would expect from musicians of this calibre.”
Bebop spoken here (full review)

“The playing is impressive, as are the compositions, the group empathy & the deeply embedded melodic sense that runs throughout the record.”
Jazz In York (full review)

“A very promising debut from Preston, Glasgow and Lowe. Rich in intensity and spellbinding in parts, there’s obviously much more to come from this exciting trio.
★★★★ UK Vibe (full review)

“Think Metallica meets Mingus, or Hendrix, Pastorius and Animal from the Muppets on a bro-date.”
★★★★ The Evening Standard  (website)

Northern Echo (website)


Screen Shot 2016-05-03 at 10.36.11



Elephant and Castle from Preston Glasgow Lowe


Michael Janisch feature in iBass Magazine + reviews from Downbeat, Soul Train, Hörspiegel and more

WWR founder, composer and bassist Michael Janisch has been recently featured in iBass Magazine (website) with a video (left) shot last October on his band’s autumn tour which took in just over 40 concerts promoting the new band and recent release double disc album  Paradigm Shift. (scroll down to see the feature)

Both the album and band continue to receive high critical acclaim and below are the highlights from the latest round of reviews from across the USA & Europe:


“Janisch leads a very tight, on-point band… intricate electric grooves and atmospheric, ambient interludes.”
Downbeat Magazine (website)

“For artistic ambition alone this recording deserves the attention of those interested in how new sounds come into the world. The paradigm shift is a superb achievement.”
Jazz Views (full review)

“An album that wants to be heard… jazz at the highest level.”
Hörspiegel (website)

“Janisch uncompromisingly mixes electronics, free improvisation, rock, pop and funk together without losing any improvisational integrity.”
Jazz Matinée (website)

“An absolute treat of an album that is rewarded with repeated listening, even for the jazz novice.”
Soul Train (website)


Untitled design (3)


‘Paradigm Shift Dance Party’ from Paradigm Shift


Review round up and radio features for Jeff Williams and recent release Outlier including Jazzwise, Radio Cardiff, The Jazz Breakfast.

Drummer Jeff Williams has graced innumerable New York and London stages over the years, making frequent Atlantic crossings between the two cities. With Outlier, his latest solo project, the accomplished band leader and composer collaborates with both seasoned and up-and-coming colleagues from the UK: Josh Arcoleo (tenor saxophone), Phil Robson (guitar), Kit Downes (keys) and Sam Lasserson (basses). This engaging album of originals prompts a dynamic quintet response to a variety of energized compositions and is his third album for Whirlwind (following 2011’s Another Time and 2013’s The Listener).

Here are the highlights from the latest round up of reviews from Europe including the album featuring on Drummer Magazine’s (website) ‘list of ‘Recommended New Releases’.

“Outlier has a classy, lived-in feel that never glosses over this band’s tough, restless spirit in performance.”
Jazzwise Magazine (website)

“At times energised at others gentle, but engaging.”
Sandy Brown Jazz (full review)

“The recording does full justice to Williams’ distinctive cymbal work.”
The Jazz Breakfast (full review)

“Williams has assembled a talented band of musicians… An excellent recording.”
Bebop Spoken Here (full review)

“A restless musician and a continually evolving, always interesting composer.”
Phontas Troussas (Blog GR) (full review)

Outlier has also been featured on two radio shows.

Listen again to Outlier reviewed on Radio Cardiff’s ‘A Slice Of Jazz’ (listen)

Hear Jeff’s interview with Solar Radio here: (listen)


Drummer New Releases April 2016

Listen to the title track from Outlier

★★★★ from The Jazz Mann for Matt Ridley’s Mettã + photos from launch tour.

Matt Ridley describes his latest release  Mettã as “considered, composed/improvised music which might transport and entertain both listeners and players, creating and involving all in an awareness of the present.”

The follow up to debut release on Whirlwind (Thymos, 2013), this album from the British double bassist and composer Matt Ridley  references themes of benevolence and goodwill in it’s title and finds him progressing his shared creativity again with his quartet of pianist John Turville, drummer George Hart, and soprano saxophonist Jason Yarde, who appears here in a fuller, more centrally melodic role.

Matt has just launched Mettã with a series of dates across the UK. Scroll down to see some photos from hisshow at Cambridge Modern Jazz Club.

Recently, Mettã received a ★★★★ review from the Jazz Mann:

“Ridley’s gently melodic but rhythmically sophisticated themes provide ideal vehicles for some superb group interplay and some inspired individual soloing.”
★★★★ The Jazz Mann (full review)


Matt Ridley

Images David L Hone LRPS




More reviews for The National Youth Jazz Orchestra’s NYJO FIFTY inc Hi-Fi News & Record’s ‘album choice’.

Since The National Youth Jazz Orchestra released its celebratory fiftieth anniversary double album NYJO FIFTY, the album has continued to receive great press. Here are the highlights from the latest:

“A fine celebration of an institution that has done so much for jazz education in this country.”
The Jazz Mann (full review)

“An impressive package.”
Hi-Fi News & Record (album choice, see below)



NYJO FIFTY celebrates the 50th anniversary of a British institution, The National Youth Jazz Orchestra, who have recorded well over 40 albums to date with this their first release for Whirlwind. Recorded at Air Studios in London, the album reflects the wide range in repertoire, style and musical colors for which NYJO has become known, with a look at new repertoire and some of the band’s past favorites to celebrate 50 years as the UK’s premier youth big band. A double-disc album, the band’s contemporary material makes up Disc 1 with more traditional material on Disc 2. It has always been NYJO’s belief that in order to create a firm foundation for progression in the music, a clear sense of the legacy of jazz and in particular the great lexicon that makes up the big band style is needed. NYJO FIFTY accomplishes this and more with a program of varied arrangements reflecting trends in both historical and contemporary large ensemble jazz bands.

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 18.06.10



★★★★ reviews from Jazzwise Magazine and The Telegraph for Zhenya Strigalev’s Never Group.

Recent critical acclaim for Zhenya Strigalev’s latest release Never Group:

“A surreal, impressive brew.”
★★★★ Jazzwise Magazine (website)

“A maverick at the heart of modern jazz.”
★★★★ The Telegraph (live review)

“An abstracted theatre of sound and experiment… ranging from 21st century bop to spooked jazz improv via deep-funk.”
Sandy Brown Jazz (full review)


“Mr Harland is the check-point, stamp and go… His snare drum is a crack-shot, the toms fall on the ears like tight tuned hammers, the bass drum blocks a deep-beat, doubles it, even triples the bottom.”
Sandy Brown Jazz (full review)

Russian-born, London-based alto saxophonist Zhenya Strigalev follows up his 2015 Whirlwind sextet release Robin Goodie with his new trio project Never Group. Recorded over two days in Berlin with the rhythm section of electric bassist Tim Lefebvre and drummer Eric Harland – as well as welcoming guests such as keyboardist John Escreet, double bassist Matt Penman and trumpeter Alex Bonney – Strigalev’s desire with this different focus is to fashion the unexpected and the fleeting (alluded to in the project name) both from his own original compositions and the contributions of respected Austrian electronics composer/musician Bruno Liberda (who also appears on this recording).

Building a reputation on both sides of the North Atlantic for his adventurous and impassioned emphasis on improvisation, Never Group is an experience that matches quirky abandon with resolute musicianship and technicality. As Zhenya confirms: “No other rhythm section sounds like Eric and Tim; I like their chemistry together – and I wanted to collaborate with them to record a chordless trio album which gave me more freedom, so I could further expand my musical language.” In an hour-plus abundance of 20 tracks, Strigalev and colleagues elicit bristling spontaneity, from the rasping percussiveness of ‘Bio Active’ to ‘Strange Party‘s’ grungy swagger; from the echoic, electronically-manipulated mystery of Liberda’s ‘Bassgeigengeister’ and ‘Heimwehharfe’ to the raw, boppy mischievousness of ‘Some Thomas’ and playful, grooving ‘Snail’.


Here’s ‘Bio Active’ from Never Group


Zhenya Strigalev JAN 16 LB