Time Out London ‘Critics Choice’ – Tori Freestone launches ‘El Barranco’ at 606 Club tonight plus UK tour dates

A formidable improvisers’ showcase of reflectiveness and fierce intensity.”
★ The Guardian (full review)

“The three musicians gel together perfectly, exuding skill and harmony within an all-too-rarely heard chordless formation.”
★ All About Jazz (full review)

Image by Rob Blackham

Image by Rob Blackham

Tori Freestone will be at the 606 Jazz Club, London this evening to launch her latest album ‘El Barranco‘ and TimeOut London magazine has selected the show as it’s ‘Critics Choice’.

Following their warmly-received 2014 release In the Chop House and subsequent live appearances, the trio, Tori Freestone (saxes/flute) Dave Manington (double bass) and Tim Giles (drums) have relished the opportunity to reconvene in the studio to record this collection of intuitive explorations (often first takes) of predominantly original compositions, including a pair of London Jazz Festival commissions.

For more information and tickets go: here.  Below is a list of all Tori’s dates on her UK tour and for more details on these including how to book, go: here


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Ivo Neame to tour UK this autumn with quintet ft.Tori Freestone, Jim Hart, Huw Williams and Dave Hamblett.

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 Ivo Neame originals gyrates energetically with complex written grooves and varying instrumental colors to spark opportunities for venturous, improvised blowing.  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”.

This Autumn, Ivo will be touring the UK with his quintet featuring Tori Freestone (saxes/flute), Jim Hart (vibraphone), Huw Williams (bass) and Dave Hamblett (drums.)

 For further details go: here

24th Sept – Arena Theatre, Wolverhampton (duo with Maciek Pysz)

30th Sept – Calstock Arts

2nd Oct – Jazz East Felixstowe

8th Oct – Cafe Posk, Hammersmith

12th Oct – The Vortex, London (duo with Maciek Pysz)

20th Oct – Capstone Theatre, Liverpool

21st Oct – Workshop, Leeds College of Music

22nd Oct – St. Gregory’s, Canterbury Festival

23rd Nov – Restormel Arts, St Austell, Cornwall

24th Nov – Future Inns, Bristol

13th Dec – St Ives Jazz

14th Dec – Ashburton, Devon

15th Dec – Soundcellar, Poole

16th Dec – Leicester Jazzhouse (duo with Maciek Pysz)





“A sublime listening experience.” More reviews for Sam Crockatt’s Mells Bells ft’ Kit Downes, Oli Hayhurst and James Maddren.

British tenorist Sam Crockatt brings the energy and immediacy of his quartet to Whirlwind on Mells Bells, an album of eight original compositions from the leader. Crockatt (a member of London-based Loop Collective) collaborates with many of today’s increasingly successful contemporary jazz and improvisational artists, particularly revelling in the focus of this empathetic working quartet with colleagues Kit Downes (piano), Oli Hayhurst (double bass) and James Maddren (drums). Recorded over a single day, newly-birthed concepts merge with older themes-in-waiting to create a distinct and exciting spontaneity.

Mells Bells has recently received reviews from music publications from across Europe. The highlights are reproduced below:

“Energetic, lyrical and free… A highlight of the British jazz scene.”
CD Aktuell (website)

“A sublime listening experience.”
Concerto (website)

“Full of surprises.”
Digital Jazz Zeitung (website)

“Boundless urban flair of contemporary British jazz.”
Musik Reviews (website)

“Just damn fine music.” ★★★★ from Jazzwise Magazine for Preston – Glasgowe – 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.

This weekend, the band will be playing at Portugal’s  Viseu Jazz Festival at the Parque Aquilino Ribeiro (details.)

Highlights from the latest reviews for Preston Glasgow Lowe:

“Stunning debut album… Just damn fine music.”
★★★★ Jazzwise Magazine (website)

“An attractive inwardness to the writing and a thoughtful energy.”
The Wire (website)

Untitled design (8)

Release day: Tori Freestone Trio and ‘El Barranco’ ft Dave Manington and Tim Giles + ★★★★ review from All About Jazz and The Guardian.



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


A formidable improvisers’ showcase of reflectiveness and fierce intensity.”
★ The Guardian (full review)

“The three musicians gel together perfectly, exuding skill and harmony within an all-too-rarely heard chordless formation.”
★ All About Jazz (full review)


Reaching into the heart of improvised music has become second nature to British tenor saxophonist Tori Freestone and perennial colleagues Dave Manington (double bass) and Tim Giles (drums) on their latest Whirlwind release El Barranco. Following their warmly-received 2014 release In the Chop House and subsequent live appearances, the trio have relished the opportunity to reconvene in the studio to record this collection of intuitive explorations (often first takes) of predominantly original compositions, including a pair of London Jazz Festival commissions.

The challenge of the wide-open chordless format is enthusiastically embraced by this trio, offering an improvisational prospect which constantly evolves, thanks to their innate ability to share ideas and spontaneously flex in new directions. Tori Freestone’s characteristically voluble tenor delivery is a key factor in this artistic process: a continuous channel of flowing, tumbling lines arriving from a seemingly limitless, spring-like source; and the quicksilver responses and diversions of both Manington and Giles are so genuinely realised. All of this combines in creating delightful group unpredictability, via a mutual, carefully crafted musical vocabulary, which happily hovers on the periphery of delineated structure.

Freestone clearly revels in the recording aspect: “Whenever we go back into the studio, it’s so great to have a couple of days enjoying making music together. The more we tour in the UK and internationally the more the new ideas start to flow and develop, taking us up onto another level to where we can’t wait to put this down on a new album.”

The concept of creative spaciality is reflected in the saxophonist’s album title and own sleeve illustrations, referencing the beautiful, mountainous terrain of Tenerife – in particular, El Barranco de Masca – which, for many years, has remained especially close to her heart. Thus, the inspiration for opening title track ‘El Barranco’ arrived almost instantaneously, its airy nonchalance a perfect vehicle for the liquid, intertwined phrasing of tenor and bass, buoyed by an expressive lightness of touch from drummer Tim Giles. The first of two commissions, ‘The Press Gang’ echoes Freestone’s musical roots with a suitably dark interpretation of the gloomy folk-tune tale (later reprised in more traditional guise); and the full-tilt exuberance of contrasting partner piece ‘Identity Protection’ further reveals the trio’s enthusiastic abandon.

Elsewhere, Dave Manington makes two compositional contributions, the thrummed, ‘60s soul bass riff of his ‘Challenger Deep’ setting up a distinctively alternative groove; and ‘Quetz Alcoatlus’ (purportedly the largest prehistoric flying animal that ever lived) becomes increasingly wild, jagged and audaciously airborne. Arthur Attman’s familiar standard, ‘All Or Nothing At All’, is skilfully threaded between the players, Freestone’s mellow tenor fluidity as heartfelt as ever; and the snappy, complex, changeable moods and rhythms of ‘Cross Wired’ speak volumes about a trio whose creative understanding (contrary to its title) is so impressively fine-tuned.

Expounding on their now-established approach, Tori says, “We love that the freedom we enjoy creating in our playing can reach people in so many different ways. At one concert, someone who was new to jazz expressed to me that our music had taken them on a journey they never knew they could experience; so it’s lovely that somehow we have formed a language which, rather than being intellectual or inaccessible, can be both contemporary and relevant – and we really look forward to engaging audiences with the new material on this album.”


El Barranco – Album Launch Tour (details)


26 July – E17 Jazz – Tori Freestone Trio featuring Jason Rebello

27 July – Album launch at the 606 club, Chelsea

4 September – Milestones Jazz Club, Lowestoft

8 September – The Vortex, Dalston

27 September – Ashburton Live, Ashburton, Devon

28 September – Dempseys Jazz Club, Cardiff

7 October – The Bebop Club @ The Bear, Hotwell, Bristol

9 October – Marsden Jazz Festival

3 November – Trinity Theatre, Tonbridge

31 Jan 2017 – Oxford Jazz Society

5 Feb 2017 – Colchester Jazz



Ant Law’s Vortex Show reviewed plus live performance videos released.

Zero Sum World  is the second solo release from guitarist and composer Ant Law and his first for Whirlwind Recordings.

The album features four guiding lights in British contemporary music: Ivo Neame (piano), James Maddren (drums), Michael Chillingworth (multiple reeds) and Tom Farmer (bass).

Zero Sum World showcases an eclectic mish-mash of influences from musics around the world and whilst each musician turns out stellar performances on the record, it’s Law’s thematic writing and playing that binds its eleven tracks together into one uniform statement.

Ant’s recent show at The Vortex was reviewed on online music blog Global Rhythms and includes interviews with Ant and live performance videos from the band. See the feature here.


 ‘Mishra Jathi’ from Zero Sum World


“A disc filled with robust, daring, colourful music.” The Ottawa Citizen on Pete McCann’s ‘Range’.

Enjoying some 25 years as a highly respected sideman on the New York circuit, and a regular performer at Greenwich Village’s popular 55 Bar, multi-faceted jazz guitarist Pete McCann brings his fifth solo album, jazz/rock cornucopia Range, to Whirlwind Recordings – a quintet recording of all-new material which distills his vast experience of working alongside some of jazz’s greatest artists.
The title is a metaphor for the breadth of his colorful musical career as well as the diversity of the sounds expressed so eloquently here with John O’Gallagher (sax), Henry Hey (keys), Matt Clohesy (basses) and Mark Ferber (drums).

The Ottawa Citizen recently published this great review of Range:

“A disc filled with robust, daring, colourful music.”
The Ottawa Citizen (full review)


Here’s  a full length version of ‘Mustard’ from Range:


“Appealing freshness through harmonic, rhythmic and melodic makeovers.” Reviews from Canada and Japan for New York Standards Quartet and ‘Power of 10’.

new_york_standards_920_550shar-20_s_c1NYSQ’s latest recording, Power of 10 is their second release for Whirlwind and a tribute to their ten years of performing together.

Comprising David Berkman (piano), Tim Armacost (sax), Gene Jackson (drums) and Michael Janisch (bass), the hallmark of the group’s playing is an easy rapport with one another developed through ten years of playing together and interpreting jazz classics in a highly engaging and personal way.

Here the highlights from reviews received for Power of 10 from Canada and Japan:


“The group specializes in bending well-known jazz compositions and Great American Songbook staples to it whims, using post bop jazz techniques to give those songs appealing freshness through harmonic, rhythmic and melodic makeovers.”
The Ottawa Citizen (website)

“In ten years NYSQ has become an incredibly tight ensemble balancing New York seriousness with a jam session spirit, while mutually stimulating each other with expert group inter-play, all the while creating a highly original sound.”
Jazz Tokyo (website)


Here’s a full length version of Deep High Wide Sky from the album:



★★★★½ from The Jazz Mann and ★★★★ from All About Jazz among first reviews for Jason Palmer & Cedric Hanriot’s ‘City of Poets’ ft. Donny McCaslin, Michael Janisch and Clarence Penn

City of Poets - pic live in Paris (1)American trumpeter Jason Palmer and French pianist/composer Cédric Hanriot’s improvisational concept City Of Poets – centers around Olivier Messiaen’s 7 Modes of Limited Transportation and US author Dan Simmons’ acclaimed, four-novel science fiction series Hyperion Cantos. The 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 this quintet ft. Donny McCaslin (tenor saxophone), Michael Janisch (double bass) and Clarence Penn (drums).

Earlier this year the band performed a series of dates in the US to launch the album.

Scroll down to hear a full length track.

Reproduced below are highlights from the first round of reviews received for City Of Poets:

“City of Poets is rich, fresh and vibrant and the standard of the playing exceptional… This is music that simultaneously manages to be both highly intelligent and highly exciting.”
★★★★½ The Jazz Mann (full review)

“Excellent compositions, outstanding solos and a band of internationally renowned musicians performing on absolutely top form.”
★★★★ All About Jazz (full review)

“The band are absolutely at the top of their game… outstanding set.”
Jazz Views (full review)

“This band is a genuine cracker… A total triumph.”
Sandy Brown Jazz (full review)

“It must have been an electrifying date to witness first hand, but the good news is that power and excitement is well conveyed by this recording.”
The Jazz Breakfast (full review)

“City Of Poets beckons listeners to activate their imagination, challenging them to combine multiple art forms, see characters come alive and invent their own informed storyline.”
DownBeat (full review)


Jeff Williams plays Smalls Jazz Club NYC on July 28th plus latest reviews for ‘Outlier’ including ★★★★ from Jazz Journal

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 presents an engaging album of originals. On July 28th, Jeff is at Smalls Jazz Club, New York, with Duane Eubanks – trumpet, John O’Gallagher – sax,  Phil Robson – guitar, Leo Genovese – piano, John Hébert  bass and special guest Solange Prat – vocals. More event and ticket information: here



Latest press for Outlier

“An assortment of stylistic approaches… exciting, energetic and rhythmically dynamic.”
★★★★ Jazz Journal (website)

“Saxophonist Josh Arcoleo, guitarist Phil Robson, pianist Kit Downes and bassist Sam Lasserson really do bring Williams’ compositions to life.”
Hi-Fi News & Record Review (website)

“Strong and muscular outing.”
Jazz Weekly (full review)

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