Cloudmakers Trio are back with extended lineup, touring and recording in early 2017

Presenting Cloudmakers Trio ‘Five’


(from left to right: Dave Smith, Michael Janisch, Jim Hart, Antonin Tri Hoang, Hannes Riepler)


After a successful North American tour taking in Rochester, Vancouver, Vitoria and Twin Cities Jazz festivals, Cloudmakers Trio once again open the door to collaboration by inviting two special guests for a program of new music penned by vibraphonist Jim Hart. Joined by Austrian-born guitarist Hannes Riepler and French-based alto saxophonist Antonin Tri Hoang this new music will see the band exploring their renown cataclysm of exciting rhythmical interplay paired with the two front line voices in what will surely result in their strongest program of original, genre-twisting music to date.  The band will be undertaking a tour in January and March of 2017 with plans to record their third album for Whirlwind — dates below.


cloudmakers-trioUnder the leadership of the award-winning multi-instrumentalist Jim Hart (a founding member of London’s Loop Collective), Cloudmakers Trio represents the culmination of over a decade of musical growth between three of the finest musicians currently working on the international jazz, improvised and alternative music scenes.  Drummer and fellow Loop member Dave Smith is known for his experimental approach as well as a deep knowledge of West African music that has seen him work with the likes of Robert Plant and Hilmar Jensen as well as being the creative drive behind Outhouse Ruhabi and Fofoulah. Michael Janisch underpins the group with his virtuosic and driving bass playing that has led him to work with some of the world’s most notable visionaries, from co-led bands with Lee Konitz and Greg Osby to performances with Quincy Jones, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Joe Lovano to name a few.

With their uncompromising approach, Cloudmakers Trio effortlessly marry the complex with accessibility, the improvised with composed, and showcase original music that lies somewhere between New York’s downtown sound and the modern European tradition.  As a result their music defies easy category yet draws influence from a diverse range of traditions, featuring the under-exploited format of the vibraphone trio. While pushing the boundaries of what can be done with this instrumentation they remain devoted to in the moment risk taking, a deep groove and strong melodies.

Cloudmakers have released two albums for Whirlwind:  Live at the Pizza Express featuring Ralph Alessi and Abstract Forces.


Meet the two guests who will be joining Cloudmakers Trio on their forthcoming tour…

unnamedSince arriving in London in 2006 (after completing his studies in Amsterdam) Austrian-born guitarist Hannes Riepler has become an integral part of the London jazz scene. Passionate about forging new musical friendships and creating performing opportunities Riepler established the ‘Vortex Downstairs Jazz Night’ held every Sunday evening at London’s renowned Vortex Jazz Club.This weekly gig has attracted international attention not only for its incredibly high standard of musicianship but also for being the place to ‘hang’ for both local jazz musicians and those visiting the capital alike. Riepler’s second album as a leader Wild Life evolved from one of these sets in which bassist Oli Hayhurst sat in with visiting New York saxophonist Chris Cheek and London based drummer James Maddren. The energy and chemistry between the four musicians was so immediate and natural that a European tour ensued and the album (the follow up to acclaimed debut release The Brave) swiftly followed. Known also for his work with French saxophone star Julien Lourau (Electric Biddle), Riepler also is a member of US-drummer Jeff Williams’ band. He holds teaching positions at Trinity Laban Conservatoire and Middlesex University (London).


unnamedAntonin Tri Hoang plays alto saxophone, clarinet and bass clarinet. He studied at Paris Conservatory and for five years he played in the French National Jazz Orchestra (ONJ), playing the music of John Hollenbeck, Gil Goldstein and Robert Wyatt, among others. He published his first album Aeroplanes in duo with pianist Benoît Delbecq in 2011. Currently he is performing with different bands: jazz music (Paul Lay Quartet, Matteo Bortone Travelers, Umlaut Big Band) or experimental music (Watt, Novembre, Désordre) while composing and exploring improvisations.






Tour Dates (for up to date listings go: here)

10th January – Royal Academy of Music, London, England

11th January – Swansea Jazz Club, Swansea, Wales

12th January – Cambridge Jazz Club, Cambridge, England

13th January – Kings Place, London, England

14th January –Stokes Collection Café, Lincoln, England

15th January – Jazz @ The Albert, Bristol, England

16th January – TBC

17th January – Dempseys, Cardiff, Wales

19th January – Seven Arts, Leeds, England

20th January – Sheffield Jazz, Sheffield, England

21st (secret show to be announced at later date!!)

6th March – TBC

7th March – Watermill Jazz, Dorking, England

8th March – The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, Scotland (CMT Trio)

9th March – The Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, Scotland (CMT ‘Five’)

10th March  Vortex Jazz Club, London, England

11th March Vortex Jazz Club, London, England

12th March – Herts Jazz, Welwyn Garden City, England


More dates are being added very soon, stop back for updates.

Cloudmakers Trio would like to thank ACE for their generous support



Alto saxophonist and composer Samuel Eagles to premier new band SPIRIT with debut Whirlwind release ‘Ask Seek Knock’ for June, 2017


Announcing the June 2017 release from alto saxophonist and composer Samuel Eagles and his new band SPIRIT.  His album Ask Seek Knock will be his first for Whirlwind and second as a leader.  Check the video to the left to hear a track that was recorded featuring special guest saxophonist Jean Toussaint.

SPIRIT features: Samuel Eagles – alto saxophone; Duncan Eagles – tenor saxophone; Sam Leak – piano; Ralph Wyld – vibraphone; Max Luthert – double bass; and Dave Hamblett – drums.


“For me this isn’t just another album or another set of tunes for improvisation, I’ve made a conscious effort for the music to be inspired by my journeys as a person dealing with spirituality, sacrifice and beliefs.  Having the opportunity to work with my current band and Whirlwind Recordings is a dream come true that gives me confidence that we are bringing our own original character to the music, which can’t be found elsewhere.”
– Samuel Eagles



London based alto saxophonist and composer Samuel Eagles was tutored at an early age by the renown saxophonist Mornington Lockett. While a student of Lockett’s he performed with him on many occasions at venues such as the Bulls Head, Thames Jazz Festival and various venues in London. Eagles attended the Junior Jazz group at the Royal Academy of Music where performances included the Pizza Express Jazz club (Dean Street) and Ronnie Scott’s.  During this time he became lead alto in The Jazz Funk Collective, touring the UK and Ireland.  For university Samuel received a B.Mus. Hon Jazz Performance Degree from Trinity College of Music in 2012, studying with Russell Van Den Berg, Jason Yard, Mark Lockhart and Simon Purcell. The world famous saxophonist Jean Toussaint mentored Eagles for 2 years post graduation.

Eagles released his dewbut album Next Beginning in November 2014 on the F-IRE Label gaining critical acclaim, in particular, from The Guardian: “His assurance and inventiveness are impressive at any tempo”; and Jazzwise Magazine. His band toured England, Wales and Scotland performing music from the album with Bebop Spoken Here exclaiming “Eagles is one of The UK’s best contemporary saxmen”.

Eagles also maintains a busy schedule as a sideman with Nomad Soul Collective. Emeka Presents – Kalakuta, The Philip Clouts Quartet, The Jack Noke Quintet and Gero Schipmann Quintet.


Tour dates – more to be added in the coming months

10/05/2017 – Jazz at Lescar, Sheffield

4/06/2017 – Southampton Modern Jazz Club

 05/06/2017 – Kokomo – Guildford

 13/06/2017 – Jazz Co-op – Newcastle

15/06/2017 – The Sound Cellar – Poole

16/06/2017 – The Fleece – Colchester

Release Day: Escape Hatch (Ivo Neame, Andrea Di Biase, Dave Hamblett) feat. Julian Argüelles out today


Click here for CDs or digital albums (ALAC, FLAC, MP3…)


Upcoming tour dates:

2 December 2016 with Escape Hatch featuring Julian Arguelles at Jazz in Bess, Lugano, Switzerland.

3 December 2016 with Escape Hatch featuring Julian Arguelles at Folk Club, Torino, Italy.

4 December 2016 with Escape Hatch featuring Julian Arguelles at Masada Jazz Club, Milan, Italy.


About the album:

A piano trio who have been honing and roadworking their craft over the past few years, Escape Hatch now release their debut album Roots of Unity on Whirlwind. A collaborative concept birthed by Milan-born double bassist Andrea Di Biase and British pianist Ivo Neame, the line-up is completed by London-based drummer Dave Hamblett, and augmented by guest saxophonist Julian Argüelles.

With a particular focus on the aesthetics of longer, progressive compositional outcomes – affording the freedom for elaboration through melodic development, harmonic color and extended improvisation – Escape Hatch’s searching, artistic alliance reflects their core intent: ‘a tribute to the power that music has to transport listeners and performers to the antipodes of the mind.’ That said, the original, individual writing of Di Biase and Neame flows both lyrically and connectively, presenting an overarching accessibility which belies the elemental complexity and underlying logic of its construction. As Di Biase explains: “One of the beautiful aspects of this band is that it is a fertile environment where we are willing to explore new ideas; to let go of a composition and allow it to grow at the hands of the performers. And when we find solutions to the various challenges (where you start feeling it in your body), a ‘eureka moment’ is reached. It’s that discovery process we’re always looking for.”

Echoing Escape Hatch’s creative bond, as well as offering a defiant response to current political divisiveness by reaffirming what we share as human beings, Roots of Unity also strongly reflects Di Biase’s interest in mathematical concepts in relation to music – specifically, the strength in a complex number being derived from the figure ‘one’.

But whatever connection is made, this is an album whose integrity and finesse shine out, the bustling energy of ten-minute ‘Hysterical Revisionism’ also revealing the band’s openness through Di Biase’s sonorous perambulations and Neame’s pianistic impressionism. Arguelles’ authoritative invention is present in four tracks, swelling such buoyant outings as ‘La Strega’ and ‘Moon Bathing’; and ‘Today, Tomorrow, Never’s’ questioning demeanor (a poignant commentary on migrants’ struggles for a better life) becomes enhanced by the tenorist’s characteristically mellifluous delivery.

The trio itself is many-hued, from the angsty bass attack of ‘Resignation’, through the multifarious textural levels of title track ‘Roots of Unity’, to the pensive weave of ‘Dust and Moonlight’ (a title taken from a line in American illustrator Don Hertzfeldt’s animation Everything Will Be OK); and miniatures ‘History Repeating’ (based on the opening number) and ‘Common Multiple’ (subtly reconfigured from the title track) create a compositional illusion, changing the perspective of what has gone before.

As an album, Roots of Unity possesses a conventional piano trio immediacy, with an enriching saxophonic fluidity – yet it has also been purposefully conceived, with artisan-like ingenuity. Andrea Di Biase confirms what it means to finally divulge their work: “As musicians, we have matured together over the years, so now feel ready – and are excited – to present it to a wider audience.”

“Hugely accomplished.” – Latest reviews for Euan Stevenson and Konrad Wizniewski’s ‘New Focus On Song’

Much of the acclaim received to date for New Focus On Song has centred on Scottish pianist/composer Euan Stevenson and saxophonist/composer Konrad Wiszniewski’s ability to write beautiful, haunting melodies where every piece in the sequel balances emotional power with exquisite craftsmanship. Stevenson provides the majority of the compositions and orchestrations and largely employs the subtle palette of the first album (jazz quartet, string quartet and harp), further enriching these textures with the addition of woodwind.

Here are the latest press highlights:

“An unabashed celebration of melody.”
Jazz Journal (website)

“Meticulously conceived and delivered with exquisite care and attention to detail… Hugely accomplished.”
Jazz Views (full review)





‘Artists Choice: Excellent (& Underrated) UK- Based Improvisers’ Read Ingrid Jensen’s choice for Jazz Times + ★★★★ review from All About Jazz for recent release ‘Infinitude’

Infinitude – the concept of boundless possibility – is at the center of the music of Ingrid and Christine Jensen. Over the past twenty years or so, as trumpeter and saxophonist respectively, the West Canadian sisters have each shaped prolific careers in contemporary jazz, collaborating with influential names such as Clark Terry, Maria Schneider and Terry Lynn Carrington, working with large and small ensembles, and responding to various commissions to compose for jazz orchestras around the globe.

For their Whirlwind debut, the Jensens have realized a long-held ambition – to write for and perform in the more intimate setting of a quintet, combining their intuitive, sibling trust with the creativity of renowned guitarist Ben Monder and the foundational artistry of bassist Fraser Hollins and drummer Jon Wikan.

Latest press highlights for Infinitude:

“(Infinitude) achieves a rare distinction of being able to simultaneously combine tranquillity with rhythmic vibrancy, coalescing in a near hypnotic fusion of tone and colour. A rare delight.”
★★★★ All About Jazz (full review)

“This is an album of fine writing and sublime musicianship.”
Bebop Spoken Here (full review)

Ingrid Jensen recently contributed to Jazz Times magazine with her list: ‘Artists Choice: Excellent (& Underrated) UK – Based Improvisers’. Her selection includes tracks from recent Whirlwind albums by Andre Canniere, Phil Donkin and Tori Freestone. Here’s the (full feature).

Rory Simmons creates ‘A Weird Playlist For Remote Islands’ for Condé Nast Traveller

Composer and multi-instrumentalist Rory Simmons has created a playlist exclusively for Condé Nast Traveller entitled:

‘A Weird Playlist For Remote Islands’.

The playlist comprises tracks specially selected by Rory to conjure up the dreamy isolation of an uninhabited island and includes the title track from Rory’s recent release We Drift Meridian.

Check out the playlist here: Feature

Jeff Williams Quintet ft. John O’Gallagher, Josh Arcoleo, Kit Downes and Sam Lasserson starts tour in Leicester on Fri 11th Nov

Drummer Jeff Williams and his quintet ft. both seasoned and up-and-coming colleagues from the UK: Josh Arcoleo (tenor saxophone), John O’Gallagher (alto saxophone), Kit Downes (keys) and Sam Lasserson (basses) start a UK tour this Friday (Nov 11th).

The tour includes ‘Jeff Williams Midnight (Pizza) Express’ a late set plus jam session as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. (Tickets)

Checkout the official album trailer for recent release Outlier (left).




For full details of upcoming dates click: here

11th Nov – Leicester Jazz House

16th Nov – Pizza Express Jazz Club, London (Midnight set + late jam)

23rd Nov – Capstone Theatre, Liverpool

25th Nov – Fleece Jazz

1st Dec – Bonington Theatre

Listen to the title track from Outlier



Phil Robson starts Organ Trio tour this week and appears at Pizza Express with Partisans on 12th November

Guitarist Phil Robson returns to the UK this week for a series of shows with his Organ Trio featuring Ross Stanley and Gene Calderazzo and a performance with Partisans for the EFG London Jazz Festival.

Phil 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). As a sideman he’s performed with Kenny Wheeler, Mark Turner, Billy Hart, Barbara Streisand, Django Bates, Christine Tobin, among others. His most recent release is  The Cut Off Point (left)

For full details of all Phil’s upcoming live dates here and in the US, go: here

11th Nov – The Bear Club, Luton

12th November – Pizza Express Jazz Club (With Partisans)

13th Nov – Herts Jazz,

14th Nov – Cheltenham Jazz

16th Nov – Bristol Fringe Jazz

17th Nov – The Maze, Nottingham

18th Nov – University of Hull (workshop)

18th Nov – Red Lion, Birmingham

19th Nov – The Vortex (EFG London Jazz Festival)

Bassist & composer Hayden Prosser to release debut album ‘Tether’ early 2017 ft. Elias Stemeseder, Philipp Gropper and Max Santner + tour

Announcing the upcoming release of bassist and composer Hayden Prosser’s Tether in the spring of 2017.

Featuring Elias Stemeseder (Jim Black Trio, Eyebone), Philipp Gropper (Hyperactive Kid, Philm) and Max Santner (Philipp Harnisch Quartet) this debut album comprises composed pieces with various forms of improvisation and explores elements of jazz, contemporary classical and electronic music while retaining an acoustic setting.

Stay tuned for touring news shortly.

Hayden Prosser Biography: Born in 1990 in the scenic county of Somerset, England, Hayden developed a passion for experimental music in his younger years which continued during his time at Middlesex University in London, where he studied jazz. He developed his style of double bass playing under guidance of, amongst others, musicians Stuart Hall, Chris Batchelor and Michael Janisch. After a brief time performing in bands of other musical styles, including music of the Balkans and Morrocan music, Hayden returned to performing and composing in jazz and improvised settings, usually in small band arrangements. With an avid interest in many acoustic and electronic musics, Hayden often hears music without the more rigid confines that style names would suggest, sighting musicians Craig Taborn, Drew Gress, Tim Berne, Ralph Alessi, Arnold Schoenberg, Boards of Canda, Autechre, Plaid amongst others as inspiration.

Due to the Middlesex University’s openness to experimentation and lack of a house style, Hayden was given freedom to explore his own creative processes and the relationships between improvisation and composition. Later, as part of his continuation of exploring the double bass and composition, Hayden took up studying over duration with two esteemed New York musicians, Drew Gress and Chris Lightcap, with whom he shares an affinity of musical language.

During studies with renown bassist Michael Janisch – and on hearing Hayden’s compositions – Hayden was offered to record for Janisch’s London-based label Whirlwind Recordings. After a move to Berlin in 2015, Hayden formed a quartet and recorded his pieces with Elias Stemeseder (Jim Black Trio), Philipp Gropper (Hyperactive Kid) and Max Santner (Philipp Harnisch Quartet) with the release set for 2017.

Hayden has performed at many UK venues, including The Vortex and Royal College of Music, and during his time in London was often featured in the house band at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club, as well as having toured with bands throughout the UK and Europe.

 He has performed with, amongst others, Elias Stemeseder, Philipp Gropper, Alam Nathoo, Duncan Eagles, Dave Hamblett, Binker Golding, Sam leak, Shirley Tetteh, Andy Ball, Artie Zaitz, Max Santner, Bernhard Meyer, John Schröder.

Listen to the title track from Sam Crockatt’s Mells Bells. Latest album reviews include ★★★★ from Fono Forum

The title track ‘Canon’ (listen left) from Sam Crockatt‘s Mells Bells offers a glimpse into the saxophonist’s creative process. The initially cacophonic and then swirling beauty of church bell peals, witnessed from a vantage point above his Somerset home village, provided the inspiration for the piece.

Sam Crockatt – tenor saxophone

Kit Downes – piano

Oli Hayhurst – double bass

James Maddren – drums

The latest reviews in for Mells Bells include the following highlights:

“Compositions that illustrate his [Crockatt’s] perfect understanding of the diverse creative possibilities in modern jazz.”
★★★★ Fono Forum (website)

“Dynamic playing from Crockatt interspersed with imaginative and contrasting soloists.”
Hörspiegel (website)