2017’s first release comes from Henry Spencer & Juncture ‘The Reasons Don’t Change’ January 27 + tour dates & first single

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Official worldwide release date – January 27, 2017

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We’re starting our 2017 releases with the debut album The Reasons Don’t Change from Henry Spencer.

Trumpet player and composer Henry Spencer is an up-and-coming name on the British scene. A recent graduate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, he formed his quintet Juncture and crafted this debut album The Reasons Don’t Change specifically with his fellow alumni in mind. So the combined forces of Nick Costley-White (guitar), Matt Robinson (piano, keyboards), Andrew Robb (double bass) and David Ingamells (drums) intuitively interpret Spencer’s original work with a fervor to match his penetrating technique; and the inclusion of The Guastalla Quartet’s string sustenance brings another, integrated layer of richness.

The recipient of Best Newcomer Award at Marlborough Jazz Festival and Help Musicians UK’s Emerging Excellence Award, the trumpeter’s approach is derived from his formative years’ interest in songwriting. Beginnings in pairing music and words came to inform an especially lyrical, even emotional narrative to the mature artistry of his instrumental composition; so much so that, even now, his brand of rock-infused jazz can sometimes be constructed on a wireframe of received poetic phrases which are then discarded. It’s a method which Spencer finds rewarding – clearly heard in the fluvial, conversational melodies to Spencer’s earliest piece for the album, ‘Remember Why’ – his reasoning being that “lyrics allow us to be unambiguous and openly honest”. The same is true of introspective ballad ‘Never Draw a Line’, whose rising motifs are imaginable as a vocal line, expressing the trumpeter’s pervading themes of positivity, of transforming regret into liberation; and ‘Eulogy (Goodbye Old Chap)’ celebrates a life through contrasting reflection and exuberance.

Listen to the energy in ‘Still Open to Confusion’ or the gentler, coalescent lines of ‘On the Bridge’, and it’s easy to understand why Henry Spencer has always been drawn to the connective, overlapping timbres of brass and electric guitar which can invoke unpredictable tonal magic; and Costley-White, in particular, is establishing himself as one of the UK’s compelling, exploratory new masters of the fretboard, showcased elegantly in the luscious chordal blend with Spencer’s floating improv in ‘Knock Back, Knocked Forward’. Matt Robinson, too, is becoming a familiar collaborator in a brave new wave of jazz and jazz-related projects, and his imaginative pianistic flair in ‘Hindsight Can’t Wait’, along with an empathy for Wurlitzer and Mellotron, provides the band with so many textural options when combined with such a responsive, nuanced rhythm section as Andrew Robb and Dave Ingamells.

The physicality of the trumpet, along with its technical challenges, were what first drew Spencer to its possibilities for jazz improvisation. Across these ten tracks, an often blistering, flutter-tongued incisiveness is balanced with the serene depth of flugel, while his occasionally plaintive, bucolic solo personality – heard at the beginning of ‘Joanne’s Diary’ – is able to neatly segue into the fluctuating vistas that this band skilfully interprets. From the first few bars of ‘Hopeless Heartless’ emanates the lush warmth of The Guastalla Quartet, creating a wider soundscape reminiscent of orchestral jazz, and rocky closer ‘The Survivor and The Descendant’ consolidates the dynamic strength of this entire nine-piece as swirling, forte strings whip up a maelstrom of white-hot guitar and trumpet.

Regularly contributing to other projects – including performances with Stan Sulzmann, Jason Rebello, Julian Joseph and also the London Jazz Orchestra – Henry Spencer now brings his first album, as leader, to Whirlwind with a desire to fanfare contemporary jazz’s increasingly broader horizons: “My wish is that listeners might engage with the original emotional and lyrical context of the album, almost as if it were presented by a singer/songwriter, and then relate it to their own experience. That connection is what I find stimulating in improvised music.”

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Henry Spencer and Juncture dates (more details):

7th Feb   Album Launch Night at Pizza Express Jazz Club, Soho

26th April   Old St Records, London

11th May   Soundcellar, Poole

12th May   Bourton Hall, North Dorset

13th May   Calstock Arts, Plymouth

14th May   Ashburton Live, Devon

15th May   North Devon Jazz Club, Appledore

16th May   St Ives Jazz Club, Cornwall

17th May   Jazz at Dempsey’s, Cardiff

18th May     Jazz at Future Inn, Bristol

2nd June   Rays Jazz At Foyles, London

 

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DECEMBER SALE: 25% all site products + free CD with 2 or more orders (digital + physical)

Dear music fans…

We hope you’ve had a great 2016 and that you’ll enjoy your winter holidays.

This month we release our 86th album since we began in early 2010, and we’d like to thank everyone for their continued support of our artists and their music in 2016.  Whirlwind-signed musicians performed over 700 concerts this year and as a label we released 17 eclectic albums.

As a thank you to all our supporters, we’re offering 25% off everything on our site from today until the end of December ’16.

Simply add the code “DECEMBERSALE” on the Checkout page (there’s a space provided that says ‘enter coupon code’) and your purchase price will be reduced by 25%. This discount applies on all site products: CDs, digital albums (MP3, ALAC, FLAC) and individual tracks.

AND there’s more:

For all who purchase 2 or more CDs, or 2 or more Digital Albums, you’ll also receive a FREE copy of Bobby Avey’s Authority Melts From Me. (click to learn more).

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Anyone who purchases 2 or more CDs will get Authority Melts From Me with their order in the mail (along with our current sampler album).  For customers who purchase 2 or more Digital Albums, we will send you the digital version of the album to your email (you’ll be able to let us know which format you’d like (MP3, FLAC or ALAC).
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Latest Releases

(click the images to learn more)

 

Pre Order John’s album now to receive a SIGNED copy before release date (album out December 16)

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The debut release from Escape Hatch  

 

The debut album from the Jensen sisters feat. Ben Monder, guitar

 

The third Whirlwind release from trumpeter and composer
Andre Canniere

 

**Make sure to keep checking the news for 2017, we already have 15 releases planned and more to come + some big announcements as the label continues to extend its capacities further into the realms of tour, concert and festival promotion, artist development and label/distribution services to the wider public.** 

 

Andrew Bain’s ‘Embodied Hope Quartet’ (feat. George Colligan, Jon Irabagon, Michael Janisch) live recording BBC Radio 3 streaming now, + reviews and photos from recent tour

Drummer/composer/bandleader Andrew Bain premiered a new seven movement last month featuring pianist George Colligan (Jack DeJohnette, Cassandra Wilson), saxophonist Jon Irabagon (Dave Douglas, Tom Harrell) and bassist Michael Janisch (Lee Konitz, Kurt Elling).  The band recorded for a future Whirlwind release (scheduled for October 2017) at Hawthorne Theatre, Welwyn Garden City during the tour and the recording is being broadcasted on BBC Radio 3 right now for 22 more days on Soweto Kinch’s new Jazz Now show.

Prior to the tour Andrew explained the background to the project to London Jazz and you can read the full interview here:  (full feature)

Live review highlights from the tour:

“This is an outstanding band with seemingly bottomless reserves of energy and excitement and a strong concept driving the leader – the upcoming recording session should yield some explosive results.”
Jazzwise Magazine (full review)

“A stellar international quartet led by drummer and composer Andrew Bain.”
The Jazz Mann (full review)

“A concert full of riches.”
The Jazz Breakfast (full review)

“The band in full flight sounded genuinely transported… Breathtaking stuff.”
Bristol Jazz Log (full review)

Photos taken by John Watson

 

“Free flowing, free style… a totally personal sound.” ★★★★ from Jazz Journal for Tori Freestone’s ‘El Barranco’

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.

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“Free flowing, free style… a totally personal jazz combo sound.”
★★★★ Jazz Journal

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Release day: ‘Live in Brooklyn’ by John O’Gallagher feat Johannes Weidenmueller and Mark Ferber

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Click here for ordering

 

John O’Gallagher would emphatically relate, there is nothing quite like the concept and energy of a live performance to provide both artist and listener with the affecting, visceral tingle which is at the heart of great music – and especially true when it comes to the spontaneity of improvised jazz. So the opportunity to offer up these riches to a wider audience, through a live album, has always been an aspiration for the acclaimed altoist and his longtime colleagues Johannes Weidenmueller (bass) and Mark Ferber (drums). Live in Brooklyn captures the spirit of the chordless trio’s appearance as part of Seeds Brooklyn’s intimate, weekly concert series – a popular venue for many leading contemporary artists – with realism and verve. And having forged a close, intuitive working relationship over several years, this became the perfect environment in which to unveil new material alongside interpretations of two tracks from their studio album ‘The Honeycomb’ (the saxophonist has also previously released on Whirlwind, with 2013’s The Anton Webern Project). The realization and ‘stretch and pull’ of the original compositions in this conducive setting, during the gig and in playback, confirmed to O’Gallagher that this was the one – and now the wider public have the fortuity to focus on this rich seam of in-the-moment creativity.

One of the most compelling saxophone improvisers on the New York scene, John O’Gallagher’s many collaborators have included Jeff Williams, Ben Monder, Maria Schneider and Kenny Wheeler – and all the years of experience cascade from his alto bell with a seemingly inexhaustible and colorfully individual vocabulary, supported prominently by the high-level, malleable responses of Weidenmueller and Ferber. The saxophonist explains that the blurred lines of composition and conversational improvisation are key to the challenge: “That’s the beauty of playing with these two guys – they’re masters of form and structure, yet don’t always have to mark it.”

Oblique five-against-seven-meter experiment ‘Prime’ sets up an increasingly turbulent dialogue, O’Gallagher’s forceful, rippling lines prompting heavyweight, percussive reactions from bassist and drummer; and ‘Blood Ties’ alludes to the band’s prowess in intertwining the number’s purely rhythmic beginnings with various pitch collections. The broad landscape of ‘Credulous’ prompts extreme displays, especially from saxophonist and drummer; and furtive ‘Nothing To It’ finds its animation through the close connection between Weidenmueller and Ferber.

‘Extralogical Railman’ – an anagram in both composition and title – turns Charlie Parker’s ‘Relaxin’ at Camarillo’ upside down, O’Gallagher carefully spinning the rhythmic content on its axis, then reassembling re-pitched melodics against it… and it swings with glorious abandon, the saxophonist’s lines incessantly searching, screeching and tumbling through “a number you know, but can’t put your finger on.” Finally, ‘The Honeycomb’, specifically originating from common links and patterns between tones, lets rip for an appreciative audience.

Describing the elevated, exposed nature of this three-way partnership, O’Gallagher concludes: “We are constantly listening and taking risks, creating an atmosphere which is exciting to play in – there is no ‘wrong’, and we all know the paths back. A shared trust provides the confidence to pretty much explore any avenue and be assured that everything will be OK. That transformative, on-the-edge excitement – not knowing what’s gonna happen – is what I’ve always wanted.”

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★★★★ from Jazzwise for Ryan Quigley’s ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’

Ryan Quigley Press 3 Alan McCreadie Composer and trumpeter Ryan Quigley released his ten-track album What Doesn’t Kill You – a quintet with Paul Booth (tenor sax, flutes), Steve Hamilton (piano, Fender Rhodes), Michael Janisch (double bass) and Clarence Penn (drums) earlier this year.

Here are some recent press  highlights:

“A fine band of like minded musicians… Classy.”
★★★★ Jazzwise (website)

“An absorbing album which shows how a contemporary sensibility can be applied to past jazz genres to create something new and original.”
Sandy Brown Jazz (full review)

 

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Julian Argüelles & ‘Tetra’ gets ★★★★ and Top 10 albums list of 2016 for MOJO Magazine

 

“Rich with inventive elegance and palpable atmosphere.”
★★★★ MOJO Magazine
(Top 10 Albums of 2016)

Tetra, is an immersive, hour-long sequence of material written by Julian Argüelles, specifically with his colleagues in mind: Kit Downes (piano), Sam Lasserson (bass) and James Maddren (drums).

 

 

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Album trailer for John O’Gallagher’s ‘Live in Brooklyn’ – out DEC 16

 

Check the new album trailer for Live in Brooklyn by alto saxophonist and composer John O’Gallagher, out later this week. Pre orders for the CD now available.

 

Andre Canniere’s ‘The Darkening Blue’ gets ★★★★ from The Guardian + Jazzwise Magazine & Jazz Views features

Inspired by poems of Rainer Maria Rilke and Charles Bukowski The Darkening Blue, Andre Canniere’s third Whirlwind release, imaginatively combines the haunting and mystical elements of Rilke with the grit and boldness of Bukowski into a uniquely cohesive programme of music and features Tori Freestone – sax, Ivo Neame – piano, Michael Janisch – double and electric bass, Ted Poor – drums and guest vocalist Brigitte Beraha.

Here are the latest press highlights:

Andre picks his ‘Top Ten Favourite Albums’ for Jazz Views’ musician playlist series: Read feature

“Varied and intriguing… The pairing of Canniere with tenorist Tori Freestone is a delight.”
Jazzwise Magazine (website)

“This is sophisticated yet accessible music, immaculately performed by a crack band of highly compatible musicians.”
Jazz Views (full review)

“Canniere’s instrumentals confirm his composing power… The band is terrific.”
★★★★ The Guardian (full review)

 

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★★★★ from Jazzthetik for guitarist Matthew Stevens debut ‘Woodwork’

NYC-based guitarist and composer Matthew Stevens‘ debut Woodwork continues to get great coverage  in the worldwide music press.  The latest comes from Jazzthetik Magazine out of Germany.  The album features Gerald Clayton – piano, Vicente Archer  – bass, Eric Doob – drums, Paulo Stagnaro – percussion.

“His [Stevens] debut as a leader is as ingenious as it is intoxicating.”
★★★★ Jazzthetik (website)