New album trailer for ‘Satori’ from Josephine Davies, out FEB 10th + launch show at 606 Club 21st FEB

Check the new album trailer for Josephine Davies’ debut Whirlwind release Satori, out on Feb 10th in the UK

 

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UPCOMING SHOWS:

 (Details)

20th Jan Crypt, Camberwell

3rd Feb Con Cellar Bar, Camden 

21st Feb 606 Club (Album Launch)

28th Jan E17 Jazz, Walthamstow

 

“Fine ensemble arrangements and individual solos.” Patrick Cornelius’ ‘While We’re Still Young’ features on Step Tempest’s Best of 2016 list.

“This album features music that is contemplative yet swings, with musicians telling “stories” that flow thanks to the fine ensemble arrangements and individual solos.”
Step Tempest – Best of 2016 (full feature)

Alto saxophonist Patrick Cornelius will be playing music from “While We’re Still Young,” which features original music for jazz octet inspired by the poetry of A.A. Milne and debuting several brand new arrangements at the Cornelia Street Café, New York on Sunday 29th January.

 
 
Joining Patrick will be:

John Raymond: Trumpet
Dan Pratt: Tenor Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Nick Vayenas: Trombone
Miles Okazaki: Guitar
Glenn Zaleski: Piano
Peter Slavov: Bass
Paul Wiltgen: Drums

More information: here

★​★​★★ from The Guardian and All About Jazz for John O’Gallagher’s ‘Live in Brooklyn’

Two great reviews in for alto saxophonist John O’Gallagher‘s album Live in Brooklyn featuring Johannes Weidenmueller and Mark Ferber and recorded at SEEDS:Brooklyn.

“Jazz-making without a safety net, the three juggling tough structures at will and maintaining an unmistakably jazzy spontaneity and bite, however taxing the navigation.”
★​★​★★​ ​The Guardian (full review)

“​A​n album of predominantly spontaneous exploration and improvisation​… ​A wholly satisfying affai​​r​.​​”​
★​★​★★ All About Jazz (full review)

 

Release day: Henry Spencer and Juncture’s ‘The Reasons Don’t Change’ plus early reviews including ★★★★ from All About Jazz

 

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

 

“This highly accessible and brilliantly cohesive debut album emanates from an exceptionally talented group of musicians and a leader from whom we shall undoubtedly hear much more.”
★★★★ All About Jazz (full review)

“A truly gorgeous record and maybe even an early contender for album of the year. “
★★★★ All About Jazz (full review)

“Powerful and energetic music… Spencer is never less than outstanding… If one were ever concerned about the current state of the British jazz scene, there is no reason to worry with music of this calibre. This is an outstanding release and sure to be a hit with all lovers of contemporary British jazz.”
UK VIBE (full review)

“Trumpeter Spencer plays with precision and passion… Bold, uninhibited… An impressive debut.”
Bebop Spoken Here (full review)

 

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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Ingrid & Christine Jensen launch ‘Infinitude’ 17th Feb at the Jazz Gallery NYC + ★★★★½ review from All About Jazz and worldwide review round-up

 

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Infinitude is the debut release from sisters Ingrid and Christine Jensen which drops in stores officially in the US tomorrow.

 

 

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The US release show is at New York’s Jazz Gallery on February 17, and features:

 Ingrid Jensen – trumpet 

Christine Jensen – saxophone 

Ben Monder – guitar, Matt Clohesy – bass

Jon Wikan – drums

More information and tickets: here

 

Since it’s release, Infinitude has received universal acclaim and here are the highlights from reviews in from the UK, Europe, North and South America and Canada:

“It is the combined years of experience that render the communication amongst Infinitude’s five players so fluid, so seemingly effortless and yet so intrinsically deep.”
★★★★½ All About Jazz (full review)

“The sisters are outstanding on their respective instruments… strong and creative throughout.”
Jazz Views (full review)

“The Jensen sisters have a signature sound, above all fusing Ingrid’s wending, world-class soloing with Christine’s lyrical compositions. This small ensemble CD generally keeps to that formula, although Christine on saxophone hits new heights and U.S. guitar genius Ben Monder is a wild card who energizes the proceedings.”
Ottawa Citizen – Best Canadian Jazz Albums of 2016 (full review)

“Almost frightening technical mastery is tempered by wide-open ears that render every chord, every note absolutely relevant.”
★★★★½ All About Jazz (full review)

“Haunting melodies with a big horizon.”
London Jazz (full review)

“Exquisite.”
Brazil Journal (full review)

“Saxophone and trumpet melodies flow fluidly from organic unison to telepathic harmonic divergences… before the guitarist [Monder] picks up the baton for a delay/reverb/distortion-drenched feature of monstrous virtuosity.”
★★★★½ All About Jazz (full review)

“Flawless… An impeccable rhythm section and textural innovation from Ben Monder.”
La Presse (full review)

“There’s a wonderful cohesion about this album with a tremendous group spirit and several inspired solos.”
Northern Echo (website)

“Nordicity. Synchronicity. Whatever the spark, the listener’s journey makes you glad you turned your head this way.”
WGBO (full review)

“Top notch by any standard.”
★★★★½ Winnipeg Free Press (full review)

“Infinitude represents a truly egalitarian collective… with compositional depth and improvisational heights.”
★★★★½ All About Jazz (full review)

“A fully Canadian jazz sound, imbued with local colors and international modernism… Magical.”
ICI Musique (full review)

“The writing is rich, colourful and varied and also highly evocative with a true cinematic quality.”
The Jazz Mann (full review)

“The horns unwind thoughtful, relaxed, conversational lines over the energetic rhythm section.”
Musically Speaking (full review)

​”​Their​ [Ingrid & Christine Jensen]​ individual styles share a compelling sense of spaciousness and a keen alertness to voicings and sound​.”​
The Wholenote (full review)

Infinitude also featured in The Jazz Breakfast‘s Festive Fifty (No. 27) (read)

 

Listen to ‘Swirlaround’ from Infinitude

 

 

 

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“An absorbing album.” Two great reviews for Andre Canniere’s ‘The Darkening Blue’ from London Jazz and Sandy Brown Jazz.

Two great reviews in for London-based trumpeter Andre Canniere’s third Whirlwind release The Darkening Blue featuring:

Tori Freestone – sax, Ivo Neame – piano, Michael Janisch – double and electric bass, Ted Poor – drums and guest vocalist Brigitte Beraha.

“The spirit of experimentation at work here cannot be denied nor the skill with which the disparate elements of text, music, arrangement and performance have been brought together… An absorbing album.”
Sandy Brown Jazz (full review)

“A reminder of original contemporary jazz’s astounding ability, without warning, to coax wide-ranging, often tear-welling emotions from deep within.”
London Jazz – Recorded Memory of the Year (full feature)

Roots of Unity by Escape Hatch (Ivo Neame, Andrea Di Biase, Dave Hamblett) feat. Julian Argüelles – ★★★★ review from All About Jazz

 

“​T​here’s a holistic feel to these compositions, all of which are sensitively imbued with depth and emotion​.​​”​
★★★★ All About Jazz (full review)

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.”

Tori Freestone talks to BBC Radio 3’s ‘Jazz Now’ about her music and her nomination for an Arts Foundation Fellowship – listen here

Tenor saxophonist Tori Freestone has been nominated for a Fellowship of the Arts Foundation in the PRS supported category of Jazz Composition. The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in London tomorrow evening. Learn more about Tori: here

Listen to Tori talking to Emma Smith of BBC Radio 3’s flagship show ‘Jazz Now‘ about the nomination and her music: here (from 49:30)

Tori performs at the forefront of the UK improvised music scene as both a sidewomen and highly regarded bandleader.  She is known for her robust tenor sound, melodic invention as well as an ability to amalgamate into a variety of styles and musical contexts while maintaining her highly personal and distinct voice.  As a composer her writing balances wit with playfulness while exploring new ways to blur the lines between the written and improvised. From moments of intensity and volume to passages of calm, folk-influenced soundscapes, her Whirlwind releases In the Chophouse and El Barranco showcase three highly experienced and eclectic musicians at their very best.

Recent praise for El Barranco:

“Natural aplomb and powerful musicianship.”
Morning Star (full review)

 

 

 

The new album trailer for ‘The Reasons Don’t Change’ by Henry Spencer + ★★★★ from All About Jazz

 

Here’s the brand new album trailer for The Reasons Don’t Change from Henry Spencer, his debut album that drops on the 27th of this month.

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We’ve also had a glowing review in from All About Jazz for the album which you can read in full with the links below:

“This highly accessible and brilliantly cohesive debut album emanates from an exceptionally talented group of musicians and a leader from whom we shall undoubtedly hear much more.”
★★★★ All About Jazz (full review)

“A truly gorgeous record and maybe even an early contender for album of the year. “
★★★★ All About Jazz (full review)

Tim Armacost to release ‘Time Being’ featuring Robert Hurst, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts & Dave Kikoski FEB 24 + European Tour Dates

UK Release date: FEB 24th – click here for sound samples

 

The beginnings of this debut Whirlwind release as leader, from acclaimed Los Angeles-born tenor saxophonist Tim Armacost, tell a fascinating tale. A marquee player on the New York and Japanese scenes for many years, with an extensive discography and countless live and recorded collaborations to his name in the US, Europe and Asia (including the New York Standards Quartet recordings on this label), the clear direction for Time Being arrived, remarkably, out of the blue.

As Armacost elaborates: “I pictured myself playing Ornette Coleman’s Lonely Woman in the studio with a trio – double bassist Robert Hurst and drummer Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts. Tain was, in terms of time signature, out on his own, and Bob and I were communicating with each other independently of what he was playing. But what Tain was doing was so incredibly attractive – so fiery and so beautiful – that we both really wanted to go over and be part of that; yet we already had this thing that we had to do together. That whole idea of people relating to each other in the time, but in a non-traditional way, and creating tension which would eventually be resolved by them going over to play together, was something I’d never tried before – and the concept was really exciting. To achieve this, technology might have been the answer. But in the end, we decided to record in Tain’s studio, in an intimate live environment with no separation” (occasional left/right panning helps with the visualisation). “So for my compositions and arrangements, I needed to imagine the ideas happening in real time; and fortunately, with Tain and Bob on board – some of the most swinging musicians on the planet – there was a great, combined willingness for exploration, to make it happen.” Joining the trio on selected tracks is pianist David Kikoski, providing elegant, rippling color to numbers such as ‘The Next 20’ and ‘One and Four’.

Through the dedication of these accomplished artists, such a challenging brief has evolved into a project which is incredibly organic, purposeful and sumptuously swinging. The three ‘Sculptures’ on the album are very much an expression of this structured experimentation. ‘Phase Shift’ is modelled on an ‘X’ formation, as Armacost and Watts converge along the left tempo pathways, with Hurst on the right until saxophonist and bassist change places (an E flat to C piano key-change marks the crossover point) – technical in construction, but an exhilarating listen. In ‘Tempus Funkit’, Armacost independently visits the rhythms of drummer and bassist; and the particle-like conflict of ‘All The Things You Could Become In The Large Hadron Collider’ (based on ‘All The Things You Are’) is also a playful reference to Charles Mingus’ ‘All The Things You Could Be By Now If Sigmund Freud’s Wife Was Your Mother’.

‘Lonely Woman’ – the seed of this album which germinated so many possibilities – features a call-and-response between tenor and bass (with each saying, “Check out the way I’m playing the melody”), initiating their own improvisations until the drums home in on the bassist (as Tim puts it, “He can’t resist”). So the differing musical tensions are intentionally part of the unplanned dialogue present throughout this recording. In title track ‘Time Being’, the trio divides when tenor moves to a different tempo, with Hurst following, and Watts reaching them later – as Armacost enthuses: “When we all come back together, the pay-off is really delicious!” Pacey ’53rd Street’ is inspired by the blues melody of Thelonious Monk’s ’52nd Street’; there’s a fine, percussively buoyant interpretation of Monk’s ‘Teo’; and feisty, original composition ‘Alawain’ says so much about this trio’s collective, impassioned spirit.

Tim Armacost describes the session as being playful, wild and serious: “It has been a real source of joy, for me, to see such open musicians willing to make an attempt at something we’ve never done before; and especially when things got kinda interesting, and we started smiling – that was a really special, even relaxed experience. I hope that, although this has a demanding concept at its roots, listeners can pick up on its lyrical, singing qualities. The audience is very much part of the conversation – we’re doing this thing together, and we invite you in… to have fun!”

FEBRUARY EUROPEAN TOUR

FEB 6 – Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London, England *

FEB 7 – Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London, England *

FEB 8 – Jimmy Glass, Valencia, Spain **

FEB 9 – Repete, Llubliana, Slovenia ***

FEB 10 – Miles Jazz Bar, Graz, Austria

FEB 11 – Raj, Klagenfurt, Austria

FEB 12 – Jazz @ The Albert, Bristol, England

FEB 14, 15, 16 – Royal Academy of Music Festival, London, England

FEB 17 – The Verdict, Brighton, England

FEB 18 – The Archduke, London, England ****

 

Michael Janisch will be performing as double bassist for the entire tour

*Rod Youngs (drums)

**Marc Ayza (drums)

***Klemens Marktl (drums) from Feb 9 – Feb 18

**** With guest David Preston on guitar