Cloudmakers Five to release debut album ‘Traveling Pulse’ Feb 23rd with Euro tour in England, Scotland, Norway and Ireland

Announcing the debut release from Cloudmakers FiveTraveling Pulse – for February 23rd, 2018


Under the leadership of vibraphonist Jim Hart, Cloudmakers Five is the new band grown from his long-standing Cloudmakers Trio with Michael Janisch and David Smith, now augmented with Austrian-born guitarist Hannes Riepler and French-based alto saxophonist Antonin Tri Hoang.

The core trio represents the culmination of over a decade of musical growth between Hart, Janisch and Smith.  With their uncompromising approach, Cloudmakers Trio has been known to 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 – 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.

After a North American tour taking in Rochester, Vancouver, Vitoria and Twin Cities Jazz festivals, and a very well received inaugural UK tour where they recorded live at the Vortex, Cloudmakers Five will release Traveling Pulse on February 23 2018 with a European tour to support.
The album will be available in vinyl, cd and all digital formats.  More info to come.


Here are the current tour dates, check back for more info as it develops:

11. Birmingham Conservatoire – day – Birmingham, England

11. East Side Jazz Club – night- Birmigham, England

12. Verdict Jazz Club – Brighton, England

16. Lille Ole Bull, Bergen Live, Bergen, Norway

17. Jazz Bar, Edinburgh, Scotland

18. Blue Lamp, Aberdeen, Scotland

19. Aberdeen University, Aberdeen, Scotland

​20. Vortex Jazz Club, London OFFICIAL ALBUM RELEASE PARTY

21. Groove Tots & Sam’s Kitchen, Frome, England

22. Wells Cathedral School, Wells, England

23. Crane Lane Theatre, Cork, Ireland

25. Bonnington Theatre, Nottingham, England


Boston declares Michael Gibbs Day + tour review round up


Congratulations to Mike Gibbs who last month received an honorary doctor of music degrees from Berklee College of Music during a concert celebrating his 80th birthday. The City of Boston declared October 19th 2017 as Michael Gibbs Day (See below).

In September Mike and his Big Band performed a series of dates to celebrate his 80th birthday and below are the press highlights:

The Guardian – The Vortex

London Jazz – The Vortex

Jazz Views The Vortex and CBSO Centre



“First rate playing and shimmering moments of sheer brilliance.​”​ ★★★★ All About Jazz. Andrew Bain’s ‘Embodied Hope’ ft George Colligan, Jon Irabagon and Michael Janisch released today


“Bain’s skilled and memorable compositions on Embodied Hope are expertly executed with
first rate playing and shimmering moments of sheer brilliance.”

★★​★★ All About Jazz​


CDs, Downloads & More:  Embodied Hope


New routes in musical exploration are at the heart of drummer Andrew Bain’s episodic suite, Embodied Hope – a project with pianist George Colligan, saxophonist Jon Irabagon and bassist Michael Janisch. An influential percussionist and educator based in Birmingham, England (and a first-call sideman both in the UK and the States), Bain’s own research has led him to study a concept which seeks to link improvisation with the increasingly topical issues of human rights, community and social transformation. Taking jazz as a metaphor for positive change in the world, and based on seven aspects – listening, surprise, accompaniment, practice, responsibility, trust and, ultimately, hope – this work is defined both by its distinct flexibility of expression and the quartet’s ongoing appraisal of what it progressively achieves.

Andrew Bain explains that, rather than counting himself as a composer, he’s a writer of music for improvisers: “Like all good music written with improvisation in mind, Embodied Hope starts with an idea and a vibe, as well as melodies, chord sequences, solo sections and as many boundaries as I want to provide. But apart from that, it’s all in flux and very much up to the band, even in terms of suite order, solo order, etc. I trust these guys with where they take things – an experimental journey evolving on the road, night after night”.

The approach is melodic and full of singable melodies originally conceived at the piano. Each movement is developed from a different perspective, with Bain’s intricate though powerful percussion subtly directing group improvisation; so rather than a stated theme and variations, there’s individual symbolism in each piece. ‘Surprise’ begins with a drum spotlight (so a surprise in itself), and then the solos from three written cues start to arrive – not in a traditional way, but by interrupting each other, challenging more conventional song formats. The free, opening section of ‘Listening’ sounds largely improvised, yet isn’t, because it grows out of ten specific lines of melody written in a similar key center (albeit with no set tempo); and the drummer reveals that ‘Accompaniment’ was originally intended as the ballad, a moment of solace: “But as we rehearsed, it became this classic Coltrane rumble-and-tumble, elevating it with some kind of higher energy. So, importantly, I realised that together we had decided this was something different, and it became the opener to the suite.”

Recorded on the twelfth day of a two-week tour of workshops, masterclasses and performances, the session presented its own challenge – after all, how is it possible for improvisers to decide on the definitive version of a constantly evolving work? But it’s precisely that captured moment in time from which the sparks of originality fly, whether through Jon Irabagon’s rapid sax invention in feverishly-swinging ‘Practise’, George Colligan’s typically artful Steely Dan quote in the solid groove of ‘Responsibility’ or a theme-tune-like amiability woven into ‘Trust’.

Echoing the album title, driving, anthemic ‘Hope’ synopsizes what has become important to the band in this process – how they have made it relevant to themselves through their social interaction; how the concept has literally been embodied as they have memorized the music; and the positivity arising from what they fashion and develop together. “The best music that I play is with musicians I really trust”, says Bain. “Not that it’s cosy and we all know what we’re going to do, but that we’re comfortable to push each other, over and over, with every performance. When you’re in that space, there are so many things the music could be… and that’s as good as it gets”.

Here are the press highlights from the two week 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)


Preston Glasgow Lowe announce three shows at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, London 27th/28th/29th November + live videos from Billboard Live, Tokyo and forthcoming album news

David Preston, Kevin Glasgow & Laurie Lowe are three of London’s most creative young instrumentalists. Their music is a mash-up of relentless rhythmic energy, harmonic dystopia, and virtuosic improvisations. The follow up to debut album Preston – Glasgow – Lowe has been recorded and we’ll be sharing more news on it’s forthcoming release soon. In the meantime, the trio will be opening for Robert Fonseca at Ronnie Scott’s for three nights 27th/28th and 29th November and will be previewing material from the new album.

More info and tickets: here

See below for videos recorded their at Billboard Live, Tokyo.




​★★★★​ reviews from The Guardian, Jazzwise Magazine and All About Jazz + Jazzwise Magazine feature amongst press highlights for Rez Abbasi’s Unfiltered Universe ft Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Johannes Weidenmueller and Dan Weiss

Completing a trilogy of albums whose compositions are infused with the various, colorful strands of traditional music from his Pakistani/Indian homeland, New York guitarist Rez Abbasi’s Unfiltered Universe presents the line-up of pianist Vijay Iyer, alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa, bassist Johannes Weidenmueller and drummer Dan Weiss, plus guest appearances from renowned classical cellist Elizabeth Mikhael.

Previous releases Things to Come and Suno Suno focused, respectively, on Hindustani and Qawwali music, whereas this collection of seven new numbers explores and embraces the more rhythmically exuberant, South Asian elements of Carnatic instrumental music.



Latest press for Unfiltered Universe:” include a feature and ★★★★ review in Jazzwise Magazine (click image above and below) and the following highlights:

“An action packed gala… Tightly coordinated unison choruses and accenting cadences, Abassi’s dark-toned electric guitar phrasings and Mahanthappa’s bristling sax notes signify a potent force-field atop the pulsating rhythm section.”
​★★★★​ ​All About Jazz​ (full review)

“Vigorous, gripping, modern jazz that maximises the strengths of each ensemble member… Strapping guitar tone and lissome improvisations… Endless wonder and suspense.”
★★★★​ Jazzwise Magazine (website)

“Expressive and imaginative improvisation… an admirable display of skill worthy of widespread attention.”
Jazz and Blues Blog Spot (full review)

“The dense, rigorous Propensity unfolds over a stealthily time-bending bassline and features Mahanthappa’s blistering avant-bop sax improv, while the title track lays a kind of Indo-Latin feel beneath Abassi’s lissom guitar lines…. [Abbassi is] an emerging force with his own voice.”
★★★★ The Guardian (full review)

“A compelling experience.”
Bebop Spoken Here (full review)

“A line-up in a class of it’s own.”
Rheinmain Magazine (website)

Latest press highlights for Quinsin Nachoff’s Ethereal Trio from across Europe and US including DownBeat Magazine, Concerto Magazine and Culture Jazz

An album which blends through-composition and improvisation, each piece having its own plot and internal logic.

Quinsin Nachoff – saxophone

Mark Helias double bass

Dan Weiss  – drums

Find out more:  Quinsin Nachoff’s Ethereal Trio




Latest press highlights for  Quinsin Nachoff’s Ethereal Trio:

“Tightly controlled, perfectly balanced, ingenious and seductive.”
Citizen Jazz (full review)

“Compositions that flirt with the contemporary… Complex yet simple at the same time.”
Culture Jazz (website)

“This talented trio delivers a sparkling and energetic repertoire of intelligent compositions.”
Radio REC (website)

“Quinsin Nachoff, skilfully explores chances and risks in this all-encompassing approach to musical concepts.”
Concerto Magazine (website)

“The trio is loose without being casual, at once taut and free, and the consistent quality of detailed interplay and invention brings Nachoff’s forceful, inventive tenor playing to the fore. It may be his most satisfying recording to date.”
The Whole Note (website)

“The three bandmates push forward while weaving in and out of one another’s paths.”
DownBeat Magazine (website)

“Forward thinking… This music will live forever.”
Midwest Record (full review)

“The six compositions are trim and varied, with Nachoff sounding terrific throughout.”
The Vinyl District (full review)

“Nachoff toys with times, measures, harmonies… Not necessarily an easy album, but certainly interesting.”
Phontas Troussas (Greece) (full review)

“Jazz and contemporary classical music converge in a very personal way.”
El Intrus (Spain) (full review)

“Sophisticated structures often associated with difficult avant-garde are now framed in original, creative improvisations and themes.”
Era Jazzu (full review)

“A record that is prepared to dwell in the infinite possibilities of the light, the airy and the tenuous… An exploration of instrumental combinations from which exquisite flashes of colour often emerge.”
Raul da Gama (full review)

“Stands out as a must-hear!”
​Gapplegate Music Review​ (full review)

“A rich and interesting foray into the connections between jazz and classical music.”
Diariofolk (ES) (full review)