“Brilliantly contemporary, modern, down to earth, high-level musical collaboration, with dense ensemble performance as well as outstanding individual solo performances.” Musik an Sich review Samuel Eagles ‘Ask, Seek, Knock’ amongst latest press highlights

Increasingly incandescent across the London jazz, funk and world music scenes, alto saxophonist and composer Samuel Eagles’ SPIRIT (saxophonist Duncan Eagles, pianist Sam Leak, vibraphonist Ralph Wyld, double bassist Max Luthert and drummer Dave Hamblett) with recent Whirlwind release  Ask, Seek, Knock.

 

 

 

 

Here are the latest press highlights from across Europe for  Ask, Seek, Knock :

“A varied and original recording… Check it out.”
Hi Fi Forum (website)

“A complex and fresh sound full of youthful vigour combined with an internalised feeling for the music”.
Sound & Image (website)

“The exuberant imaginings of the young line-up create something new and refreshing.”
Jazz Now

“Brilliantly contemporary, modern, down to earth, high-level musical collaboration, with dense ensemble performance as well as outstanding individual solo performances.”
Musik an Sich (website)

“A potent combination of fluid lyricism and free melodic motion.”
Bird Is The Worm (full review)

“Extremely effective alto and tenor saxophone arrangements… Fabulous.”​
All About Jazz (full review)

“An album worthy of attention.”
Culture Jazz (website)

“Fresh, instinctive and inspired… A superb album.”
Radio REC (website)

“A varied, independent recording with original compositions… Beautiful pairing of tenor and alto sax.”
Hi-Fi Forum (DE)  (website)

Luthert and Hamblett provide a sound rhythmic base from which the alto and tenor saxophones can cut loose.”
Rheinmain Magazine (website)

“Soulful and very creative pieces… The young composer Eagles shows a great maturity in his compositions.”
Musik an Sich  (website) 

“The musicians display joyous mood, inventiveness and spontaneity, inspired by the excellent compositions and the thoughtful arrangements of Samuel Eagles.”
Musik Zirkus (website)

“A tightly woven, colorful soundscape characterized by expressive, melodic riffs and convincing structural combinations… Amazing compositional maturity.”
Radio Dreyeckland (website)

Take Five
Jazz Views (feature)

Walter Smith III Euro Tour 2018 for ‘Twio’ – dates & guests confirmed

Here are the confirmed dates for the Walter Smith Twio Euro tour coming in FEB 2018 – plus a list of all the special guests joining on selected shows.  Twio drops FEB 9 and you can pre-order now.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“A genre-bending work of uncommon originality.” ★★★★ Jazz Journal – world-wide review round up for Rez Abbasi’s ‘Unfiltered Universe’ ft Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Johannes Weidenmueller, Dan Weiss and guest Elizabeth Mikhael

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.

Here are the latest press highlights for Unfiltered Universe that have come in from the US, UK and rest of Europe:

“Abbasi and his like-minded collaborators systematically unpick their hard-wired instincts and create a genre-bending work of uncommon originality.”
★★★★ Jazz Journal

“The South Asian elements of Unfiltered Universe are woven into in the music’s underlying rhythms, melodic structures and phraseology… Highlights include the angular opener ‘Propensity’; the sometimes pensive, sometimes wild title track; and the cerebral-meets-whimsical ‘Thin-King’.
DownBeat Magazine (Editors Pick)(scroll down for image)

“Complex, evocative and enigmatic.”
★★★★½ Kathodik (IT) (full review)

“Thrills aplenty.”
Sandy Brown Jazz (full review)

“Intense, powerful music with a distinctive personality.”
Jazz Views (full review)

“True fusion, taking in all aspects of Abbasi’s personality.”
Jazziz

“An astounding richness of rhythms and timbres.”
Image HI Fi (CH)

“Complex structures of compositions and arrangements, a never-ending atmosphere of spontaneous development,surprises and sudden twists… This is modern jazz rock or fusion at its finest!”
Musik an Sich

“An adventure, a mysterious journey through the world of music, marked by a variety of impressions and influences.”
Musik Zirkus

“Strong music carried by an excellent rhythm section.”
Culture Jazz (FR) (full review)

“Fusing Indian music and jazz with hints of classical.”
Le Souffle Bleu (FR) (full review)

“Complex, hard-driving modern jazz that frequently tips over into chopstastic fusion.”
Stereogum (full review)

“The sound is certainly unique; it’s pensive jazz, in no hurry to develop despite the often skittery grooves… Often dissonant, too, on terms both harmonic and rhythmic.”
Bandcamp Daily (full review) 

“He’s [Abbasi] breathed in much through his deep research into Carnatic music tradition, and breathes it out again informed by his progressive jazz DNA.”
Something Else Reviews (full review)

“The polyrhythmic ideas bear witness to intensive study of West African and South Asian music.”
Stereo (DE)

 “A searching, melodic exploration of the rhythmic and improvisational empathy between Indian music and jazz.”
CD Aktuell

“Creative, melodious, intense and eclectic.”
Jazz Zeitung

“Rousingly powerful, rich in detail and striking… A fusion of South Indian, rock and improvised jazz music.”
Leipziger Volkszeitung

“Emphatically powerful and intense.”
Jazz Podium

“Iyer’s playing is powerful and imaginative throughout the record; Mahanthappa and Abbasi are dazzling.”
London Jazz (full review)

“Abbasi brings an open-border fluidity to his music without forsaking any aspect of his roots.”
WGBO (full review)

 

Walter Smith III ‘Twio’ now availble for pre-order (Out Feb 9) + two instant gratification tracks + correct pronunciation help…

 

PRE ORDER ‘TWIO’ NOW (CLICK HERE)
AND RECEIVE 2 INSTANT GRAT TRACKS

LEARN HOW TO PRONOUNCE THE ALBUM BELOW

A few days back we announced the release Twio from tenor saxophonist and composer Walter Smith III for February 9 2018 (vinyl release date tbc, check back for more info). The album features longstanding musical partners Harish Raghavan on double bass and Eric Harland on drums, with guests Joshua Redman (tenor saxophone) and Christian McBride (double bass). Stay tuned for more info on this release in the coming days and check the full length track to the left.

 

FEB 2018 Walter Smith ‘Twio’ Launch Dates

12 – 606 Club, London, England
13 – Porgy n Bess – Vienna, Austria
14 – Jazzclub Unterfahrt – Munich, Germany
15 – Birmingham Conservatoire + East Side Jazz Club – Birmingham, England
16 – Sunset Jazz Club – Paris, France
17 – Sunset Jazz Club – Paris, France
18 – Unity Jazz Club – Göteborg, Sweden

.

Walter Smith III is widely recognized as an adept performer, accomplished composer, and inspired educator. Smith will release his 5th album as a leader, Twio in February of 2018 with his longtime trio of Harish Raghavan and Eric Harland including guest appearances by Christian McBride and Joshua Redman.

In the jazz tradition, Smith has developed under the wings of many of the music’s greats. Walter is/has been a member of several legendary groups (recording and/or touring) including the Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, Terence Blanchard Quintet, Eric Harland’s “Voyager”, Jason Moran’s In My Mind:Monk at Town Hall, Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet, the Christian McBride “Situation”, Christian Scott group and the Sean Jones Quintet to name a few. Smith has performed all over the world participating in virtually every international festival as well as famed venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center. In addition, he has shared the stage and/or appeared on recordings with many Jazz notables including Mulgrew Miller, Eric Reed, Billy Childs, Joe Lovano, Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lynne Carrington, Bill Stewart, Ralph Peterson, and a host of others. To date, Walter has appeared on over 100 recordings that are released worldwide. Smith endorses D’Addario Woodwinds reeds and accessories, Fred LeBayle Mouthpieces, and Electro-Voice Microphones.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Polished, inventive stuff.” ★★★★ The Evening Standard – Latest press highlights for Oli Rockberger’s Sovereign

Pianist, vocalist, songwriter and producer Oli Rockberger’s fourth studio release, Sovereign takes its title from the viewpoints of transition, growth and independence.

These ten, intelligently-crafted songs are grounded in a love of soul, jazz, gospel and R&B. Working closely as a trio with drummer Jordan Perlson and bassist Jordan Scannella, the album also features co-producer Chris Abell, guitarists John Shannon and Ryan Scott, vocalist Hannah Read, while ‘​The Garden​’​ (track 7) features bass from Owen Biddle and drums/programming/co-production from Zach Danziger.

Press Highlights for Sovereign:

“As a writer, he [Rockberger] has a knack for tunes that hark back to the days when soul and country musics fused together to create timeless classics.”
★★★★ Jazz Journal (website)

“Polished, inventive stuff.”
★★★★ The Evening Standard (full review)

​”​A truly irresistible voice​… ​With Sovereign Rockberger successfully succeeds in melding elements of pop, soul, blues, country, rock and jazz and the resulting live-in-the-studio album is nothing less than enchanting.” ★★★★​ All About Jazz​​ (full review)

“Oli Rockberger highlights his remarkable knack of marrying instantly memorable chorus hooks with captivating harmonies… A songwriter of great style and substance.”
The Arts Desk (full review)

Click the links  to read reviews of Oli’s live album launch tour shows in (London Jazz and (Jazzwise Magazine)

Chicago Reader feature included in recent press highlights for Hayden Prosser’s ‘Tether’ + Finnish dates start tomorrow

The searching, cyclical aura of double bassist and composer Hayden Prosser’s debut acoustic album Tether fascinatingly finds its roots in electronic and process music. Hailing from Somerset, England, and now based in Berlin, Prosser met up with New York pianist Elias Stemeseder – the starting point for this quartet’s sound with tenor saxophonist Philipp Gropper and drummer Max Santner – which set up the piano-and-bass connectivity that informs many of the album’s eleven original tracks.

Hayden plays Finland’s Validi Karkia on December 9th and Tenho Restobar on December 10th.

 

Latest press highlights:

“Prosser’s compositions develop elegantly, but rarely in straight lines… this quartet pushes the listener down several paths at once, creating a thrilling tension among the players even though they’re actually tightly in sync.”
Chicago Reader

Chicago Reader (full feature)

“Intriguing.”
Jazzwise Magazine (website)

“A suite of soundscapes that will surely reward repeated plays, from which the listener will undoubtedly glean new textures and colours.”
All About Jazz (full review)

“What nudges Tether up to borderline addictive is how the melodies filter through… Fascination with this recording continues to grow with each return visit.”
Bird Is The Worm (full review)

“Compact sound studies that are structurally finely balanced and well shaped and that cleverly wander between sublime groove and a total absence of metric anchoring.”
Concerto Magazine (website)

“A really irresistible set.” ★★★★ from All About Jazz as Tony Tixier’s ‘Life of Sensitive Creatures’ ft Karl McComas-Reichl and Tommy Crane releases today

 

“Tixier evinces his own musical vocabulary and florid style and in conjunction with his talented sidemen has produced a really irresistible set.”
★★★★ All About Jazz

 

Order ‘Life of Sensitive Creatures’ CDS and downloads: here

 

Radiating a venturesome singularity inspired as much by Maurice Ravel and Art Tatum as Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett or Aydin Esen, pianist Tony Tixier’s debut piano trio release, Life of Sensitive Creatures, features his original work alongside inspired interpretations in a stimulating program which breathes beauty and ingenuity.

Originally from France, Tony moved to NYC in 2012 and began to collaborate with a host of luminaries before his recent relocation to Los Angeles; yet this recording focuses on Tixier both as imaginative composer and mindful pianist: “As well as my sideman role, it also feels good to have my own voice and give life to my own melodies – so this feels different to my other projects. A trio is more about a direct, spontaneous and flowing conversation with artists who have something more than just the technical ability, so I chose players who are my friends and who feel a special empathy with my writing”. This open enthusiasm and willingness which Tixier receives from double bassist Karl McComas-Reichl and drummer Tommy Crane is affectionately described by the pianist as working with musicians who are “beginners with ‘big ears’” (in truth, both are accomplished, with experience garnered from playing in many line-ups). “My music needs more than solo piano, so they shape it, provide space and move it in different directions”.

Tixier’s creativity began early, studying classical piano at a conservatory from the age of six: “As a kid, I also wrote poetry – about life, happiness, sadness, illusion. So creating music is an extension of that – not in terms of a huge novel, but more like short stories, and all in a defined sequence. I use a journal to note down titles or a feeling, then a melody or a bass line might arrive; and I try to write every week, with two-, maybe three-hundred songs to date”.

The striking sincerity of the album’s cover art depicts Tony, as a child, in his mother’s arms – a visual representation of opening number ‘I Remember the Time of Plenty’, whose retrospective hazes and ebullient rhythms communicate the fleeting energy and happiness of formative years. ‘Denial of Love’ questions the effectiveness of global unity through inquiring piano and bass phrases, whilst ‘Illusion’ –Tixier’s expression of bearing the disillusionment of people or events that leave us – is positively conveyed through its impelling upward figure. The joyful blues of ‘Home At Last’ releases the pressure valve of touring with homespun bliss, and ‘Flow’ eddies to a jewel-like clarity.

Quaint 1920s Louis Armstrong stride-piano swinger ‘Tight Like This’ (which Tixier’s grandmother enjoyed singing) is a vibrant homage that cleverly refashions the reedy monaural original for angular piano trio; and the percussive pulse of ‘Calling Into Question’ might readily invite a pop vocal. Amongst urgent ‘Blind Jealousy of a Paranoid’ and mercurial ‘Causeless Cowards’ is tucked the limpid romanticism of Jimmy Van Heusen’s classic ‘Darn That Dream’; and there’s a fascinating take on ‘Isn’t She Lovely’ (the pianist highlighting Stevie Wonder’s prowess as an improviser, said to play ‘Giant Steps’ in soundchecks).

Tony Tixier currently plays in the bands of Christian Scott, Seamus Blake and Wallace Roney. But his sights are also resolutely set on his own path, his eclectic interests inclining his thoughts that Life of Sensitive Creatures is best not labelled as any one specific genre: “It’s a songbook of emotions, put to music – an invitation to travel with us to some unexpected places – a sensitive letter to life. You can listen, dance, call it what you want – but as a trio, we go beyond. We’re making art – a moving painting – and I’m proud of that”.

 

Tour Dates

Dec 13 – Bemol 5, Lyon, France

 

“Powerful, atmospheric and full of subtle details.” Euro press round up for Joel Harrison’s ‘The Other River’ + ‘Behind the track’ video

he Other River is a personal and striking collection of original songs written, arranged and sung by veteran US guitarist and singer/songwriter Joel Harrison which reaches out to the heart in candidly dealing with mortality and loss, redemption and forgiveness.

Watch the video (left) to hear the story behind the title track from the album.

Joel will be playing music from the album at The Bitter End in New York City on 10th January 2018 and has just announced details of his Alternative Guitar Summit from 11th – 15th June 2018.

 

Here are the latest press highlights for The Other River.

“Powerful, atmospheric and full of subtle details.”
Jazz Thing (website)

“Adventurous melodies and multi-layered arrangements.”
Concerto Magazin (website)

A fusion of jazz, folk and blues that shines with modernity, passion and intensity.”
Radio REC (website)

Announcing the February 2nd release of ‘VISTA’ by Julian Siegel Quartet ft Liam Noble, Oli Hayhurst and Gene Calderazzo

VISTA Available for Pre-Order: here

 

Some nine years since saxophonist Julian Siegel began collectively bouncing ideas off pianist Liam Noble, double bassist Oli Hayhurst and drummer Gene Calderazzo, the Julian Siegel Quartet release another absorbing and intrinsically crackling set of mostly original compositions in Vista. 2011’s Urban Theme Park created quite a splash with its ability to showcase both communal and individual musicality – and now that connection, knowledge and intuition is even stronger.

“It’s a shared experience”, explains Siegel who, over the years, has established himself as one of Britain’s especially eloquent performers through his work with this quartet, his trio with Joey Baron and Greg Cohen, the Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra (formed in 2017), and with Partisans, co-led with guitarist Phil Robson.

“After playing together as a band for such a long time, you really start to get into something. When I give a new piece to Liam, he comes back with twenty times what I could imagine – he’s so free, with an amazing sense of daring, plus a really original harmonic approach. Gene has a fantastic feel and perception of time – there’s always a challenge in there that I really love; so much forward motion. And with Oli, it really swings”.

Delighting at the idea of getting back into the studio together again, the saxophonist and the quartet decided to record this as a purely acoustic set for the new album. “It’s a great opportunity, writing for this band, because you know they’re going to make it sound good!” Talking more about the writing of the music for Vista, Siegel says, “Leading up to the session, I tried to write every day, capturing ideas however/wherever they arrived, then seeing what stuck enough to make it through to first rehearsal. Each piece has a different genesis. For me, as a jazz writer, it’s the thing of: how much do you write, where do you stop? Most of the music we make on this album is improvised, so the pieces are just starting points. I like to find things that are a spark, to make something happen or to just allow a space to set something in motion; many things occurred for the very first time when we recorded the session – it was hugely exciting to catch it fresh”.

As leader, Siegel’s fluid, seamless assurance on either tenor or soprano is a joy, ‘The Opener’ encapsulating both the lyrical and snappier aspects of his character. ‘I Want To Go To Brazil’ arrived in his thoughts one morning and, in homage to Brazilian greats such as Hermeto Pascoal and Elis Regina, its gentle aubade awakens with South American zest. The luscious low-tenor resonances of ballad ‘Song’ leads to ‘Pastorale’, whose chirpy soprano/piano figure and expressive melody set up an open space for the quartet to explore.

The four break free with stomping, blues-honking ‘The Goose’ (Siegel’s name for the bass clarinet, the instrument actually then taken up by him in evasive then chivvying ‘Idea’ which follows). Bud Powell’s ‘Un Poco Loco’ is dazzlingly reimagined, pursued breathlessly by chordless trio number ‘Billion Years’; and wide-scoping title track ‘Vista’ leaps rockily to Noble’s inquiring, ascending/descending motif and Siegel’s deliciously melodic tenor.

Siegel ruminates on how a band can develop over time: “Listening to some of my favourite albums throughout the history of the music, I’m struck by how many of them were made by ‘bands’ – a particular combination of people touring and playing together for years. There’s something special about that”. Experiencing Vista, it’s a concept that is already becoming a reality for this cohesive and conversational quartet.

 

TOUR DATES

 

March 2nd – Verdict Jazz​, Brighton

March 3rd – Leicester Jazz House​, Leicester

March 14th – Vortex Jazz Club​, London – ALBUM LAUNCH

March 15th – Vortex Jazz Club​ – ALBUM LAUNCH

March 16th – Fleece Jazz​, Stoke by Nayland

March 17th – The Bear Club, Luton​

March 21st – The Bonington​, Nottingham

March 28th – Stratford ArtsHouse​, Stratford on Avon

April 12th – Cambridge Modern Jazz​, Cambridge

April 14th – The Hive, Shrewsbury Jazz Network​

April 26th – Eastside Jazz Club, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire​

 

 

Walter Smith III to release ‘Twio’ featuring Harish Raghavan & Eric Harland Feb 9 2018 with guests Joshua Redman & Christian McBride + FEB Euro Launch Tour

 

With great pleasure we announce the release Twio from tenor saxophonist and composer Walter Smith III for February 9 2018 (vinyl release date tbc, check back for more info). The album features longstanding musical partners Harish Raghavan on double bass and Eric Harland on drums, with guests Joshua Redman (tenor saxophone) and Christian McBride (double bass).  Stay tuned for more info on this release in the coming days and check the full length track to the left.

 

.

Walter will be doing a week’s worth of live dates in Europe to support the release and the current schedule is as follows:

FEB 2018 Walter Smith ‘Twio’ Launch Dates:

12 – 606 Club – London, England
13 – Porgy n Bess – Vienna, Austria
14 – Jazzclub Unterfaht – Munich, Germany
15 – Birmingham Conservatoire + East Side Jazz Club – Birmingham, England
16 – Sunset Jazz Club – Paris, France
17 – Sunset Jazz Club – Paris, France
18 – Unity Jazz Club – Göteborg, Sweden

.

Walter Smith III is widely recognized as an adept performer, accomplished composer, and inspired educator. Smith will release his 5th album as a leader, Twio in February of 2018 with his longtime trio of Harish Raghavan and Eric Harland including guest appearances by Christian McBride and Joshua Redman.
In the jazz tradition, Smith has developed under the wings of many of the music’s greats. Walter is/has been a member of several legendary groups (recording and/or touring) including the Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band, Terence Blanchard Quintet, Eric Harland’s “Voyager”, Jason Moran’s In My Mind:Monk at Town Hall, Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet, the Christian McBride “Situation”, Christian Scott group and the Sean Jones Quintet to name a few. Smith has performed all over the world participating in virtually every international festival as well as famed venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Village Vanguard, and the Kennedy Center. In addition, he has shared the stage and/or appeared on recordings with many Jazz notables including Mulgrew Miller, Eric Reed, Billy Childs, Joe Lovano, Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Terri Lynne Carrington, Bill Stewart, Ralph Peterson, and a host of others. To date, Walter has appeared on over 100 recordings that are released worldwide. Smith endorses D’Addario Woodwinds reeds and accessories, Fred LeBayle Mouthpieces, and Electro-Voice Microphones.