The Strut by Gareth Lockrane
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About: The Strut
Release Date: November 12, 2012: Worldwide Physical & Digital
2012 MOJO MAGAZINE JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR
THE STRUT is the first Whirlwind Recordings album from internationally acclaimed jazz flautist Gareth Lockrane (currently residing in London) and his Hammond Organ Ensemble 'Grooveyard'. Lockrane is known around the world as one of the most accomplished, prolific, virtuosic and versatile jazz flautists and composers, boasting an enviable resume full of accolades and awards (he is one of the only non-American jazz artists to maintain a presence in the prestigious 'Downbeat Magazine Critic's Poll' in the 'Rising-Star Flautist' Category). Equally skilled as a composer, Lockrane has a Masters Degree from the National Film and Television School, the UK's most prestigious university for Film Scoring and his musical output is incredible as he leads chamber trios, quartets, quintets, septets (for which he won a Parliamentary Jazz Award in the 'Best Album' category for his album No Messin), and even his acclaimed contemporary big band.
The Strut is the long-awaited follow up to Lockrane's 2003 debut album Put The Cat Out (winner of 'Best European Jazz Group' Granada Jazz Festival 2003). This epic, ambitious and stylistically wide-ranging record fuses the spirit of the historic soul-jazz groups of yesteryear alongside contemporary jazz fused with gospel, chamber music, cinematic rock, funk and even world music influences, which showcases the wide-ranging palette of compositional colors and moods Lockrane is so known for. In addition to Lockrane who plays concert, alto & bass flutes, the album also features long-time Grooveyard cohort Alex Garnett on saxophones, inspirational guitar wizard Mike Outram, Hammond organ wunderkind Ross Stanley, drum dynamo Nick Smalley, and guesting on three tracks on wordless vocals is the astonishing Nia Lynn, whose 'Bannau Trio' with Gareth Lockrane and Ross Stanley has been quietly ploughing it's own path in the contemporary chamber jazz world since 2005. Between them the musicians have performed or recorded with artists as diverse as the spirited South African pianist Bheki Mseleku (Lockrane was a member of his working band and Bheki is a huge influence on him and his music) Maceo Parker, Jack DeJohnette, Wynton Marsalis, Mark Turner, Michael Kiwanuka, Seamus Blake, The Rolling Stones, Phil Robson, Carleen Anderson, Tom Jones, Tim Garland and many others.
This is an album that exemplifies the trends in contemporary creative music to the fullest. Lockrane has spent a lifetime investigating, performing, and enjoying music from around the world, and as a highly skilled musical craftsman has fused these sounds, musical devices, and emotions for his own purposes, creating an album full of eccentricity and joy.
2012 MOJO MAGAZINE 'JAZZ ALBUM OF THE YEAR'
Best Albums of 2012 (Critics' List) - Jazzwise Magazine
Best Albums of 2012 (Critics' List) - The Jazz Breakfast
"Whirlwind Recordings have an impressive roster of contemporary UK Jazz but this stands out as a highlight."
2012 'Album of the Year' MOJO Magazine, 4 stars
"Lockrane's reputation is growing and The Strut will take that to a higher level still."
All About Jazz
"The Strut proves from beginning to end that you can make music that is good for both the body and the mind."
4 Stars, Jazzwise Magazine
"The formidable Lockrane...a stunning display of sharp-accented runs, earthy whoops and constantly refreshed melodic ideas."
"London independent label Whirlwind are quickly making a name for themselves in uncovering some of the hippest new talent on the UK jazz scene and this is one of their best signings thus far."
4 Stars, UK Vibe
"Britain’s top exponent is Gareth Lockrane, whose hip ideas and easy fluency recall the great Tubby Hayes... Lockrane’s stylish originals include the funky title track and the gentler One for Bheki, dedicated to a departed friend, South African pianist-composer Bheki Mseleku."
4 Stars, Evening Standard
"Original, distinctive and personal."
"This is a lively, unpretentious album...Gareth Lockrane’s compositions sound evocative and dramatic enough to be film scores."
"This is a really good and thoughtful album with superb compositions."
CD of the Month (Dec '12) UK Jazz Radio
"A fine disc which is not only a testament to the writing and arranging of a well-rounded British jazz musician and a great band, but also a renewed hurrah for the versatility and power of that little silver sideways pipe."
The Jazz Breakfast
"The Strut is a highly likeable release that values musicianship and strong tunes."
"Lockrane is an exceptional soloist with an improvisatory confidence that's quite startling.”
"The flute, an instrument which has still not achieved a firm foothold in jazz... If the brilliant playing of Gareth Lockrane is anything to go by, that state of affairs may change.”
London Evening Standard