Fire Hills has been out for a few months now, and has received a lot of really nice responses. I was really pleased to be interviewed for Freeness, the contemporary jazz programme on BBC Radio 3. Here is a selection of the reviews:
I’m really delighted to announce a new album coming in September, a double album of my trio and octet – eight new compositions and an incredible array of musicians! I’m really proud of this recording, I reckon it’s a bit of a breakthrough in my composing, and there’s some astonishing improvising from my bandmates
The trio features Tom Challenger on tenor sax, and Will Glaser on drums, and the octet is Alex Bonney & Kim Macari on trumpets, Jason Yarde on alto, George Crowley & Rachel Musson on tenors, Cath Roberts on baritone and Johnny Hunter on drums
‘Conduits’, my duo album with Cath Roberts, releases today! This album is very different to any other recording I’ve made, in that we recorded it in real time but not in the same place. It was recorded while playing together online, using an amazing piece of software called JackTrip, during one of the Covid lockdowns. I was extremely sceptical that this could work, but happily I was wrong…
I love playing with Cath – we’re also in a new band together called Spinningwork, album coming in September – so really pleased to have this out there. If you don’t know her incredible band Sloth racket you should. I’m really pleased to be on Relative Pitch, one of the most exciting labels in contemporary improvised music. It’s also the first album cover to feature a photograph by me, although there’s already another one on the way…
I had a really nice time chatting to Tom P for his ‘Call it Anything’ radio show on Routestock Radio. We covered a lot of different stuff – the bass players we talked about range from Jimmy Blanton to Petter Eldh, via Richard Davis, Fred Hopkins and John Edwards – and it wasn’t all about bass players… You can hear it here (the interview starts just after the half hour mark): https://www.mixcloud.com/RadioRouteStock/call-it-anything-with-tom-p-26/
I was delighted to be commissioned by Jazz South to compose a piece as part of their 2020 Radar series. Due to lockdowns and other complications it wasn’t filmed or streamed until now, but last night was the premier. The piece is for a trio with two wonderful horn players, Jason Yarde on alto and Nick Malcolm on trumpet. Here it is –
It’s release day for the 2nd album on my label, West Hill Records. Really proud of this one, in truly wonderful company. With Paul Dunmall on tenor, Percy Pursglove on trumpet, and Jeff Williams on drums
Paul and Jeff are both heroes of mine who it’s been a real honour to get to play with regularly, for years now – one of the best things about being involved in this music is that your heroes can become your friends and colleagues! They’ve both been really significant for Percy as well, and we’d often discussed that we really should get them together – despite being the same age and having loads in common musically they had never played before the tour this record was recorded during. The album is two long pieces from the 2nd gig of the tour, recorded live at Cafe Oto
After so many months without anything even approximating a gig, it’s been amazing to do a couple of streamed gigs for this year’s London Jazz Festival
I had the great joy of playing at the venue I’ve played the most regularly for years now – the Vortex – in the company of two of my favourite collaborators, Tom Challenger and Will Glaser. We played a set of my tunes, plus one each from Eric Dolphy and Johnny Dyani – you can watch it here:
I was also delighted to join Binker Golding and Steve Noble for a streamed, improvised set from Kings Place – that will be available for another week or so here, although you have to buy a ticket to view it – details here:
I’ve been playing in trio with Luis Vicente and Mark Sanders a fair bit the last few years, and it’s always a joy. Last year we had a really lovely time touring in Portugal, and while we were there recorded this album, which is just out on Spontaneous Tribute, a sort of sub-label of MultiKulti (the Polish label who released my first Quintet album).
I’m really delighted that it’s come out – I love playing in this group and hope to do much more…
One of the amazing things about being involved in improvised music is that in such a small and fluid scene it’s quite possible to end up friends and colleague with your heroes. I’m lucky enough to have quite a few of these relationships, but two of the most important to me are with Paul Dunmall and Jeff Williams. Anyone reading this should be familiar with both – Paul Dunmall is one of the most astonishing saxophonists this country has ever produced, and Jeff Williams, among the very greatest living jazz drummers, has spend half his time here now for over a decade.
Although they’re a similar age and have plenty of shared collaboraters, Dunmall and Williams have never played together. Williams is perhaps best known for his long history with great saxophonists – including Stan Getz, Lee Konitz, Clifford Jordan, Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman – and I knew that him and Dunmall would sound wonderful together. I was discussing this with my friend Percy Pursglove, an incredible trumpet player and bassist who also works regularly with both of them, and we agreed that we really had to make it happen. So we’ve booked a short quartet tour, starting with the ‘Ideas of Noise’ Festival in Stourbridge in the afternoon of February 2nd. We’ll then play Cafe Oto in London on Feb 4th, and end up in Bristol, at the Fringe, on Feb 5th.
We’ll be recording at least one of the gigs, so an album should be forthcoming – but in the meantime come and catch us live!
New album and new label! My trio ‘Somersaults’, with the wonderful Tobias Delius and Mark Sanders, release our new album ‘Numerology of Birdsong’ tomorrow. You can hear and/or pre-order it here –
This trio has been one of my very favourite things to do since the first few notes of our first gig. I’m really pleased with the new album, and also excited to have a 9 date UK tour in October – details here:
‘Numerology of Birdsong’ is the first release on my new label, West Hill Records. I’m not sure yet whether the first of many, we’ll see how it goes!
We’ve already had a couple of really lovely reviews, from AllAboutJazz here, and the Free Jazz Blog here