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
The poster says it all really! Very excited to have a new album and tour coming up from this trio, one of my very favourite projects. I’ll be self-releasing our 2nd album, ‘Numerology of Birdsong’, on my new label West Hill Records.
I’ve just been interviewed by the lovely Huw V Williams for his ‘Improvised Music Agenda’ podcast. It’s always a bit uncomfortable hearing your own recorded voice, but I’m actually pleased with this – reckon it gives a pretty good overview of much of what’s been important to me thus far… a few important people don’t get mentioned, but a lot of stuff is there and there’s nothing said I don’t stand by!
Was a fun thing to do, I’ve really enjoyed listening to several of the episodes. Huw is a fantastic bassist as well as podcaster, check him out
One of the fun things that happened in 2018 was starting to play with Luis Vicente, in trio with either Mark Sanders or Onno Govaert. We did a couple of different tours, in England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Just got round to watching this video from a gig in Ghent with Onno, slightly funny image but I’m really pleased with the music
we’re plotting more for this year, hopefully as soon as May, details here as they’re confirmed… and hopefully we’ll record this year too
In October 2018 I had the pleasure of playing at both Herts and Marsden jazz festivals, and now both gigs are being broadcast in consecutive weeks, on the BBC’s contemporary jazz programme ‘Jazz Now’.
The Herts gig was with a pretty extraordinary line-up, Paul Dunmall’s Sunship Quartet (also including Howard Cottle and Tony Bianco) plus special guest Alan Skidmore. Dun and Skid are both real legends of British jazz and it’s been a great privilege to be involved in their reunion. The Sunship Quartet first played with Skidmore guesting at Cafe Oto back in July, and the recording of that will be released in the new year on Confront Recordings – preorder here: http://www.confrontrecordings.com/john-coltrane-memorial-at-cafe-oto
The Marsden gig is with another band I’m very proud to be part of, Dee Byrne’s Entropi. Our show will be broadcast on Xmas eve, and then be available to hear online for a month – the link above should also take you there… Marsden Jazz is a great festival, a lovely combination of being very community focused but still having an adventurous booking policy – go along next year!
I’ve recently started working in a duo with the incredible Trevor Watts. Trevor was a key figure right at the very beginning of free improv, when he started playing with John Stevens and Paul Rutherford when they were all in the airforce in the late 50s. Since then he’s continually been making creative music at the highest level, as a member of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and London Jazz Composers Orchestra , leader of groups including Amalgam and Moiré Music and in collaboration with the likes of Bobby Bradford, Derek Bailey, Don Cherry, Steve Lacy and Veryan Weston. It’s been an honour and a pleasure to work with him and count him as a friend.
We started working as a duo in 2018, and have collaborated with butoh dancer Yumino Seki, as well as appearing at the Jazz in the Round Emergence Festival. We are available for duo concerts and will be touring more in 2019 – please get in touch if interested
Here’s a couple pieces we recorded in November 2018 –
Now available for pre-ordering – one of my longest-standing musical relationships, a duo with the wonderful saxophonist Rachel Musson . Released on May 4th, but you can hear a track, pre-order the cassette (!) or download it now…