Spring into action

The Pizza Express and 606 gigs were a great success - both in terms of attendance and musically. I feel the trio is discovering new depths every time we play. This film footage from the 606 gig includes the third part of a suite called Soul Story which we've been rehearsing up and gigging along with other new material....

Plans are coming together to record again in September, this time at Curtis Schwartz's studio in Ardingly. I'm really excited about this - the quality of sound coming out of this studio is impressive (Gwilym Simcock's Blues Vignette is a good example) and I can't wait to document the new tunes. Melody, groove, harmony and the relationship between form and freedom still remain characteristic of this new material. The experience of recent gigs has made us more adventurous and I look forward to bringing some of this confidence into the studio. I had a plan at one point to invite a few guest musicians to feature on the next release but my thinking at the moment is to keep it simple and give time to focus on developing the sound of the trio.

I mentioned finishing off a new suite of music based on the Passion of Christ written for Kairos Ensemble in my last blog and this was gigged a couple of times over Easter, featuring guest singer Eska Mtungwazi. We were really chuffed that a couple of tracks from the Passion Suite got Radio 3 airplay on Jazz Line Up. The album is now available through Amazon / iTunes etc. Click here for a link.

I've been continuing to reflect on the pros and cons of musical independence.... It's great to write, record and distribute your own music. There are many positives in retaining one's copyrights and I've also been encouraged that it's possible to get national airplay and reviews. What is more challenging is the area of marketing (which would probably be helped by the right record label relationship). I think some kind of representation would also be helpful when approaching particular venues or festivals, so the possibility of working with an agent is something I might explore further....

The next big gig is on Thursday June 3rd at the Forge Arts Venue in Camden. It would be great to see you there! We'll be playing some music from Visions and Vistas and also showcasing new material. Click here for further details.

Some folks expressed an interest in further listening recommendations. On the piano front, I've been enjoying the Marcin Wasilewski Trio, Nik Bartsch's Ronin and Gwilym Simcock's Blues Vignette (mentioned above) are all worth checking out.