Blue Fields Review

My jazz group The John Garner Quartet recently received a lovely review of our latest LP Blue FieldsBird is the Worm is a great blog featuring in-depth reviews of new jazz recordings. You can read the full review by clicking here.

Four Plus Three

There’s a new collaboration on the horizon between The Guastalla Quartet and The Kate Williams Trio. Kate’s been busy arranging and writing charts for the concert season in 2016. Featuring Williams originals alongside the music of artists including Bill Evans, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Cole Porter, we are delighted to be joining the titanic trio of Kate, Oli Hayhurst and David Ingamells. To whet your appetite, click here for some demo tracks recorded in July at Konk Studios. For this project, Marie Schreer and I are joined by Sergio Serra (cello) and Miguel Rodriguez (viola).

I had a great time at the Elgar Room, Royal Albert Hall, in late July, performing a Prom Extra Lates gig with The John Garner Quartet. We played four original numbers interspersed with poetry by Jon Stone and presented by Georgia Mann. The shortened broadcast will be available online for another 19 days. Listen whilst you still can!

On a non-violinistic note, here’s the first Meraki Mix, Keep On Digging, compiled and mixed by myself and drummer/DJ Flo Rosset. Recorded entirely from our vinyl collections, this one is for fans of smoky jazz, guitar duels and cowboy ska.

 

KEEP ON DIGGING by Meraki on Mixcloud

Blue Fields LP – out now

Here’s the brand new LP ‘Blue Fields’ from my jazz quartet. Featuring three incredibly talented colleagues and friends of mine, Toby Nelms (keys), Jamie Kenny (double bass) and Dan Day (kit). It was released yesterday, exactly ONE YEAR since we recorded it live at Konk Studios, London. These things take some time, but I’m very proud of the final product. Brought to sonic life by Josh Green and accompanied by beautiful album artwork by Jason Ebel, please stream it, download it, share it and enjoy it!

New JGQ LP!

On March 23rd, the John Garner Quartet will release its new studio album, exactly one year since we recorded it live at Konk Studios, London. ‘Blue Fields’ features a mixture of original tracks and arrangements, covering artists including Pearl Jam, Joni Mitchell and Tan Dun. Here’s the title track to get you excited!

P.S. This is one for the game-geeks amongst you. I need say no more…

Auf wiedersehen, Pet

A very merry festive greeting to you from South-West Germany, where it is neither snowing nor frosty. In fact, it feels rather similar to London. IN FACT, the last couple of times that I had the fortune of visiting Paris, it rained and rained and rained. There is a weather conspiracy going on. I suggest that we wipe from global consciousness the idea that the UK is a miserable place with miserable weather. We are not alone with our slate skies and soggy socks. But this is a subject for a different blog, a different blogger and another time. Back to business.

The run up to Christmas has reigned upon me one of the busiest times of my life, proving both immensely satisfying and tear-provokingly stressful. However, I have survived and am here to tell the tale to you, faithful reader.

Firstly, it should be noted that new pages now exist on this very website, notably, those of groups The Guastalla Quartet and Emanata. I am very excited to finally be getting these groups out into the public eye. The Guastalla Quartet takes the place of The Park Quartet as my active string quartet, with a fresh line-up and renewed enthusiasm. We are slowly working through our to-do list on the path to global domination: coming soon to a billboard, TV screen, airport advertisement or milk carton near you. Emanata is an entirely different kettle of fish. With a sound fusing jazz, hip-hop, electronica, world music and other things, we are based in the recording studio, capturing the group improvisation and discovery. I am very excited to releasing our first EP on Love Buzz Recordings in a few weeks. We’ve even got superhero alter-egos to go with the music (Emanata is a comic-book term… Google it!). Head over to the dedicated pages in the ‘groups‘ section to find out more.

Emanata in the studioThe Guastalla Quartet

Another new project that is just about to hit the shelves of your local internet supermarket is ‘Project Avartan’. I’ve teamed up with Indian musicians Rekesh Chauhan and Alok Verma, both powerhouse musicians of impressive repute, to create an unusual new group fusing classical, Indian, jazz and electronic music. We’ve been into the recording studio twice already to record a few demo tunes, which will be released soon. Look out for the soaring vocals of Andri Antoniou featured on one track. Check out our trailer below:

To sum up some smaller bits of exciting news… In November I went into the studio with Greek composer Othon Mataragas to record the solo violin for a track from his forthcoming album ‘Pineal’; keep an eye out for this – it’s going to be worth a listen. We good folks at Polaroid 85 are very pleased to be working not only with record label Reel Me Records, but also with agency Wormfood; 2014 is going to see a massive shake-up in the Polaroid 85 world – watch this space. Good friends of mine, AZEDIA, have just released a new album. If you like electronic music, this is a must – check it out here. Lastly, my jazz quartet were delighted to be invited to play at the Swing Unlimited Jazz Club in Bournemouth recently. We had a great time, quartet and audience alike. We were also very chuffed to see our poster sitting just above another one featuring the Alec Dankworth Trio – jazz royalty! We shall hopefully be back at the SUJC in 2014.

John Garner Quartet at SUJCP85 live in Hackney

And so, all that is left for me to say is fröhliche weihnachten. Have a wonderful Christmas holiday, and a smashing New Year. Thanks to everyone who has been a part of my life this year; it has been a great one. Bring on 2014!

In a Sentimental Mood

Here’s a classic from one of the most influential figures in the entire history of jazz. ‘In a Sentimental Mood’ by Duke Ellington.