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.

Poetry – Limited Edition CDs

Mainly Two has just received some beautiful limited edition physical copies of ‘Poetry’. Get in touch to order your copy, or visit us at Bandcamp. Featuring new works from Charles Mauleverer, Enzo Bellomo, Lucy Claire, Steven Ebel, Toby Nelms and Michael Oliva. Magical design from Anna Lawrence.

Mainly Two - Poetry

 

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!

The Gymnopedist

Aloha! (that’s as much joy as I can summon up on this ‘beautiful summer’s day)

I hope you’re having a beautiful summery day! Here’s a quick post about some exciting new media. This video of my jazz quartet was recorded live at a private concert in Chelsea. It’s a jazzed-up version of ‘The Gymnopedist’ by the very talented solo artist Jono McCleery, who I’m delighted has shared the video himself and given it his blessing. A few other tunes from this concert will soon be released in the form of a free EP for your downloading delectation!

John Garner Quartet EP launched

Dearest friend,

I hope this WordPress post finds you well.

I am addressing you directly in order to draw your attention to a rather exciting event which has been brewing for quite some time and has finally boiled over (guffaw). Yes, that’s right! Today of all days, May 22nd 2013, my very own jazz group has released its first record on Love Buzz Recordings – ‘Live at Trinity Studio.’

If there is any possibility that this missive has peaked your curiosity, I should very much like to point you in the direction in which one might be able to procure for oneself a copy of said record. Please point your cursor to THESE VERY WORDS and embark upon your Maiden Voyage (guffaw) on the rambunctious waters of the John Garner Quartet.

Warmest wishes to your dearest better half. We really must weather the slings and arrows of outrageous London perchance to dine together before the first snow.

Yours,

John Garner

P.S. I hope you like this rather clever rendering of the cover of the record; I am overawed by such technology as should allow me to send this in your direction from such a wretched distance! The JGQ live

Busy sessioning

Merry December! We’ve made it through another year and now the festive season is upon us. Remember, it’s not presents that people want, it’s your presence (but I definitely want your presents). And with that baloney over and done with, here’s a hopefully-not-too-dull recounting of my busy weekend.

On Saturday I joined Neeta Sarl, Rita Morar, Steve Barnegren, Ana Vranes, Jenny Grib and Sam Ryan in performances of some original tunes and cover tunes to be released early next year. We were lucky enough to be able to record in the incredibly beautiful, slightly creepy, Caroline Gardens Chapel in Southeast London. The videos will look fab and it was a lot of fun, but if you ever record there in the winter, take a radiator or five (or do as we did and take plenty of wine).

On Sunday, I had the pleasure of recording with the talented Messeurs Toby Nelms, Jamie Kenny and Dan Day prior to our private concert on Tuesday. We recorded quite a few jazz standards including tunes by Thelonious Monk, Django Reinhardt and John Coltrane. Releases from this session will appear in 2013 on Love Buzz recordings. Keep your eyes open for these guys.

Finally (I promise), I was lucky to get the chance to play with the live dubstep band AZEDIA a couple of weeks back in a live session at Dean St. Studios in Soho, London. Keep your eyes open for a new video from them on January 1st, 2013. It’s a smashing track and makes for a really exciting live performance. They’re ones to watch for the future.

Next week I’ll be in the studio with Polaroid 85 (at Paul Epworth’s studio hurray!), composer Lucy Thornton and the Hot Club Ensemble. Watch this space! Finally (ok, I lied earlier, whatever), a warning from me: don’t drink and busk. It ends badly.

Lucky to be me (I think…)

I’m in the middle of a house move. And I. Am. Stressed. Here’s a happy video featuring the talented Messieurs Toby Nelms (piano), Adam Higgs (bass) and Daniel Day (kit) with Bernstein’s beautiful ‘Lucky to Be Me’.