Jazz quartet videos, hip-hop track & more!

A track I co-produced with hip-hop pioneer The Last Skeptik was recently released on his beat-tape vol. 2. Stream it on Spotify by clicking on the picture.

Your Beat Tape Sucks, Vol. 2

My new record label, Turquoise Coconut, has released its first two albums, both from my contemporary violin duo Mainly Two (keeping it in the family for the meantime!). We first released Poetry / Synergy independently in 2014, so we’re delighted to be bringing them to a bigger audience via the wonderful world wide web. Click on the album artwork to download your copy from iTunes.

Poetry by Mainly TwoSynergy by Mainly Two

Also on the releases side, the début recording from Four Plus Three, a collaboration between The Kate Williams Trio and The Guastalla Quartet, will be launched at the 606 Club next week, June 8th. It features some beautiful originals and arrangements by prominent jazz pianist and composer Kate Williams. Here’s the tour schedule:

Four Plus Three Tour

Lastly, my jazz quartet has been pleasantly busy of late, so we’ve had the chance to get a few up-to-date videos and photos together. Here’s a small selection. Many thanks to Carla Rees for the wonderful shots.

Photo by Carla Rees

Photo by Carla Rees

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

Dear Diary

Dear Diary,

This has been a good month. Kicking off with a recording session for the music of the official boxing yoga instructional DVD really set the tone for the following few weeks. Can’t wait to see the final cut with music from my new group The Future Ancients (alongside my talented pals Nikola Kovacevic, Giovanni Cacioppo and Alok Verma – big names!).

The following weekend I was back in the studio (missing the sun again, curse you fortune!!!) with The Guastalla Quartet. We’re going to release the resulting album in a couple of days. Very excited for this one! Gotta love a bit of Beethoven and Shostakovich. We messed around a little at the end of the day and came up with this fun Super Mario cover…

After an appearance with Kate Simko and The London Electronic Orchestra (featuring Mainly Two’s début performance whoo yeah!), it was back into the rehearsal room before a full-on recording session with The John Garner Quartet. Can’t wait to get these tracks mixed and out there (will be funny to see people’s reaction to jazzed up versions of Pearl Jam tunes and such).

The John Garner Quartet @ Konk Studios

The last week of March was mental. Three jazz gigs in one week? Too many note choices to make… It was a great start to the Guildhall Jazz Festival for me with The Interplay Series, spearheaded by Kate Williams and William Goodchild. I had a great time leading the orchestra on stage with The Kate Williams Trio. The music of Bill Evans like you’ve never heard it before! Had a great time on the 26th with a small group performing some vintage jazz (nothing from 1940 onwards allowed). We scratched and scraped our way through some bawdy classics.

Interplay Series Orchestra

Vintage Jazz Group, Guildhall Jazz Festival 2014

Finished off the month in a great way with a live video session with Polaroid 85 filmed by rising stars Flyotw Film. This is going to be a smashing video of a new track.

Next up BBC Symphony Orchestra recording with Sir Andrew Davis and a tour to Switzerland with Sakari Oramo!

Night night Diary! xx

Moritzburg Chamber Prize

Whilst I was on the Moritzburg Festival Academy in Gemany, it transpired that one of the chamber concerts was also a competition, with the audience as the jury! I performed the first and second movements of Shotakovich’s glorious second piano trio with the very talented Samuel Justitz (cello) from Switzerland and Ho Jeong Lee (piano) from South Korea. We beat off some really tough competition to steal first prize which was a very nice surprise! I was also interviewed before our concert at the Konzerthaus Berlin by a journalist from Deutsche Welle for a rather interesting article:

Deutsche Welle article 1

Deutsche Welle article 2

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.

I’m Old Fashioned

I don’t know if I’m old enough yet to be considered old-fashioned, but here’s the fourth video from the December sessions with The Garnish Trio.

Crabfeathers

Hi folks. Here’s the third video from the Garnish Trio recording session in December 2011 (recorded by Jack Sugden). It’s ‘The Saga of Harrison Crabfeathers’ by Steve Kuhn, chosen only partly for its amazing name…

London Fashion Week & new video

Seldom do I see 7:00 AM on the streets of central Sunday London. It’s actually quite peaceful. I was playing with string quartet ‘Abraxas’ at a catwalk event called ‘Vauxhall Fashion Scout’ near Covent Garden. Surreal but great. Cartoon-style picture courtesy of ‘Paper Camera’ on my Android smartphone – great app.

Vauxhall Fashion Scout

In other news, my jazz trio is releasing a second video from our December session for public consumption. This is ‘Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise’:

New jazz recordings unveiled

May I present to you the first in a series of filmed recordings of my jazz trio (‘Garnish Trio‘) from December 2011, made at Surrey University. Featuring John Garner on violin, Clement Rooney on piano and James Kenny on double bass; engineered by Jack Sugden. This is Elsa by Earl Zindars.