Its about time we concluded the epic tale of our business trip to Helsinki – apologies if you’ve been waiting in suspense for the rest of the story…
The main focus of the trip was the Efpi Showcase gig, featuring HAQ, local duo Sagolik, and Beats & Pieces Finland – a big band featuring the cream of Helsinki’s young jazz talent performing the Beats & Pieces charts. It was a great night, the band sounded great even though many of the musicians were sight-reading really tricky charts, and its was a pleasure meeting and performing with everybody! Unfortunately the audio recording of the gig didn’t work out but there’s some photos below.
The next day we headed home after sleeping off the drinking, only to find that our flight to Heathrow had been delayed cos apparently there’d been a little tiny bit of snow that was proving difficult to cope with; needless to say when we finally arrived back there was loads less snow than we’d been used to in Helsinki, how inefficient…
We had a great time in Finland though – cheers to everyone we met and played with, and hope to go back and play some more sometime!
Well, I’ve now said my farewells in Helsinki. It was really hard to leave, I think we’d managed to build a really strong community both as friends and musicians in our short time together. I have no doubt we’ll be staying in touch and our paths will be crossing many times in the future! Much love to everyone!!!
We did however manage to do a few days recording with various groups before the end of term.
Firstly, Andreae/Tikkanen/Meier had a full day recording in Finnvox Studio last Friday. It was a really fantastic place to record and I think we got down some good tracks, even though it was the morning after the Beats & Pieces gig……. enough said. Also, big thanks to Markus for making the recording process so easy. The next day we went in to one of the studios in the Sibelius Academy with David, Mette, Kalle and Eero and recorded in various different formats (duo/trio/quartet/quintet). Another fruitful session, after a morning fraught with technical difficulties (our friend Jimmy was recording and worked some magic to make the thing happen, thanks), we got down to business like the professionals that we are ;-) We had a handful of compositions we wanted to record and then did a string of improvisations. If it all sounds as good as it felt to record it we may have a release in the pipeline so watch this space!
So me and Anton have been in Finland for the past few days visiting Sam and for a few gigs and jams and stuff with some Helsinki musicians. Its been great so far, but pretty cold… Read the rest of this entry »
Efpi Records’ two releases received a joint review by Mike Butler in yesterday’s (11th December) Manchester Evening News, with the Hunter/Andreae Quartet’s EP. 1 gaining 3/5 stars and the Beats & Pieces Big Band’s EP 4/5.
Efpi is a small musicians-run label, documenting the activity of a rising generation of north west jazz musicians. The conception is modest, but the execution is confident. EP 1 by the Hunter/Andreae Quartet is by turn noisy and reflective, at its best when it strays from the theme and cuts loose whereas Beats and Pieces is expansive and structured, and realises Ben Cottrell’s large-scale compositions with the full resources of a big band. Vivid, bristling with ideas: what might not Cottrell and co achieve in the future? Mike Butler
Efpi Records is proud to present the eagerly anticipated debut EP from the Beats & Pieces Big Band. The EP’s 5 tracks feature many of Manchester’s finest young improvising talents performing original compositions for jazz ensemble influenced not only by jazz, but by rock, electronica and contemporary classical music amongst others.
2. yafw (part iii)
all tracks composed and arranged by Ben Cottrell
Available now as a limited edition CD of 100 in unique handmade packaging for £5 (+ £1 p&p) or as a free/donation requested high quality MP3 download. Visit the Releases page to purchase and/or download.
Ben Cottrell : musical director
Sam Andreae, Kenji Fenton, Sam Healey, Jo McCallum : reeds
Tim Cox, Simon Lodge, Owain Roberts, Paul Strachan : trombones
Owen Bryce, Chris Snead, Graham South, Nick Walters : trumpets
It gives me great pleasure to announce that the Beats & Pieces Big Band’s debut EP will be released on Efpi Records on November 30th, and that this will be celebrated to great extent at the official launch party upstairs at Odder in Manchester on December 2nd – come one, come all! The band will be playing two sets featuring all of the EP’s 5 tracks, some newer stuff thats not on the EP and some stuff thats so brand new they don’t have names yet… Its also FREE ENTRY so you can save all your cash to buy the CD!
Doors open 8.30pm, live set from 9.30pm sharp. Odder, Oxford Road, Manchester (opposite the BBC). Contact email@example.com for more information.