Friends of Efpi will already know about drummer Johnny Hunter. He features in his brother Anton’s trio, as well as having performed at our Freedom Principle nights with several different groups over the years. In 2012, he brought together this quartet to further explore his experiments with the freedoms and challenges presented by the absence of a harmony instrument. Johnny’s compositions for the group draw on his long-standing interest in the piano-less groups of Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson, through to the more recent ensembles of Dave Douglas, John Zorn and Jim Black – also a massive influence on Johnny’s drumming. The quartet have quickly established themselves as a live draw across the North of England, regularly appearing at Matt & Phred’s in Manchester in particular, with this constant schedule of live gigs culminating in the summer of 2013 with the recording of the group’s debut EP Appropriations, which we are proud to announce will be released on Efpi Records on 16th December 2013.
The members of the quartet were hand picked by Johnny for their individual musical voices, which he ingeniously combines to create an intensely tight group dynamic without ever compromising the freedom of each voice. As Johnny explains: “Graham approaches the group more like Ornette Coleman or Don Cherry might whereas Ben is a lot more melodic, although they often switch roles. Stewart’s playing has such drive and in my opinion is a large part of the group’s energy.” All four of the quartet are highly active in the thriving Manchester jazz scene, with Graham and Ben key members of Efpi stablemates Beats & Pieces Big Band, and Johnny and Stewart key fixtures of a number of bands – Johnny in particular regularly performing in Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield with bands such as Blind Monk Trio, Marley Chingus, Engine Room Favourites or his own reggae/ska band Skamel.
Have a listen to the EP and pre-order here, or come along to the launch gig this Tuesday, 10th December at the Creative Space Jazz Club in Manchester to pick up a copy in a person.
Graham South (trumpet), Ben Watte (tenor saxophone), Stewart Wilson (bass), Johnny Hunter (drums)
Tuesday 10th December @ The Slug and Lettuce, Wilmslow Rd, Didsbury, Manchester, M20 6QZ
Sunday 23rd February @ Number 39 Hopstar Brewery Tap, 39 Bridge Street, Darwen, Lancashire, BB3 2AA
Tuesday 25th February @ ParrJazz, Studio 2, 33-45 Parr Street, Liverpool, L1 4JN
Wednesday 26th February @ Lescar, Sharrowvale Road, Sheffield, S11 8ZF
Sunday 2nd March @ Splinter at The Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1RQ
Posted: December 9th, 2013 | Author: Anton | Filed under: Johnny Hunter Quartet, Releases | Tags: appropriations, ben watte, graham south, johnny hunter, johnny hunter quartet, stewart wilson | No Comments »