This month’s podcast features some live recordings from our Freedom Principle series at Sandbar, alongside a look ahead to what’s in store for us in new venues.
1. Qrt 2 by Anton Hunter, feat. Sam Andreae (alto sax), Will Lenton (tenor sax), Simon Prince (tenor sax), Ben Cottrell (baritone sax)
2. Arms 1 by A Greater Horror; Rodrigo Constanzo (keys), Mauricio Pauly (bass) & Alex Tod (drums)
3. Relentless by WorldService Project; Dave Morecroft (keys), Raph Clarkson (trombone), Tim Ower (saxes), Liam Waugh (drums), Conor Chaplin (bass)
4. #3 by Bagpipes For Pluto; Francesco Bigoni (tenor sax, clarinet), Markus Pesonen (guitar), Adam Pultz Melbye (double bass), Håkon Berre (drums)
Future Freedom Principle dates will all be announced in due course, including something very exciting in July, but put these in your diaries NOW…
Tues 16th April – WorldService Project @ Dulcimer, Chorlton
Tues 7th May – Aaron Diaz Ensemble @ tbc
Weds 19th June – Bagpipes For Pluto @ tbc
That’s all for this month, see you next time!
Posted: April 1st, 2013 | Author: Anton | Filed under: podcast | No Comments »
For the third podcast in our monthly series, I’ve interviewed Paddy Baxter, Huw Wahl and Insa Longhorst (aka Castles Built In Sand collective) about their new film ‘Helpyourself Manchester’. Their film is about a group of DIY gig promoters who started putting on gigs in Manchester in the early 2000′s, and aims to shine a light on the great work they did, and how it’s influenced the scene today.
We chat a bit about it all and play some of the tracks featured in the film.
1. Our Beautiful Ridiculous Plan – ‘Bleaklow’ (Dave Birchall – guitar, Olie Brice – double bass)
2. Enablers – ‘Career-Minded Individual’ enablerssf.com
3. Mcwatt – All FM live recording (Sarah McWatt – flute, Seth Bennett – double bass)
4. The Unit Ama – ‘M’
5. Burnst – Live recording from Albert Road house-gig (fade out due to time constraints and it being a 30 min track…) burnst.bandcamp.com
Hope you enjoy it!
Posted: December 1st, 2012 | Author: Anton | Filed under: Uncategorized, podcast | No Comments »
Once again, the Manchester Jazz Festival is upon us, we’ll be there most of the week indulging in posh burgers, foreign lager and loads of jazz. If you’re finding the programme a bit daunting, allow us to talk you through the week, with our Top Ten Gigs You Shouldn’t Miss. In chronological order of course, so no-one’s offended. I’ve also assumed that Stan Sulzmann and John Surman are already on your lists so you don’t need to be told twice…
1. Alice Zawadzki – Fri 13th 10pm – Matt & Phreds. Alice is a vocalist many of you will know, she’s a frequent feature of our Freedom Principle nights, and always brings some beautiful music with her. This gig she’s expanded her band from a quintet to sextet with the addition of our very own Ben Cottrell on tenor saxophone. Expect a wide range of material from all round the world, and from Alice herself.
2. A Greater Horror – Sat 14th 3pm – Festival Pavillion. A relatively new group on the Manchester scene, A Greater Horror have nevertheless found the time to play not once but twice for Freedom Principle at Sandbar. Bringing years of electronic experimentation into a piano trio format, combined with a healthy obsession with pushing boundaries wherever possible, this makes for an exciting dynamic gig. They’ll be launching their debut self-released EP at this gig too.
3. Roller Trio – Mon 16th 11:45am – Festival Pavillion. Winners of last year’s Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, this young sax/guitar/drums trio from Leeds are making some big waves nationally already. Their debut album is out in August on F-ire Presents and is sure to showcase their own brand of improv-meets-jazz-meets-electronics-meets-rock. They’ll be on the radio soon too, as later on in the evening they’re playing at a live recording hosted by Jazz on 3 and BBC Introducing.
4. HSQ + 2 Mon 16th 1pm - St. Ann’s Church. Saxophone quartet HSQ have a wide palette of sound already; between the four of them they play bass sax all the way up to soprano, plus flute and clarinet from time to time. For this gig they’re expanding further by adding harpist Rachel Gladwin and percussionist Andy Hay, and drawing on influences from classical and British roots music as well as jazz as you’d expect. A unique gig, that’s for sure, name us any other time you’ve seen a harp and bass sax play together on a jazz gig? No? Thought not…
5. Phil Meadows Group – Tues 17th 11:45am – Festival Pavillion. A sax player that will be known to many of you, originally from Bolton, this is his brand new quintet formed on arrival in that-there-London. Expect some fantastic playing from all the band, including the much-talked-about Laura Jurd on trumpet, all framed within some fresh compositions, while still respecting the jazz tradition. (And then stick around for Steve Hawkins/Sam Healey quintet for some hard-hitting be-bop and beyond. Those familiar with Sam’s blazing solos in Beats & Pieces will know not to miss this.)
6. Noose – Weds 18th 11:45am – Festival Pavillion. We first happened upon Noose when Beats & Pieces were playing on the same bill as them at last year’s Mostly Jazz festival in Birmingham. Made up of an unusual line-up of vocals, drums, piano and lead by tenor saxophonist Luis Mather, they create a really intriguing soundworld; blendinga range of influences including “mathematical concepts such as fractal geometry.” All we know is they’ve blown us away each time we’ve seen them, and I suspect they’ll do it again
7. Kyran Matthews Quartet – Weds 18th 3pm – Festival Pavillion. Another rising star from the RNCM, you might have seen Kyran once or twice covering a sax chair in the Beats & Pieces Big Band, he’s definitely one to look out for, and this gig should be a great showcase. Joined by Beats & Pieces tenor man Ben Watte, this “chordless” quartet have a strong interest in Scandinavian jazz, which comes through in their originals, here played alongside some arrangements of music by Julian Arguelles and others.
8. Sons of Kemet/Anton Hunter Trio – Thurs 19th 8pm – Band on the Wall. Obviously there’s a vested interest here, with the debut of Anton Hunter’s brand new trio (rehearsals are sounding great so far, watch this space for some footage soon), but the main event is exciting enough to warrant inclusion on this list. Led by saxophonist Shabaka Hutchings, and completed by Oren Marshall on tuba (he’s phenomenal, to be seen to be believed) with Seb Roachford AND Tom Skinner on drums. Heavy doesn’t even come close. There aren’t many places you can hear music like this, as their album’s not even out yet, so get yourself to Band on the Wall! (and come early because Anton starts at 8pm sharp…)
9. Unfurl + Matt Owens Ensemble – Fri 20th 2:15pm – Festival Pavillion. An intriguing double-bill featuring two composers previously selected for the MJF Originals strand, both drawing musics from around the world into an improvisational setting. Olivia Moore’s Unfurl project has long been associated with Indian music, and blending Egyptian percussion into the mix alongside stalwarts of the Manchester jazz scene Gavin Barras and Jim Faulkner. Matt Owens looks more west than east, and brings influences from Latin America (he’s been a prominent force on this scene in Manchester) and New Orleans, alongside classical minimalism. A similarly heavyweight band ensures this’ll be a double-bill not to miss.
10. Neil Yates’ Five Countries Trio – Sat 21st 12:30pm – Festival Pavillion. We’ve been waiting for this album to be released since we heard this trumpet/guitar/percussion trio make it’s debut at MJF 2007. And it’s not disappointed. Neil continues his journey through folk music that he started with the excellent “New Origins” ‘celtic-jazz’ album. This trio presents a more reflective mood, with greater space, and casting the net wider, with eastern European folk being thrown into the mix thanks to guitarist Zsolte Bende’s presence.
And don’t forget to dance the night away on the closing night with Hackney Colliery Band at the Festival Pavillion, and/or Dub Jazz Soundsystem at Matt & Phred’s.
Should be another great year! Let us know your favourites in the comments below, or find us on Twitter, and keep your eyes peeled for some Efpi Sampler CDs. See you out there!
Posted: July 10th, 2012 | Author: Anton | Filed under: General news, Misc, Uncategorized | No Comments »
Happy New Year Efpi fans!
It’s been a pretty big year of firsts for us, and as is traditional at this point, we at Efpi Towers thought we’d take stock of last year. And probably have a little sneaky peek at what’s in store in 2012 while we’re at it.
The big success story has been Beats & Pieces Big Band, their own list of firsts are more than enough to be going on with. They started the year with a debut gig at Ronnie Scott’s in London in January, supported Chick Corea and Gary Burton as part of their prize for winning the Burghausen European Young Jazz Award in March, recorded their debut live DVD at Manchester’s Band On The Wall in June, and in November they fitted in both a headline gig at the London Jazz Festival and the recording of their debut album with legendary producer Tony Platt. You can read more about Ben’s take on everything over at the band’s website.
Not wanting to be left behind, the rest of our artists have been busy too! Way back in February we released our first full-length album, ‘Walking Walking Falling’ by HAQ, which was supported by our first ever Jazz Services tour and some good reviews. The Jazz Mann blog said the album “is a fine record in it’s own right with HAQ demonstrating a distinctive sound of their own” while Time Out said “they work through evolving textural washes and noir-ish folk moods through to full on skronk. Well worth a look.”
July saw the release of the debut recording by pianist Claire James and her trio Jim Molyneux (drums) and Stewart Wilson (bass). Coupled with a successful gig at the Manchester Jazz Festival the EP ‘Lines’ also won praise from the Jazz Mann “The EP covers a lot of ground over the course of its four tracks and it is immediately clear that Claire James, in addition to her pianistic skills, is also a composer of considerable promise.” Hot on it’s heels was the debut record from Aarhus-based quartet Pink Fem. It’s an outstanding record if we do say so ourselves, have a listen over at the shop.
Most of the label’s activity was focused on November. Trio Riot led the charge with their first UK tour, incorporating our first label showcase at the London Jazz Festival with HAQ and the Claire James Trio. Sam wrote a post about it with some nice videos and everything, have a read. Not only that but Aaargh! also played in the UK for the first time, and then Switzerland for the first time too.
In amongst all the excitement, HAQ released their first collaboration with Barcelona-based sound artist Tullis Rennie, a remixes EP called ‘In Free Fall‘. Tullis has worked with Efpi before, you’ll have heard his electronic trickery on the Beats & Pieces Big Band remixes EP (which got updated recently with a new track so check it out!)
And we’ll be hitting the ground running in 2012… Trio Riot are back, supporting gaNNets (the improv-y side-project of Guillemots’ front-man Fyfe Dangerfield no less) on some of their UK tour (check listings for details) in January; Beats & Pieces Big Band release their debut full-length album in February with a host of dates around the country; and Silence Blossoms will be recording and releasing material that we can’t wait to hear!
Have a great 2012, hope to see you while we’re out and about!
Posted: January 4th, 2012 | Author: Anton | Filed under: Beats & Pieces, Claire James Trio, General news, Trio Riot | Tags: 2011, 2012, Beats & Pieces, beats & pieces big band, big band, claire james trio, HAQ, trio riot | No Comments »
Our good friend and close collaborator Tullis Rennie (you can hear him on the Beats & Pieces Big Band remixes as well) has totally reinvented three tracks from HAQ’s debut album ‘Walking Walking Falling’ for a download-only EP entitled ‘In Free Fall‘ – listen/buy below or via our online shop. To perfectly compliment the music, there’s also some brand new artwork by Angela Guyton.
Tullis has been mangling sound through his laptop for years, a lot of the results of which can be found on the Concrete Moniker label. Of particular Efpi-related interest is this improv trio with Anton from HAQ, and his newest project The Electronic Exchange, a collaboration with singer Najia Baji, who was recently spotted guesting with the Beats & Pieces Big Band.
In Free Fall
Catch HAQ on tour next week:
Mon 14th November – Coventry
Tues 15th November – London Jazz Festival
Weds 16th November – Manchester
Full details here.
Posted: November 8th, 2011 | Author: Anton | Filed under: HAQ, Releases | Tags: angela guyton, HAQ, in free fall, tullis rennie, walking walking falling | No Comments »
November 2011 is shaping up to be the busiest month in our short but colourful history! Not only will we be locking ourselves away to work on some exciting releases for 2012, but Efpi musicians from home and abroad will also be embarking on an extensive showcase tour all over the country, including two gigs at the London Jazz Festival. Kicking off in Sheffield on the 9th with some free improv from Efpi co-founders Sam Andreae and Anton Hunter, the tour will then see various combinations of HAQ, Trio Riot and the Claire James Trio wind their way across England before ending on November 19th with the final chance to catch the Beats & Pieces Big Band in 2011, the conclusion to an incredible year for the band.
We’re particularly excited to introduce the UK to Trio Riot (pictured above), a sax-sax-drum group formed in Helsinki in 2009, as well as teaming up with The Forge in Camden again for our first ever Efpi showcase gig as part of the London Jazz Festival. Also at the festival, we’re proud that Beats & Pieces have been included in a programming series at Kings Place that throws the spotlight on young artists from across the UK, Europe and USA alongside Robert Glasper, Gretchen Parlato, Nik Bartsch and Rory Simmons’ Fringe Magnetic.
All the dates are below, hope to see you at one or more of them. Click the links for venue info and ticket details!
Wednesday 9th – Sam Andreae/Anton Hunter improv gig @ The Riverside, Sheffield
Thursday 10th – Sam Andreae/Anton Hunter improv gig @ Fuel Cafe Bar, Manchester
Sunday 13th – Trio Riot @ RNCM, Manchester
Monday 14th – Trio Riot & HAQ @ Taylor John’s, Coventry
Tuesday 15th – HAQ, Trio Riot & Claire James Trio @ The Forge, London *London Jazz Festival*
Wednesday 16th – HAQ & Trio Riot @ Matt & Phred’s, Manchester
Thursday 17th – Trio Riot @ Yardbird, Birmingham
Saturday 19th – Beats & Pieces Big Band @ Kings Place, London *London Jazz Festival*
There will also be a brand new Efpi Records Sampler CD available at the gigs, featuring some as-yet-unheard live recordings and a general mix of what we’re up to.
Posted: September 19th, 2011 | Author: Anton | Filed under: Beats & Pieces, Claire James Trio, HAQ, Noise Upstairs, Trio Riot | Tags: Beats & Pieces, beats & pieces big band, claire james trio, HAQ, london jazz festival, november showcase tour, trio riot | No Comments »
It’s been a while since our last gig, but the 265 Quartet will be performing again soon and we can’t wait! Firstly, we’re really excited to have been asked to play at the Harmonic Festival in Birmingham. Run by the Cobweb Collective, it’s in its second year and this year boasts Arve Henriksen and Iain Ballamy amongst it’s other acts. Looking forward to sharing the bill with Splice (featuring PA Tremblay) and Noose (who were great at Mostly Jazz this year).
We’ll also be playing in Manchester the following week for the Raise Your Voice collective at the Anthony Burgess Institute, which is by all accounts a great venue!
September 30th – 4:30pm (sharp!) – Harmonic Festival, Birmingham
October 7th – 7:30pm – Anthony Burgess Institute, Manchester
Posted: September 16th, 2011 | Author: Anton | Filed under: 265 Quartet | Tags: 265 Quartet, birmingham, harmonic festival, Manchester, raise your voice | No Comments »
It’s time to get stuck in to this year’s Manchester Jazz Festival, starting today!. To help you on your way, we’ve put together our Top Ten of things we want to see this year (arranged here in date order so as not to cause any arguments…). Enjoy!
1. Gambol & ACV - Sat 23rd 2pm/4pm – Festival Pavilion - Two out-of-town bands here, each led by the bassist. Chris Mapp’s Gambol (pictured above) drove up from Birmingham to play a blinding set at Sandbar for us earlier in the year and it’ll be a pleasure to see them back in Manchester, expect free-rock-jazz textures amongst everything else! ACV hail from Newcastle and we met them when HAQ played up there. Led by Andy Champion, they again take influences from a wide range of places i and out of the jazz tradition, it’s going to be great to see them live for the first time.
2. Claire James Trio - Mon 25th 3pm – Festival Pavilion. – A recent favourite at our Freedom Principle @ Sandbar series, Claire’s tunes and playing are a refreshing approach to the piano trio. We were so impressed that we’re releasing her debut EP (see official announcement soon…). Also featuring sometime Beats & Pieces drummer Jim Molyneux.
3. Corey Mwamba/Dave Kane/Joshua Blackmore - Mon 25th 8pm – Festival Pavilion. Corey Mwamba is turing out to be something of a force of nature, a incredible vibes player with a thirst for experimentation that means we’ve no idea what to expect, except that it’ll be well worth seeing. Dave Kane and Troyka’s Josh Blackmore are about as a good a rhythm section as you could ask for working in contemporary jazz today.
4. Adam Fairhall’s Imaginary Delta - Tues 26th 8pm – Band On The Wall. This year’s MJF Originals commission sees Adam blending elements from across the whole timeline of jazz. Expect to hear influences ranging from stride piano and blues right through to electronics, courtesy of Paul Rogers on laptop and turntables. If you’ve heard their duo album, you’ll be excited about this, and that’s just one of the many sides to this composer’s work.
5. Stuart McCallum Distilled Album Launch - Weds 27th 7:30pm – RNCM – Stuart has been at the forefront of Manchester’s creative community for a long time, and won the MJF New Talent award a few years ago (before funding cuts got rid of it). For anyone who’s seen him live recently (like, at Sandbar, for example), these are the tunes he’s been working on, but with a full wind and string ensemble. Expect some fiery guitar playing and an impressive visual display from visual artist Linder.
6. Skamel - Weds 27th 10pm – Matt & Phred’s - My band :-) Set up by Johnny Hunter initally to play the music of French Ska band Raspigaous, the sextet have broaden horizons to play a wide range of reggae/ska/dub music, alongside original tunes, all put through a “jazz” brain and opened up to allow plenty of improvisation and freedom. Perfect chance to unwind with a drink after Stuart McCallum’s gig at the RNCM.
7. Chris Cundy/Stephen Grew - Thurs 28th 1pm – St. Ann’s Church. Two solo recitals by phenomenal improvisers. Pianist Stephen we’re familiar with, having heard him with Evan Parker, Mick Beck and countless others, whereas Chris is a relatively new name to us (hailing as he does from the South-West), but the prospect of a bass clarinet solo set is far too intriguing a one to miss.
8. Edition Records Showcase - Thurs 28th 8pm – Band on the Wall - Edition appeared a few years ago and right away started producing some incredible releases from the likes of Phronesis, Bourne/Davis/Kane and many others. Here, label boss Dave Stapelton leads his quintet, follwed by young Danish sax player Marius Neset, who catapulted himself into our attention with some blistering displays in Django Bates’ group. Can’t ask for a bigger endorsement than that!
9. GoGo Penguin - Fri 29th 11:45am – Festival Pavilion – This trio should need no introduction. Anyone who’s witnessed their Sandbar performances will know all about the energy that Chris and the trio produce. They take the work done by the late Esbjorn Svenssion as a starting point and bring in a whole host of other influences to produce a moving set of music.
10. Richard Iles’ Miniature Brass Emporium - Fri 29th 8pm – Festival Pavilion – A master-composer, this sees the return of Richard’s large ensemble featuring the cream of Manchester’s jazz talent. Also featuring a very special guest, Iain Ballamy (him from Loose Tubes and Food…). Should be a very special night.
So there you go, there’s a whole host of other gigs happening, including some ones we’re really looking forward to but couldn’t fit in here. Check out the festival website for a full list of everything, and have a great week!
Posted: July 22nd, 2011 | Author: Anton | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »
Efpi’s photographer of choice Martin Wilson (you’ll find his work on the inlay to Walking Walking Falling, as well as some live Beats & Pieces Big Band shots 18 months ago) is featured in what looks to be an interesting photography exhibition at Victoria Baths in Manchester tomorrow till Wednesday.
Here’s what the show’s website has to say.
Echoes – a photography group show opening on the 9th May 2011 within Victoria Baths, Manchester. The images explore ideas of life, death and photography and are a unique chance to view this new work within the incredible setting of Victoria Baths, a unique building in itself, steeped in history.
The photography will be sympathetically hung throughout the baths, inviting viewers to explore the many intricacies of the building, experiencing each artist’s use of the space, and listening to the echoes.
Preview: 9th May 2011
General view: 10th and 11th May 2011
Martin’s own website is here.
And here’s a sample of his work.
Posted: May 8th, 2011 | Author: Anton | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »