Freedom Principle is currently taking an Easter break to allow us to digest both the vast amounts of chocolate we’ve had recently and the amazing music we’ve hosted at Sandbar since January. But fear not – we’ve been hard at work programming some more incredible artists to take us through until the heady days of Summer, and we think we’ve come up trumps… Full details are over on the Freedom Principle page, but dates in brief are below.
We’re particularly looking forward to June when we’re delighted to be bringing two incredible London based bands up to Manchester, both led by saxophonists – on June 5th we’ve got Cath Roberts Quadraceratops and on June 19th we’ve got Tom Challenger’s Ma as part of their UK tour promoting their fantastic album, ‘The Last’. Check out music by both groups here:
This feast of music will only cost you £3 entry, 100% of which goes straight to the artist – during the Spring season we had some amazing nights with really great audiences, so thanks a lot for that and please continue to support creative live music in Manchester! If you want a reminder about each of the gigs you can join our mailing list by clicking here (don’t forget to tick the Freedom Principle box) or follow us on twitter. See you there…
1st May – Gambol
15th May – No Good Beatniks
5th June – Cath Roberts’ Quadraceratops
19th June – Ma
3rd July – Johnny Hunter Group
Here at Efpi towers we’re all very proud to announce the release of Big Ideas, the eagerly anticipated debut album from our flagship ensemble, Beats & Pieces Big Band. Financed by the prize money won when they were named winners of the European Young Artists’ Jazz Award in Burghausen, Germany last Spring, the album is the culmination of the band’s efforts since their first ever gig at the Manchester Jazz Festival in 2008.
The band launched the album over the past couple of weeks with special launch shows in Manchester and London – highlights from the Manchester show at the RNCM were broadcast on BBC Jazz on 3 and the sold out gig at Ronnie Scott’s in London received glowing 5 star reviews in both The Guardian and The Telegraph, as well as heavy praise from Jazzwise magazine. The video below has some footage from the Ronnie’s gig, as well as a quick chat with bandleader Ben Cottrell about the band’s history and the new album and some post-gig reaction from some enthusiastic audience members.
The album is released on 12th March 2012, and available via the Efpi online shop or other online retailers such as Amazon.
We’re pleased to announce that Efpi’s own Anton Hunter is taking part in a residency all this week at the Band On The Wall, led by award-winning folk band The Unthanks. The aim of the week is to create an evening’s worth of music by collaborating with the band and with the other 11 musicians selected to take part. The fruit of their labours will be on Friday 10th from 7:30pm.
You can keep up to date with what Anton thinks at his website. And up to date with what everyone else thinks as well at this website (content will be uploaded throughout the week, nothing on there at time of posting).
For even more links to Efpi; Clive Hunte, who is playing bass all week, actually filmed some of the Beats & Pieces Big Band live DVD too. So there.
Realy excited about the first Freedom Principle of 2012 TONIGHT, featuring a welcome return for Sandbar favourites GoGo Penguin… For a taste of what to expect check out this video of them performing at the Manchester Jazz Festival last year.
We’ve got an amazing lineup for the rest of the spring season up until Easter, possibly our best ever? But then we seem to be saying that every season, thanks very much for your continued support! Here’s the dates:
17th January – GoGo Penguin
7th February – Mercury Quartet
21st February – Alice Zawadzki
6th March – Adam Fairhall Trio
20th March – Christian Fields Trio
Check out the Freedom Principle page for more details on the artists and the night itself, and if you want to receive exceptionally friendly reminders about the gigs straight to your inbox sign up to our mailing list here – just make sure you tick the Freedom Principle box.
If you’re wondering what the vibe is at Sandbar, check out this amazing video from one of our standout gigs of 2011 of the amazing WorldService Project literally making the earth move – look at the pint glasses!!
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!
Hohoho! Allow all of us at Efpi to be one of the last to wish you a very Merry Christmas… The Efpi Christmas Message has become a bit of a tradition (see the messages from 2009 and 2010) and we’re delighted to present this year’s edition – ‘We Wish You An Atonal Christmas’, filmed at an impromptu Beats & Pieces festive gathering the other day.
Have a great Christmas and a fun New Year – we’ll see you in 2012 when we’ve got some amazing stuff lined up for you!
As part of the epic Efpi Records Showcase week Trio Riot have been out and about in England. We started up in style with 2 days rehearsing in The Dog and Partridge pub in my home town of Bollington. David and Mette threw themselves into the small town experience with a tasty local bitter, greasy fish and chips, and a walk up to the town’s hilltop monument, White Nancy. After this relaxing start we started the tour at the RNCM in Manchester and then headed to the Tin Angel in Coventry, The Forge as part of The London Jazz Festival and The Yardbird (run by the Cobweb Collective) in Birmingham. We had a great response at all the gigs, thanks so much to everyone who came down, especially the ones who also bought our highly exclusive hand-crafted CDs ;-) here’s a few pics and a video clip from Birmingham. Hope to be coming back to the small island soon!
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
In case you haven’t already heard, the Beats & Pieces Big Band released a three track live EP this week, recorded back in June at the legendary Band on the Wall venue in Manchester. They’re back there TONIGHT (October 20th) for the official launch – more info here, the band start playing at 8pm sharp so don’t be late! Take a listen to the EP below…
The EP is available now to download from the Efpi shop. Its also available as an extremely limited edition DVD – only 200 copies have been made, and they’ll be available exclusively at the Band on the Wall launch gig tonight and at the gig at Kings Place during the London Jazz Festival (tickets available now). Check out this video taken from the DVD and get make sure you get down to one of those gigs to get your hands on a copy for yourself…