Here’s the text of an interview in the new Jazz UK which’ll give you an idea what to expect if you pop into Colston Hall foyer tomorrow around 6.00.
How long have you been playing together?
The band started out in 2009 as a trio with Alexander Hawkins on piano and Javier Carmona on drums. I felt I wanted to rebalance the group somewhat, so last year we added Ricardo Tejero on saxophones and clarinet for a few gigs in Spain and it worked better than I could have imagined. Between the four of us there is an excellent mix of shared playing histories (we all go back a long way but had never played in this configuration before) and musical tension, which is a healthy and in fact essential element in any improvising group.
What’s the latest project?
Our latest project was the recording of our debut CD, Opabinia, which we recorded in January for the Babel label with the support of Jazz Services. This is my first ever recording as a leader and so it represents a very special project for me.
What are your hopes for this tour and the future?
This tour will be the first time we have played since making the CD, so I’m champing at the bit to get the group on stage again! Javier no longer lives in the UK, and Ricardo will be moving away soon, so it takes some doing to get us all together. It will be the most extensive tour the quartet has done thus far, and I’m hugely excited to get the chance to take our music to more people, see how it develops through playing night after night, and hope that it will lead to our being able to take it even further afield, both musically and geographically!
What can audiences expect from one of your gigs?
There is a great deal of improvising in this band, but not a great deal of completely free improvising; on the other hand there is a lot of written material but playing it live is not at all about trying to recreate the CD, it’s about trying continually to take each piece to new places. I hope audiences interested in dynamism, interaction, melody, rhythm, noise and silence should find something to enjoy in our music.
What’s the best thing about touring with this line-up?
The best thing about touring with the band – besides the music of course! – is seeing the amazement of the two Spaniards that Alex Hawkins knows more about Spanish football than they do!
(NB: I can’t find a copyright notice on the mag, and it is a free download, so I’m assuming they won’t mind if I post this here to inform about the gig…)
Not sure how this will all work in the wide open spaces of the Colston Foyer but the monthly record fair is on tomorrow so it’ll give people something to do afterwards which they might not expect!