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A bonus – Alcyona Mick and Tori Freestone, 20 (and 21) Feb

February 21, 2018

Always nice to be able to recommend something at first hand – so a quick note to say I caught Alcyona Mick and Tori Freestone’s lovely piano/sax duo playing their short lunchtime set today at Bath Spa University (happened to be teaching a session there in the p.m. so just had to roll up early).

It was delightful – they make a lot of music for just two people. Often Monkish (Mick has a Monk-flavoured number of her own that works especially well), but not all the time. They’re appearing – for a longer sets, I’m sure – at Future Inns in Bristol tomorrow night (Thursday). I can’t make that. But you should definitely get down there and hear them.

The venue blurb tells you more:

Tori and Alcyona formed their Duo in 2015 playing Monk tunes on & project in the Canary islands, and were given their first platform at Manchester Jazz Festival in 2015. The two have known each other for years, working together on the London scene in many different ensembles including the London Jazz orchestra.

In the duo setting Alcyona and Tori have & very spontaneous, interactive approach to playing, and like to follow whatever direction the music takes them in on the day, using the space to take risks and have fun, as well as explore the more quiet tender moments that are created. The two share a large range of musical influences that fall not only within the jazz genre, including Brazilian music, English folk, Latin, Arabic, free playing, Monk and more, and their aim is to take the audience on an engaging journey through this sound world.

Performances have included features at Manchester, Marsden, and Lancaster Jazz festivals, the Vortex, Museo del Grifo in Lanzarote (Spain).

The duo recorded their debut album ‘Criss Crossʼ at the Artesuono Studio in Udine, Italy in 2017, featuring special guest vocalist Brigitte Beraha, and will be released on transatlantic label Whirlwind recording in March 2018.

Tori and Alcyona are embarking on an Arts Council funded UK tour in the Spring 2018, and will also be performing dates in Germany, Italy and Slovenia.

The album features original material, apart from ‘Criss Cross’ which was written by Thelonious Monk, in the spirit of the origins of this project.

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