Wednesday 20 November 2019

Mike De Souza - Slow Burn at Heart

Mike De Souza
Mike De Souza - guitar
Huw V Williams - bass
Jay Davis - drums

16th November 2019
Jazz at Heart, Headingley, Leeds

Jay Davis
The Mike De Souza Trio features three of the most exciting and distinctive rising stars from the UK's vibrant jazz scene, guitarist Mike De Souza, drummer Jay Davis and bassist Huw V Williams. Jay and Mike first met as students at Leeds College of Music in 2009, but their musical alliance only began to take shape when they took their studies further on the Masters course at the Royal Academy of Music in 2012. Having released the 3-track EP ‘Road Fork’ in December 2018, the trio are now on tour around the UK to celebrate the release of their new album ‘Slow Burn’.

De Souza infuses sounds and themes inspired by alternative-rock bands such as Radiohead and Deerhoof, with the traditional Jazz-Guitar-Trio line-up, as established by jazz greats such as Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Kurt Rosenwinkel.

Huw V Williams
Since running their first jam session in February 2011, Jazz at Heart has run a year-round series of events which include gigs, workshops and jam sessions. Run by Lesley Jeffries and a small team of helpers, and based at the community-run HEART centre it has become an integral part of the Leeds jazz scene.

Next gig at Jazz at Heart is the Matt Anderson Quartet - 14th December 2019

Monday 18 November 2019

EYOT - Real World Studios

Dejan Ilijić
Dejan Ilijić – piano
Slađan Milenović – guitar
Miloš Vojvodić – drums
Marko Stojiljković – bass

11th November 2019
Real World Studios, Box, Wiltshire, UK

Slađan Milenović
Balkan ambient jazz quartet EYOT were back in the studio last week to record a new album under the guidance of producer Jim Barr (Get The Blessing / Portishead). This will be their fifth album after the successes of Horizon (2010), Drifters (2013), Similarity (2014) and Innate (2017).

Miloš Vojvodić
Under the leadership of pianist and composer Dejan Ilijić (brother of the free spirited experimental artist and performer Alen Ilijić) EYOT spent two days at Peter Gabriel's Real World Studios before heading to a secret studio location to add the final brushstrokes to their new work. They finished off their week with a live performance at The Exchange in Bristol alongside Get The Blessing. Review here on B24/7.

Marko Stojiljković
The Serbian band from Nis are no strangers to UK shores after appearing at the Jazz Cafe, Camden in 2014. Yet it was a curious welcome party for the globetrotting musicians as they navigated the FA Cup fans of local football Chippenham Town before reaching the safety of Real World Studios a few miles away in Box. The first tune to be recorded was Savanna or Savannah and what followed was an epic journey over two days through another six compositions. EYOT's music has always referenced nature, an expansive sound with wide horizons and knotted woods to catch the mind. As Jim Barr, Olli Jacobs (sound engineer) and myself heard the first notes of this album take root we looked out onto the rampant autumnal colours in the garden beyond.

Jim Barr

Monday 4 November 2019

Nadine Benjamin & Nicole Panizza - Emergence

Nadine Benjamin

Nadine Benjamin
Nicole Panizza

Listen here

It was a privilege to welcome back super soprano Nadine Benjamin and her partner-in-rhyme, pianist Nicole Panizza! Together, the pair have crafted a new album illuminating the works of nineteenth century American poet Emily Dickinson and it's a beaut! 'Emergence' is a complex album in many ways. Firstly because of its central muse, Emily Dickinson, and her own multifaceted, connected yet disconnected story of empathy with nature and humanity, yet latter years spent in solitude. Nicole and Nadine identify with Emily on many levels and applaud her as ‘a voice for what it means to be human.’ They describe their own reclusive periods required to enable the creative process, counterpointed with performances in front of huge audiences. Secondly, Emergence features a surrounding cast of five composers plus our two intrepid interpreters - Nadine and Nicole, not to mention studio engineers and various technical bods. A lot goes on behind the scenes in the making of most music and some of that is explained in this interview. Nadine and Nicole shed light on their process of releasing Emergence - raising funds, engaging sponsors and supporters, steering the PR campaign, but finding freedom and liberating self-determination along the way. As Nicole says, ‘The power of creating your dream.’

Nicole Panizza
The synchronicity between Nicole and Nadine is apparent, and since they formed a partnership two years ago, it's blossomed into Emergence Music. Nicole has the piano, her classical music credentials, plus a scholarly lust for in-depth research into her subject matter. Nadine has that rare & incredible voice  plus unique charisma that can shift mountains and hearts. She has no classical music training yet has forged a path into the upper echelons of the opera world from her council estate background. Whilst we were both working in Greece in September, I saw Nadine move people to tears with her singing, and witnessed her powerful voice fill the sky in a large open-air theatre, unamplified by a microphone. People relate to Nadine because 'she's one of us', bringing ‘opera to the masses’, and she affirms this by describing herself as a people's person.
Emergence is out now on Stone Records and Nadine & Nicole will be launching it at a concert near you soon, but meanwhile catch them on Dec 1st at Blackheath Halls at what they refer to as 'just a performance'. It'll be way more than that, and well worth emerging for at 11am on a Sunday morning!

Also on this show, tracks by Brazilian choro masters Alvorada Music & young Hackney soul-jazz band Kiki and the Tiger. Production & pics by Norman Druker, artist Alban Low, Sophie Darling, and DJ Ritu. Sound by Patrick Bernard and Resonance 104.4fm.
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