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O'Gallagher, John / Liam Noble / Drew Gress / Jim Bashford: Meridians (FMR)

NY Drummer Jim Bashford brought together the quartet of John O'Gallagher on alto saxophone, Drew Gress on bass, and Liam Noble on piano, writing these lyrical free jazz compositions that they brought on a tour of the UK, recording this album in the studio in Birmingham while touring, the band on fire as they work through Bashford's martial art's-influenced pieces.
 

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product information:


UPC: 748079797468

Label: FMR
Catalog ID: FMRCD533-1218
Squidco Product Code: 27364

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2018
Country: UK
Packaging: Digipack - 3 panel
Recorded at Rain Studios, in Kings Heath, Birmingham, England, on February 10th 2017 by Luke Morrish Thomas


Personnel:

John O'Gallagher-alto saxophone

Drew Gress-bass

Jim Bashford-drums

Liam Noble-piano

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Artist Biographies:

"John O'Gallagher is considered one of the most compelling alto saxophonists and composers at work today on the New York jazz scene. He is known for an innovative style which pushes the boundaries of jazz while rooted in it's tradition.

"Mr. O'Gallagher is an exploratory alto saxophonist with a clear melodic streak" - The New York Times

Born in Anaheim Califorina in 1964 he began playing alto saxophone in grade school after his family moved to Spokane, Washington. Upon graduating high school he studied briefly at Eastern Washington University before moving to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. There he studied with legendary saxophone gurus Joe Viola, Jerry Bergonzi and George Garzone.

During the past 25 years living in New York he has become known for his projects as a leader, and as a sought after sideman, working with artist such as Joe Henderson, Maria Schnieder, Kenny Wheeler, Billy Hart, Tony Malaby, Jeff Williams, Tom Rainey, Chris Cheek, Ralph Alessi, Rudresh Manhathappa, Mike Formanek, Ben Monder and numerous others."

-John O'Gallagher Website (https://johnogallagher.com/bio)
7/17/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Drew Gress (born November 20, 1959) is an American jazz double-bassist and composer born in Trenton, New Jersey, raised in the Philadelphia area, and currently based in New York City.

Biography

Gress became interested in jazz and the double bass while a teenager, joining the Pennsbury Concert Jazz Band, a nationally-prominent high school jazz ensemble, in 1975, spending two years as bassist and arranger for the group. His interest in composing original material for large ensembles, such as those of Johnny Richards, Billy May, and Pat Williams, led him to Baltimore's Towson State University in 1977, where he studied composition and counterpoint with Hank Levy, known for his work with Don Ellis and Stan Kenton. While at Towson, Gress established a playing relationship with saxophonist Ellery Eskelin, with whom he cofounded Joint Venture with Paul Smoker and Phil Haynes. They released three albums on Enja Records between 1987 and 1994.

During the 1980s in the Baltimore/Washington DC area, he played with Sonny Stitt, Clifford Jordan, Albert Dailey, Mose Allison, Zoot Sims, Cab Calloway, Buddy Hackett, Phyllis Diller, and pianist Marc Copland, with whom he still plays today. He also served on the faculties of the Peabody Conservatory, Towson State University, and the Baltimore School for the Arts. He formed a quartet, Tekke, in 1989 with David Kane, Glenn Cashman, and Michael Smith.

In 1997, he cofounded the cooperative improvising trio Paraphrase with saxophonist/composer Tim Berne and drummer Tom Rainey. Together, they pursued a compositional approach to free improvisational practice. They recorded three live albums together and toured extensively.

In 1998, he released his first album as leader, Heyday, with his band Jagged Sky (featuring David Binney, Ben Monder, and Kenny Wollesen). 2001 saw the release of Spin & Drift with Uri Caine, Berne, and Rainey, in which he played pedal steel guitar for the first time.

Earlier in the 1990s, he served tenures as artist in residence at University of Colorado-Boulder and at Russia's St. Petersburg Conservatory.

Since 1992, Gress has maintained an extensive touring schedule, traveling to Europe, Asia, and South America. Those with whom he has and continues to work include Tim Berne, Ravi Coltrane, Uri Caine, John Hollenbeck, Fred Hersch, Marc Copland, Don Byron, Steve Coleman, Dave Douglas, Jack DeJohnette, John Surman, Ray Anderson, Erik Friedlander, Kenny Werner, Bill Carrothers, Ralph Alessi, Tony Malaby, Steve Lehman, and Edsel Gomez. To date, he has appeared on over 140 recordings, 4 of which have received Grammy nominations.

Gress' own ensembles have toured Europe four times since 2002, in addition to isolated festival appearances in Italy and Portugal. In 2004, the UK's BBC Radio and London's Guardian selected his quartet's live radio broadcast as Jazz Concert of the Year.

Composition awards include an NEA grant (1990), funding from Meet the Composer (2003), a Chamber Music America New Works Grant (2005), a CMA French-American Exchange Grant (2007), and an Encore Grant from that same organization (2008). He continues to compose for larger groups and has begun experimenting with virtual synthesizers."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drew_Gress)
7/17/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"Jim Bashford, who hails from Sutton Coldfield UK started playing drums age 10 and was influenced by the rock/progressive rock and jazz scene worldwide, he was mainly self taught for the first 6 years then he studied drums under Steve Palmer.

The CONSTRUCTION quartet formed by Jim performed a tour in 2010 of original compositions with Icelandic guitarist Hilmar Jensson, Johnny Brierley bass and Robin Fincker sax and clarinet. The quartet was then joined by Tim Harries on bass with a recording to follow called CENTRELINE THEORY which has recently been released on LEO Records 2017.

After 14 years of playing as a sideman in bands covering all genres and also working in construction full time whilst studying on a popular music course, Jim then moved on to study at the Birmingham Conservatoire for the BMus (Hons.) jazz course where he continued under drum tutors such as the great Tony Levin, Gene Calderazzo, Jeff Williams and Malcolm Garrett. He runs Auditions at the Birmingham Conservatoire and organises workshops with highly acclaimed artists on the jazz scene in Europe and the U.S. and also collaborates with Cheltenham Jazz Festival to run a session with the conservatoire students and Trondheim students as well as organising auditions for the course in the U.K. and Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

Jim is a member of no less than 20 different ensembles and tours extensively throughout the UK and Europe, including appearances at London jazz venues such as the Barbican Centre, The Vortex and Kings Place; and prominent venues in Birmingham. He has also performed in prestigious international jazz festivals including the Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Juan le pins Jazz Festival and future engagements at the London Jazz Festival. Also a short tour with Dave Sinclair from the band Caravan with a recording in Japan to follow and also recently a European tour with Katie Melua."

-Jim Bashford Website (http://jimbashford.co.uk/bio)
7/17/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

"After studying music at Oxford University, and jazz at the Guildhall in London, Liam Noble started to build a reputation of note playing with Stan Sulzmann, Anita Wardell, John Stevens and Harry Beckett. His first CD, a solo entitled "Close Your Eyes" was released in 1994, and contained a mix of standards, originals and improvisations. This mixture of approaches has characterized his music ever since. In 1997 he joined the Bobby Wellins Quartet, the rhythm section of which continues today as the Liam Noble Trio, recently documented on the 2009 CD "BRUBECK", gaining an almost unprecedented 5 star review in The Guardian. In 2001, "In The Meantime", released on Basho Records, explored longer compositional forms and unorthodox improvisational structures, and April 2002 saw a commission from Birmingham Jazz resulting in a song cycle based on Japanese Death Poetry. Noble plays keyboards and samples throughout, marking a new foray into electronica inspired by artists such as Aphex Twin and Arto Lindsay. In 2004, following a Cheltenham Festival gig the previous year, Liam recorded the acclaimed "Romance Among The Fishes" on Basho Records with guitarist Phil Robson and the New York rhythm section of Drew Gress and Tom Rainey on bass and drums respectively.

Liam's working relationship has continued with Tom Rainey in the free improv trio, "Sleepthief" with Ingrid Laubrock, with an album released in September 2008, and a second, "The Madness Of Crowds" in 2011. Other frequent collaborators have included Christine Tobin, Paul Clarvis and Julian Siegel. His growing reputation as a free improviser has also resulted in recent performances with Mary Halverson, Marc Ducret, Mat Maneri, Evan Parker, Okkyung Lee and Peter Evans. In June 2011 he was featured on a recording by Zhenya Strigalev with Larry Grenadier, Tim LeFebvre and Eric Harland. His newest project is an expanded trio with Chris Batchelor and Shabaka Hutchings. As a kind of summation of the diverse areas in which he works combined with a compositional eye for structure, this new group was highly praised at its premiere performance at the Cheltenham Jazz festival in 2012. Liam holds posts as Lecturer in Jazz at Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity College of Music. He has published 4 volumes of transcriptions of the Bill Evans Trio, and a book of original compositions "Jazz Piano; An In Depth Look at the Styles of the Masters", both published by Hal Leonard."

-Liam Noble Website (http://www.liamnoble.co.uk/biog.html)
7/17/2019

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:


1. Chi Meditation And The Don Teen 6:19

2. Syeung Donteen (36 Clockwise Rotations) 2:10

3. Long Bridge Principal 4:09

4. Hay Goang Breathing 4:33

5. For Ray And The Laughter 10:34

6. The Emperor's Three Questiosn 2:54
sample the album:








descriptions, reviews, &c.

"This quartet was put together by drummer Jim Bashford and two years ago undertook a short tour of UK recording an album at the end of the tour. On the occasion of the release of the album, entitled Meridians on the FMR Records label, Jim invited Drew back over to do two days of workshops with the jazz students at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire and to play a gig with the quartet in the Eastside Jazz Club at the Conservatoire.

All the tunes were penned by Jim and he has developed a very distinctive compositional voice. Most of his tunes take their inspiration from the martial arts and kung fu, so we have titles such as Chi Meditation and the Don Teen or Hay Goang Breathing, and certainly this inspiration results in music that has its own strong and distinctive character. The quartet really brings out this distinctiveness with strong individual voices that fit extremely well together; Jim and Drew on double bass provide a strong and integrated foundation and the interaction between John on the alto and Liam on piano is very special. Jim's drumming is impressive: he came relatively late to the jazz course at the Conservatoire with, I believe, a background in rock drumming. Being taught by Tony Levin and playing with musicians such as Paul Dunmall has enabled him to add a wonderful grasp of contemporary jazz drumming to the energy of his rock beginnings.

All of this is apparent on the CD; for example, on Track 1 Chi Meditation and the Don Teen John and Liam interact through short solos complementing each other perfectly. Track 3 Long Bridge Principle features a very interesting rhythmic figure built through the interaction between Drew and Jim. The longest track, For Ray and the Laughter, is a tribute to Jim's uncle and its quirky free-er feel perhaps reflects something of his uncle's character.

It was instructive to hear the music live after listening to it on the Cd. As ever in the live situation, the music came across more strongly than on the Cd and the way the music is built around the strong individual voices of the four musicians was very much in evidence. One particular example: on the Cd the track For Ray and the Laughter seems, as noted above, to focus on the quirky and witty side of Ray, in the concert it seemed to focus on the laughter and the fun. Nonetheless I strongly recommend the Cd.

I should add that in the first part of the concert two student groups presented the material that they had been working on with Drew. This material included tunes by Ornette Coleman and Bill McHenry as well as Drew's own. Both groups performed well, but Ensemble 2 struck me as being just little more relaxed with the material."-Tony Dudley Evans, TDE Promotions


Get additional information at TDE Promotions
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