I am a Leeds-based improvising pianist and composer. I am the bandleader for the octet Metamorphic; we will release our third album, The Two Fridas, on the Discus label in April 2018. The album was recorded at Real World Studios in 2017. The artwork for the album has been provided by Gina Southgate and Gonzalo Fuentes, and is inspired by the famous painting 'The Two Fridas' by artist Frida Kahlo. Metamorphic's two previous albums, Coalescence (2013) and The Rock Between (2011) received widespread critical acclaim; with reviewers describing the music as 'utterly remarkable' (Brian Morton, Jazz Journal); 'amazingly original' (Jez Nelson, Jazz on 3); and 'ear-catching and compelling' (Peter Quinn, Jazzwise). Metamorphic are: Chris Williams, alto sax; John Martin, tenor/soprano sax; Ollie Dover, bass clarinet; Kari Nergaard-Bleivik, vocals; Seth Bennett, double bass; Ruth Goller, double bass; Johnny Hunter, drums; Laura Cole, piano/ composer/ arranger.
I have also recently embarked on a solo project, As Warm As The Sun, travelling up to Lyth Arts Centre in Wick, Scotland, for a piano residency there in September 2017. This resulted in recording my first solo album, Enough, at the Steinway studio in Lincolnshire in early 2018. The album will also be released on the Discus label in Summer 2018. Enough will be a double album, of two parts: the first disc will be a series of arrangements of pieces given to me by esteemed colleagues and dear friends, specially for the project; and the second disc will be a series of improvisations and compositions written by myself. The impetus for the solo project initially came from reading the extraordinary work, 'Daybook', a journal by sculptor Anne Truitt. The artwork for the album has been provided by percussionist/artist Walt Shaw.
I am also part of Deep Tide Quartet alongside Martin Archer (saxophones), Kim Macari (trumpet) and Walt Shaw (percussion). The group all contribute compositions to the quartet, and there is also a strong element of free improvisation in the group. Our first album, See One, Do One, Teach One (Discus 2017) has been called 'truly exceptional' (Nick Lea, Jazz Views).
Other projects I am involved in are: The Martin Archer/Julie Tippetts ensemble; Martin Archer's large ensemble, Engine Room Favourites; a new recording project involving Martin Archer, Ron Caines, Gus Garside and Johnny Hunter; a new improvising trio with Keith Jafrate and John Pope; and a new quartet alongside Corey Mwamba, Johnny Hunter and Andy Champion, Nth.
I am also an active member of Fusebox in Leeds and am currently the curator for the 'New Stream' element of Leeds Jazz Festival, which will take place on July 22 at Leeds College of Music.
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