Alam Nathoo

'Sick solo man' - Quincy Jones

Website of jazz saxophonist Alam Nathoo, featuring news, music, video and live dates.

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'Fours' Spotlight: Tom Hewson

'No man is an island'. This popular quote by John Donne holds a particular truth in my experience as a musician. Besides the obvious parallel in terms of performing in a group context, over the years I have been inspired, motivated, comforted and even dependent, on being a small part of one of many 'scenes' in London and beyond. Musicians learn from each other, practice and perform together, and also hang out together, discussing everything from politics to practice patterns and sharing music and experience. Thankfully in London there is an abundance of amazing, generous musicians, and the 'Fours' project is a series of recordings representing a fraction of the 'scene' I find myself drawn to. This week I turn the spotlight to...

Tom Hewson

Tom and I first really connected musically playing duo, having discovered a shared love of the Tony Bennett/Bill Evans recordings as well as John Taylor's work as both performer and composer. It wasn't long until Tom was introducing me to the amazing body of work by Keith Jarrett's European quartet, bringing along transcriptions of some of the compositions for us to work through. Soon we were regularly experimenting with playing in the duo context and writing some of our own music to try out, and I felt that this, along with some deeply insightful coaching from the fantastic Nick Weldon, really improved my own musical understanding, as well as helping the pair of us to gel as performers.

Since then we have collaborated on all sorts, including performing in each others projects and co-founding a trio with one of my favorite drummers/humans Peter Ibbetson, which we are hoping to revive as soon as the opportunity presents itself. Tom plays a blinder on my 'Quintet' record, and we also recorded an EP together titled 'Aubade', which I believe was one of Tom's earlier forays into the murky waters of mixing/production. Having followed his progress over the years, working with the likes of BARLI, I gave him the task of mixing the whole of the 'Fours' record, involving 3 bands over 18 tracks, which I am so happy with and grateful for.

Besides being able to deal with pretty much anything you throw at him musically, however complex, Tom has a wonderful sensitivity and keen imagination. On all three recordings we have made together, there are moments where I have merely suggested a mood, or an 'atmosphere' of sorts in an improvised section, and Tom has managed to interpret this vague direction and create something beautiful, purposeful and imaginative each time. My favorite example of this on the record is 'My Funny Valentine', where Tom, Nick and Corrie all combine to create an atmospheric performance that ranges from heartbreak to heart-warming.

Tom has already released a couple of stunning records, both met with critical acclaim. One is with his amazing trio 'Treehouse' featuring Lewis Wright on Vibraphone and Calum Gorlay on double bass, and the other a solo piano recording entitled 'Slightly Peculiar'. Both of these fantastic accomplishments, along with lots of other musical goings on, can be found at Tom's website:

www.tomhewson.com

Check it out!

 

I'd like to thank Tom once again for his musical and technical prowess alongside Nick Jurd and Corrie Dick on Vol. II of the 'Fours' record. Listen to 'Fours' Vol. II here. Available to Buy/Stream now.

'Fours' Spotlight: Dave Ingamells

'No man is an island'. This popular quote by John Donne holds a particular truth in my experience as a musician. Besides the obvious parallel in terms of performing in a group context, over the years I have been inspired, motivated, comforted and even dependent, on being a small part of one of many 'scenes' in London and beyond. Musicians learn from each other, practice and perform together, and also hang out together, discussing everything from politics to practice patterns and sharing music and experience. Thankfully in London there is an abundance of amazing, generous musicians, and the 'Fours' project is a series of recordings representing a fraction of the 'scene' I find myself drawn to. This week I turn the spotlight to...

Dave Ingamells

I first met Dave through my good friend and super talented trombonist Tom White, who would often get me on a regular gig he had at The Dove on Broadway Market. I had never heard him or seen him at any of the usual muso haunts, jam sessions etc but I could immediately see why Tom was booking him! I find myself to be somewhat reliant on drummers kicking me up the backside (musically), as I tend to look to them as first port of call for inspiration when I'm improvising, and I found that Dave has such a freedom within the pulse that he really keeps me on my toes. Hearing him play reminds me a bit of Jack DeJohnette, with multiple layers of time going on whilst retaining a deep groove, offering many rhythmic 'gears' to shift through. It can be really exciting, and sometimes feels like getting caught in a whirlwind!

Added to this freedom and virtuosity, Dave also has a great deal of sensitivity and textural awareness, allowing some great moments of contrast. On the Fours recording, I really liked his (and the rest of the band's) controlled build on Stella over the entire duration of the performance, conjuring up a storm by the final 16 bars:

Unsurprisingly, Tom White and I are not the only band leaders to take notice of Dave's talents. Over the years he has become increasingly in demand as word spreads, and is now performing in a myriad of musical styles, contexts and venues, including 3 different groups at this years EFG London Jazz Festival. Definitely worth looking out for when perusing the gig listings. Below is a video of Dave in action and sounding particularly burning, recording rising trumpet star Henry Spencer's album with his band 'Juncture':

Dave will be featured in 3 performances at this years EFG London Jazz Festival:

Saturday 12th November with Nick Costley-White at London Iklectik - More Info

Saturday 12th November with Helena Kay at Barbican Freestage - More Info

Tuesday 15th November with Kate Williams at 606 Club - More Info

I am thankful to Dave for his performance featuring alongside Tom Farmer and Hannes Riepler on Vol. I of the 'Fours' record. Listen to 'Fours Vol. I' here. Available now.

'Fours' Vol I Out Now

'Fours' is a series of recordings featuring three different quartets, spread across three albums

I am pleased to announce that Vol. I, featuring Hannes Riepler, Tom Farmer and Dave Ingamells is available now at alamnathoo.bandcamp.com

In four weeks time Vol. II is due for release on 07/11/16, and Vol. III four weeks later on 05/12/16. You can pre-order both now and get access to two preview tracks.

Vol. II features Tom Hewson, Nick Jurd and Corrie Dick.

Vol. III features Ant Law, Mick Coady and Will Glaser.

In between release dates I will be sharing weekly articles on each of the incredible musicians that performed on these recordings. If you would like to stay up to date and have these features and album releases delivered directly to you, please subscribe to the mailing list here.

If you are new to Bandcamp, it is a wonderful artist-friendly, sustainable, organic etc, way of buying and listening to music, offering lossless quality downloads and streaming facilities via the website or smartphone app. They also accept debit card payments now in addition to paypal, which is nice.

I hope you enjoy the music, and watch this space for more 'Fours' features and recordings.