AVAILABLE NOW AT JAZZCDS
"A fascinating hour's music."
Dave Gelly, The Observer, Jan 16th 2005
"beautifully executed....It’s the kind
of record that could easily get passed over in the glare or brasher
projects, and that would be a shame.” Kenny
Mathieson, Jazzwise Feb 2005
Label Basho Records
Release Date: 11th October 2004
Artist Geoff Eales
Catalogue Number SRCD 11-2
01 Like the Gentle Rain (Bonfa) 5:42
02 My Romance (Rodgers/Hart) 5:00
03 Where Is Love? (Bart) 7:14
for the New Millenium (Eales) 5:42 (sample)
05 An Empty Space (Lamont) 5:02
06 Eiko’s Dream (Eales) 5:52
07 What is this Thing Called Love? (Porter) 6:00
08 All the Things You Are (Hammerstein/Kern) 6:12
More Tears (Eales) 4:17 (sample)
of Ecstacy (Eales) 6:02 (sample)
at Greasy Jo’s (Eales) 3:02 (sample)
12 Here’s that Rainy Day (Burke/van Heusen) 4:59
Total time 65:04
After twenty years as one of London's top session pianists,
arrangers and composers, the inspirational Geoff Eales has rediscovered
his passion for improvised music in recent years. With three highly acclaimed
albums to his name ("Mountains of Fire", "Red Letter Days"
and "Facing the Muse") showcasing his formidable trio, Geoff
has decided to throw caution to the wind and go completely solo for his
debut album for Basho Records - "SYNERGY" (SRCD 11-2). In "Synergy",
Geoff fearlessly tears down musical barriers with the breadth of his vision.
A truly genre-busting album, it draws from a rich variety of sources including
gospel, blues, rock, Latin, Messiaen, Bach and Debussy, but the whole
is always greater than the sum of its parts. This eclectic CD includes
highly personal takes on well-loved standards as well as some moving performances
on his own powerful compositions.
Geoff Eales is regarded as
one of the UK's most versatile jazz pianists and composers. A charismatic
performer, his unique interpretations of standards and his own powerful
compositions have inspired and moved audiences all over the world.
“…as original as they come, listening to everyone but beholden
to no single influence; Eales demands your attention with the force of
his musical personality and keeps it with his musicianship” –
BUD KOPMAN, CADENCE
Throughout his career he has proved himself to be the master of many musical
styles but it is within the freedom of the jazz arena that his amazing
powers of communication are most fully revealed, his concerts and recordings
attracting universal critical acclaim.
“A complete pianist whose work is a complete joy” - TONY
AUGARDE, JAZZ RAG
“…the originality of his direction takes your breath away”
- CHRISSIE MURRAY, JAZZ AT RONNIE SCOTTS
Geoff began playing jazz piano at the age of eight in South Wales, encouraged
by his father Horace, a well known local dance pianist. If his father
fostered his love of jazz, it was his mother who encouraged the
young Eales to acquire a taste for classical music. He went on to read
music at Cardiff University, obtaining a First Class Honours Degree, a
Masters and a Ph.D for his epic "American Symphony", a chamber
setting of Dylan Thomas's "In the Beginning" and his thesis
on the works of Aaron Copland.
In 1977 Geoff moved to London, joining the leading society band of the
day - Joe Loss. A year later he was offered the piano chair in the BBC
Radio Band and Radio Orchestra. By the time he had left the BBC in 1983
he had been featured in well over a thousand broadcasts.
After the BBC years, Geoff quickly became one of the most sought after
pianists on the London session scene. He was called upon because of his
excellent sight reading skills and his natural ability to understand the
subtle gradations of musical style. This enabled him to contribute creatively
to each recording whether jazz, classical, gospel, blues, Latin, rock,
funk, country or easy listening. During this period Geoff had the great
fortune to work with a huge array of artists as diverse as Henry Mancini,
Lalo Schifrin, Adelaide Hall, Tammy Wynette, Shirley Bassey, José
Carreras and Kiri Te Kanawa.
“…his sense of urgency, fresh ideas and
his enthusiasm are infectious” – JOHN
FORDHAM, THE GUARDIAN
However, Geoff has never lost sight of his jazz roots and his main focus
now is to realise a lifelong goal and highlight his extraordinary talent
as an international solo recording and performing artist. This has resulted
in three highly acclaimed albums as a leader.
“Mountains of Fire” (1999) features the Geoff Eales Trio in
a selection of highly personal interpretations of well known standards,
with sax wizard Nigel Hitchcock guesting on three tracks including a couple
of Eales originals.
"Eales displays the kind of inventive fizz which calls to mind Monty
Alexander and the great Oscar himself” – PETER
“Red Letter Days” (2001) is an eclectic mix of old favourites
and original compositions with stellar guitarist Jim Mullen joining the
Trio on a couple of bluesy tracks.
“Geoff Eales is one of the unsung heroes of jazz music and composition
and this super 67 minute CD amply demonstrates his talent” –
JOHN CRICHINSON, THE MUSICIAN
“Facing the Muse” (2002) is an emotionally charged trio album
which pays tribute to some of Geoff's chief inspirations including Thelonius
Monk, Bill Evans, and McCoy Tyner.
“…top flight piano trio music, beautifully fashioned and performed
by Eales and expertly supported by the top rank rhythm team of Babbington
and Fletcher” – DEREK ANSELL, JAZZ JOURNAL
Geoff has performed at some of the world's leading jazz clubs including
Blue Note in Japan, London's Ronnie Scotts, New York's Birdland, Jazz
Bakery in Los Angeles and Louisville's Jazz Factory. Closer to home, Geoff
has played at major jazz festivals including Cork, Ealing, East of England,
Edinburgh, Greenwich, Grimsby, Marlborough and Swanage.
In January 2003, Geoff was the featured piano soloist in Gershwin's “Rhapsody
in Blue” at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, where he performed to
a sell-out audience. In the summer of 2003 Geoff toured California and
Kentucky where he delighted audiences with the passion of his playing.
One exciting new development is Geoff's “Piano Legends” concerts.
Here the Trio trace the evolution of jazz piano from its early roots in
ragtime to the contemporary styles of McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett, Herbie
Hancock and Chick Corea with tributes to Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson,
Erroll Garner, Bud Powell, Thelonius Monk, Bill Evans and many others
along the way.
Geoff is a regular contributor to the satirical magazine Allegedly Hot
News International and is a reviewer for the jazz internet magazine Jazz
Views - www.jazzviews.co.uk
"The world of commercial music
simply couldn't function without phenomenally accomplished musicians like
Geoff Eales. Without knowing it, you will have heard his keyboard playing
on TV themes, film soundtracks, advertising jingles and so on. Fortunately,
he has started to record some of his own music and this is his first solo
effort. To say that it covers a lot of ground is putting it mildly. From
the delicate tracery of 'No More Tears' to 'Funkin' at Greasy Jo's', Eales
conducts a kind of guided tour of pianistic moods and styles. A fascinating
hour's music." Dave Gelly, The Observer, Jan
“Pianist Geoff Eales is one of those muisicians who quietly gets
on with the job of serving up classy and inventive jazz interpretations
without attracting a great deal of fuss. This is his first disc of solo
piano recordings, and is well up to the standard he has set in the three
trio discs he has issued since 1999. His early classical training surfaces
in a natural and unforced fashion in his playing, and his experience over
two decades as a much sought after session musician is always in evidence,
both in his technical accomplishment and his wide-ranging command of idioms
and styles. His expressive and beautifully executed interpretations of
standards such as “My Romance” or “All The Things You
Are” are complemented by several of his own compositions. It’s
the kind of record that could easily get passed over in the glare or brasher
projects, and that would be a shame.” Kenny
Mathieson, Jazzwise Feb 2005