Basho Records - Contemporary JazzBASHO RECORDS


Synergy - Geoff Eales





"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
Title “Synergy”
Artist Geoff Eales
Catalogue Number SRCD 11-2

Tracks are:

01 Like the Gentle Rain (Bonfa) 5:42
02 My Romance (Rodgers/Hart) 5:00
03 Where Is Love? (Bart) 7:14
04 Blues 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
09 No More Tears (Eales) 4:17 (sample)
10 Hymn of Ecstacy (Eales) 6:02 (sample)
11 Funkin’ 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 VACHER, JAZZWISE

“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 INTERNATIONAL

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 -

"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 16th 2005

“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