Tangent is an ambitious new album from a stunning young saxophonist/composer Trish Clowes whose musical influences come from many sources. The opportunity to write for a full orchestra on a debut album is indeed an unusual one, but this work shows the breadth and scope of Trish's musical vision. Produced by one of the UK's leading jazz talents pianist and composer Gwilym Simcock, himself no stranger to cross genre work, and with an orchestra conducted by the brilliant Jules Buckley, leader of the hugely successful Heritage Orchestra the album is for Trish " a dream come true".
The works on the album are a mix of compositions for the core sextet featuring Trish Clowes Tenor Saxophone, Huw White Piano, Chris Montague Guitar, Calum Gourlay Double Bass, James Maddren Drums, Heidi Parsons Cello. Some of the pieces are augmented with guest musicians including pianist Gwilym Simcock, there is a duo with trumpeter Nick Smart and two pieces with full orchestra one of which features the stunning vocals of Kathleen Willison.
Trish Clowes says of the album:
"When I formed my sextet, Tangent, I wanted to use an interesting group of instrumentalists to create a cross-influence ensemble centred on balancing creative writing and improvising. I wanted an ensemble that was small enough to play at jazz venues, but could still tackle some more adventurous written material. I hoped that one day I would be able to do this on a larger scale and this album has made that dream come true. It therefore seemed appropriate to name my album "Tangent" after the ensemble that has become the core of this project.
“Sketch is the fruit of months of pencilling of ideas. Prelude to a Sketch is a mini version of the melodies featured in the larger orchestral place, which I am dedicating to Duke Ellington’s beautiful Prelude to a Kiss. The rest of the music on this album has been specially adapted from existing material for my sextet. Having used such a wealth of musicians on the larger orchestrations, I wanted to spread some of them across the rest of the album so that the music takes the listener on a journey from the opening phrase to the last track.”
The release of the album will coincide with a UK tour generously supported by Jazz Services.
Trish Clowes was born on May 11th 1984. She grew up surrounded by music and began taking piano lessons at the age of 4, quickly discovering a love for making up her own tunes. Later she took up the clarinet before finding jazz and the saxophone.
Trish began her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in 2003 on the jazz course, enjoying the tuition and guidance of Iain Ballamy and Pete Churchill. Here she was able to perform with the likes of Kenny Wheeler, Stan Sulzmann, Peter Erskine and Dave Holland. Trish’s interest in composition grew beyond the standard jazz form, experimenting with tango, string quartet music and poem setting. In 2006 she won the Malcolm Williamson Prize foran educational narrative & composition for children.
After finishing at the Academy Trish continued to be mentored by Iain Ballamy as well as taking lessons with the composer Hans Koller. In 2008 she was awarded a Musician’s Benevolent Fund Development Award and founded her sextet Tangent. Trish asked the vocalist Kathleen Willison to become involved and she has since featured with Tangent on several occasions to perform Trish’s songs, uses various poems/text.
Trish has performed with the Ronnie Scott’s Big Band, at the London Saxophone Festival 2006, London Jazz Festival 2009, Vortex Jazz Club, 606 Jazz Club and various other UK venues. Commissions include “Kailaralia” played by the Tryst Piano Trio at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2007, “Wintertime” for the Phoenix Singers (December 2008) and “Trapeze” for the Threads Orchestra (2009).
2nd November St Ives Jazz Club 8 p.m. for 9 p.m. £10/6
9th November Cardiff Dempseys 9 p.m. £5/4
11th November Shrewsbury School (Maidment Building) 7.30 p.m. £10/8
12th November London Southbank Centre Clore Ballroom Royal Festival Hall 1 p.m. Free Part of the London Jazz Festival in association with Radio 3
12th November London Ray’s Jazz 6 p.m. Free
19th November Birmingham Symphony Hall Foyer Rush Hour Blues 6 p.m. Free 0121 224 7380 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 0121 224 7380 end_of_the_skype_highlighting www.birminghamjazz.co.uk
24th November Manchester Matt and Phreds 9 p.m. Free
25th November Leeds Wardrobe 9 p.m. Free
5th December Lowestoft Milestones Jazz Club 8 p.m. for 8.30 p.m. £7/6
10th December Bristol Bebop Club 8.30 p.m. for 9 p.m. £8/7
Tour generously supported by Jazz Services www.jazzservices.org.uk
09/01/2011 Bruce Lindsay, Allaboutjazz
Tangent is an impressive debut which makes clear Clowes' emerging talents as a musician, composer and arranger. With her abilities established, Clowes has the potential to become a distinctive new voice on the UK jazz scene.
31/10/2010 Dave Gelly, The ObserverWith the rising generation of British, college-educated jazz musicians, it's often hard to separate the instrumentalist from the composer. Take 26-year-old Trish Clowes. She plays wonderful tenor saxophone with a lightness of tone reminiscent of the young Stan Getz and composes luminous music that inhabits that intriguing world at the ill-defined edges of jazz and contemporary classical music. The nine pieces on her debut album range from a improvised duet with trumpeter Nick Smart to two compositions for 35-piece orchestra. Most of the names listed are new to me, which is exciting in itself.
29/10/2010 Jack Massarik, Evening Standard 4 stars****
Not many young women have broken through the ranks playing tenor sax but Trish Clowes is a stylish exception. Her pure, lyrical sound has been likened to Stan Getz but I hear Charles Lloyd, especially in the upper register. She writes remarkably well too, not only for a conventional jazz line-up but also for strings, and for a player as eminent as pianist Gwilym Simcock to guest on her debut album is further indication of her talent. Look out for her in 2011 and at Ray's Jazz at Foyles at 6pm on the opening day of next month's London Jazz Festival.
24/10/2010 Julian Joseph, Jazz Line Up 2
“Trish Clowes is a young saxophonist and composer recording for the Basho label. She has a tone and style that is reminiscent of Iain Ballamy, with whom she studied, and she writes tastefully for orchestra as well as her band… The music is ambitious, fresh and experimental. Trish is a talent to watch for 2011.”
15/10/2010 Yorkshire Post
“Jazz players generally have to wait for senior status before they get orchestral accompaniments, but Trish Clowes, a young tenor player and composer, has gone that route for her debut. And a fine album it is too, full of promise and interesting ideas. The presence of pianist Gwilym Simcock as a guiding hand is beneficial, but Clowes scores with a light, spacious and uncluttered style, aided by a good sextet and some attractive writing for the orchestral passages. She's plainly a talented player with a bright future.”
10/10/2010 Chris Parker, Vortex
the music is intensely melodic, fluent and cogent, and some of the 'guest' appearances, notably Louise McMonagle's cello solo on 'The Master and Margarita' and the contribution of trumpeter Freddie Gavita to the same track, are finely judged. Clowes is already, in her mid-twenties, a much-commissioned composer, having provided material for the Tryst Piano Trio, the Phoenix Singers and the Threads Orchestra, and Tangent is both a useful showcase for her considerable compositional and instrumental talents, and a satisfying appetiser for Tangent's winter 2010 UK tour
08/10/2010 John Fordham, The Guardian
Clowes has a warm and sensuous sound, reflective at times of Bobby Wellins and Stan Getz...Clowes's promise – and ambitious vision – is palpable