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Heart Horizons

Artist: John Bailey

Date of Release: 28/09/2013

Catalogue no: 2216

Label: John Bailey

Price: £9.99

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

listen

Proceed With Caution

6.33

2

listen

Laura

7.14

6

listen

First Throw

7.05

 

 

 

 

John Bailey - Classical Guitar
Richard Iles - Flugelhorn
Gavin Barras - Double Bass
Steve Hanley - Drums

Full Track List
1. Proceed With Caution
2. Laura
3. Painters
4. Ted's Entrance
5. First Throw
6. Regression
7. Day
8. Sun Sun Rain
9. Lightning Workshop
10. Harlot of a View
11. Terraced

The quartet features classical guitar, flugelhorn, double bass and drums. It is a Northwest based project featuring John Bailey on classical guitar. John attained an MA in Jazz from Leeds College of Music and has received tuition from Ralph Towner, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Mike Moreno, Mike Walker and other leading jazz musicians. He teaches guitar at Liverpool University. He has been composing this latest release for the last two years. Richard Iles (flugelhorn) has played with some of the worlds finest jazz musicians including Kenny Wheeler, Vince Mendoza, Bill Frisell and Peter Erskine. He teaches at Birmingham Conservertoire as well as running big bands for Bolton Music Service and the prestigious Chethams Music School. Gavin Barras (double bass) has performed at Jazz festivals all over the Uk and also at the North Sea Jazz festival and the Taipai internatioal Jazz festival in Japan. Steve Hanley (drums) is one of the fastest up and coming jazz drummers in the Northwest. He is currently working with Ant Law's quartet and running his own Orion project featuring some of the UK's best young talent.

 

Reviews

 

17/09/2013 John Toolan

Remember the aesthetic of the album cover, and the days where a 12” vinyl album cover could be a work of art in itself, and often the entry point into an artists music even before a note has been heard? The sepia imagery on the cover of the latest release from the John Bailey Quartet is, in many ways, reminiscent of the striking cover art of ECM, the label set up in 1969 by Manfred Eicher, and home to a catalogue of jazz, improvised and classical music, with a sophisticated level of musicianship, production and cover art work. The artwork on “Heart Horizons” perfectly reflects the music within.
The quartet features Steve Hanley on drums, Gavin Barras on bass, Richard Iles on flugelhorn and John Bailey on guitar, and will be of interest to anyone familiar with the refined, elegant production of labels such as ECM or Rune Grammofon. “Proceed with Caution” and Painters” feature tantalising interplay between the four instruments, around cheerful and buoyant themes, whilst “Laura” and “First Throw” are meditative and haunting. The acoustic guitar throughout, particularly on a piece such as “Ted’s Entrance”, is illustrative of how a sound so delicate and fragile, when set alongside other more authoritative sounding instruments, can possess a commanding voice of its’ own. One cannot help but consider how the album would sound so very different if the guitar sound were laden with ethereal effects and loops. The clean, organic sound of the acoustic guitar, however, adds an element of honesty and modesty, which allows the listener access to the intimate creative processes. “Regression” features stunning flourishes of classical guitar that bring to mind the work of Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucia. Whilst comparisons are being made, to help contextualise the sound, the plaintive, considerate and economical phrases of Kenny Wheeler are reflected in the contributions here from Richard Iles. The mood lifts on “Lightning Workshop” and allows each player room to stretch and embrace a funkier sound, whilst “A Harlot of a View” drifts gently over simmering percussion. Closing with “Terraced”, which appears to round up all the elements previously employed and package them into a stirring finale.
So, as one considers the moorland terrain on the cover of “Heart Horizons” and allows the music to lead the way across the landscape, each individual track is a story being told over and beyond the panorama suggested at. For anyone fortunate enough to allow him or herself time to listen to the album, here is justification to remove oneself temporarily and consider the world around them.

 

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