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Liam Noble

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Biography of Liam Noble

“…a brilliant pianist…who hardly plays a solo without at least one turn of phrase that brings you to the edge of your seat”
John Fordham, The Guardian

After studying music at Oxford University and the postgraduate course at the Guildhall, Liam became the regular pianist with Stan Sulzmann (in both duo and quartet settings) on John Taylor’s recommendation. He went on to work in the bands of Anita Wardell, Harry Beckett and John Stevens as well as recording and touring with cult minimalist composer Moondog. During this period, he also performed with John Taylor (as part of Stan Sulzmann’s two piano quintet), Kenny Wheeler and Lol Coxhill.

Three years after leaving the Guildhall, Liam recorded the solo piano album “Close Your Eyes”, which featured free improvisations, compositions and interpretations of tunes by (amongst others) Ornette Coleman, Annette Peacock and Richard Rodgers. In Jazz Journal, Richard Palmer referred to him as

“…a writer of considerable idiomatic and emotional range…he knows the instrument’s pantheon from Tatum to Taylor…”

In 1997, he joined the Bobby Wellins Quartet - a CD, “The Best is Yet to Come” is available on Jazzizit Records. He is also a member of the Christine Tobin Band and the Randy Brecker English Sextet, with whom he recently performed at Cheltenham Festival. A duo project with Paul Clarvis playing music from West Side Story combines well-known material with a “stream of consciousness” improvisatory angle.

His new band, the Liam Noble Group, continues an interest in combining unorthodox structural design with improvisation, and uses an ensemble of highly contrasting players. Focussing on the multi-reed front line of Stan Sulzmann and Chris Biscoe (on the rarely heard alto clarinet), the rhythm section features Paul Clarvis and Mick Hutton; the ensemble establishes a symbiotic relationship between written and improvised material, and an almost orchestral use of colour & space. An album, “In the Meantime” is out on Basho Records. In Jazz Review, Brian Morton wrote;

“Noble is capable of quirkiness in one measure and jaw-dropping beauty in the very next”

In 2002, Liam was commisioned by Birmingham Jazz to write a song cycle around the “Death poems” of Japanese Zen monks and haiku poets from the 8th to 18th centuries; written for 2 voices, alto clarinet, percussion and keyboard/electronics, it premiered at the CBSO Centre Birmingham in April 2002.

Latest projects include an album of original compositions, “Romance Among The Fishes” with Phil Robson, Drew Gress and Tom Rainey recorded in New York and a trio with Dave Whitford and Dave Wickins performing the music of Dave Brubeck, to be recorded in June 2007.
A duo CD, with Ingrid Laubrock, entitled “Let’s Call This” (on Babel records) features standards and improvisations as well as electronic treatments by Seb Rochford and was released in 2006.
A forthcoming release by Colin Riley, “Epiphanies and Meditations”, features Liam as improvising piano soloist with string quartet.

Liam has also transcribed over 30 Bill Evans trio performances and written “Jazz Piano; an In-depth Look at the Styles of the Masters”, both for the American publisher Hal Leonard.

Contact : liam.noble@ntlworld.com 020 8539 8349
Website : www.liamnoble.co.uk

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