Artist: Asaf Sirkis Trio
Album: The Monk
Release Date: 15 September
Label: Sam Productions
Launch gig: 18 September, Charlie Wrights, London
Tour: Early November
“Devastatingly creative” (John Fordham, The Guardian on Asaf Sirkis)
Following on from Tony Williams’ ‘Lifetime’, the Asaf Sirkis Trio picks up the baton and finds new space for a drummer-led trio in the noughties. ‘The Monk’, the group’s recording debut, will be released mid-September through Sam Productions.
Asaf, a self-effacing Israeli ex-pat living in North London cuts a refreshing dash through London’s fertile jazz landscape. He reflects in a characteristically understated way, “For me, music begins where ideas finish”. Whilst an afternoon spent with Asaf will find him flitting between themes of existentialism, fatalism, political propaganda and loss it’s never something he does to be elitist. Maybe it’s the years working with Gilad Atzmon and the politics that swirl around their BBC-award-winning live performances, or the military service in Rehovot or the spates of self-imposed exile due to extreme tendonitis (the latter of which gave him the required writing time for this album) that have made him such an intriguing figure and have left telling traces on his accomplished musicianship.
This group, a new electric power trio plays original material by Asaf and ranges from delicate jazzy ballads to hard rock-ish improvisations. The line up features Tassos Spiliotopoulos (guitar), Yaron Stavi (bass) and on occasion Asaf's long time friend, drummer and keyboardist Gary Husband on keys.
Although Sirkis has been described as having the ‘drumming muscle for a thunderstorm’, dust off the surface a little and a sensitive writer shines through. Opening track “Stoned Bird” takes in Chick Corea-esque jazz fusion, whilst ‘Without A Story’ has a more post-rock feel. A piano solo on ‘The Bridge’ shows the variety on offer from a composer with a broad tonal palette, and title track ‘The Monk’ shows the contrast of pastoral organ with the rock antics of Tassos’ guitar - swinging it back into Tony Williams territory. The gothic rock descriptions that floated around his past record may again be referenced, but this album has a subtle style of its own.
Asaf has previously collaborated with luminaries including Tim Garland and Larry Coryell, he has traveled across the globe playing with some of the best figures in jazz and won vast critical acclaim for Atzmon’s Orient House Ensemble.
Whilst acknowledging the politics and challenges that have coloured his life, this album stands alone as a beacon of contemporary British jazz from a truly international trio.
18/09/08 Charlie Wrights. London
5/11/08 The Rhythm Station, Rawtenstall
6/11/08 The Bonington Theatre, Arnold, Nottingham
7/11/08 Sheffield Jazz Club
8/11/08 Taylor John's House, Coventry
16/11/08 The White Swan, Stratford On Avon
Asaf tours with support of Jazz Services Ltd, and Arts Council England
Listen to extracts from Asaf's new trio album here: http://thejazznetwork.ning.com/profile/AsafSirkis
For a copy of the album and any PR enquiries contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / 0207 377 9868