Impossible Gentlemen (The)

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Reviews of Impossible Gentlemen (The)


01/08/2016 Seb Scotney, The Arts Desk

A five-piece contemporary jazz group at the highest international level...that joyous, open-minded and defiant spirit......It is fascinating to witness the internal workings of a group as good as this in action.
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27/07/2016 Adrian Pallant, London Jazz News

A special evening to savour – and a classy album to own
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25/10/2013 John Fordham, The Guardian 4 stars****

The band's new album, Internationally Recognised Aliens, displays their increasingly collaborative composing, but on this evidence a live album would be something to relish.

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23/10/2013 Ian Mann, The Jazz Mann

A superb evening of music delivered by a refreshingly humble but totally brilliant band.

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22/10/2013 Matthew Wright, The Arts Desk

They ooze musical authority

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22/10/2013 Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph

The Impossible Gentlemen mastered musical subtlety, but it is the skill of guitarist Mike Walker which dazzled Ivan Hewett

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21/10/2013 Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast

as perfect an example of the balance between team and individuals as I can remember hearing.

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08/05/2013 Winner of Best Band at the APPJAG Awards


29/06/2012 London Jazz

I don’t think I’ll hear a more memorable gig this year so they are worth travelling a long way for.

Album number two - to be produced by Steve Rodby (interviewed here)- is being recorded in the next few weeks – I’m in a state of aural salivation.
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27/06/2012 David Sinclair, The Times 4 stars****

The upper echelon of the jazz world is a place of constantly shifting alliances. But even by those standards, the Impossible Gentlemen is a rare and fabulous group of talents. Read More


16/06/2012 John Fordham, The Guardian

A combination of technical firepower and swashbuckling confidence has made this UK and US quartet one of the most attractive new postbop bands around. The band spiritedly collide the casual song-spinning of a Pat Metheny ensemble with scorching melodic intricacies (notably from pianist Gwilym Simcock) and bursts of raw electric blues from guitarist Mike Walker that put him in John Scofield's class. With Americans Steve Swallow (bass) and Adam Nussbaum (drums) adding dynamism and experience, they've sounded more like a world-class outfit with every re-emergence.
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14/11/2011 John Fordham, The Guardian 4 stars****

....powerful Anglo-US quartet the Impossible Gentlemen. Fronted by Britain's Gwilym Simcock and Mike Walker on piano and guitar, the group opened the show by powering through its postbop-to-fusion repertoire with even more fire and panache than usual, the result of this popular band's regular get-togethers this year.


14/11/2011 London Jazz

Their music was full of energy across a dynamic range spanning brooding, contemplative piano through gentle swing to roaring jazz-funk. Despite the changing moods, the music had a cohesive feel often missing from other “supergroups”, the other members – Briton’s Gwilym Simcock on piano and Mike Walker on guitar, and superlative American drummer Adam Nussbaum on drums – played with great sensitivity. The whole band excelled in their short set.


30/06/2011 Ormskirk and Skelmersdale Advertiser

Just sublime.


20/06/2011 Ian Mann, The Jazz Mann 4 stars****

The Swansea crowd went crazy for this giving the group a standing ovation.
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16/06/2011 Alyn Shipton, The Times 4 stars ****

It is unusual for jazz groups to have a title that isnt simply the leaders name or a reference to their home town or club. But the Anglo-American quartet the Impossible Gentlemen are an unusual jazz ensemble, bridging both the Atlantic and the generations. There are 40 years between the groups oldest member, the bassist Steve Swallow, and its youngest, the pianist Gwilym Simcock. At the London launch of their eponymous album, Simcock confessed that it is also the first time in his career that there has been a T-shirt to sell as well as records.
So what kind of band are they? Combining the British players, the guitarist Mike Walker and Simcock, with the Americans Swallow and the powerhouse drummer Adam Nussbaum, they are an out-and-out improvising jazz group. Any thought that their instrumentation would lead to sameness between the numbers is banished by the sheer variety of compositions that each member has brought to the table, and by thoughtful touches that change the timbre. These range from some wistful melodica playing on the Latin theme of Walkers Wallendas Last Stand to some clever low-key funk on Simcocks You Wont Be Around to See It, on which high guitar and bass harmonics combined with inside-piano effects over Nussbaums intricate beat.
Like the best jazz groups, there is plenty of space for individual and collective improvisation. The opening Circle-maker included a delicate solo from Swallow, some exceptionally sensitive cymbal work from Nussbaum and a final jam as the drums opened up and Walker swayed into some powerful phrasing. Walker was the star of the show, ranging from beautiful finger and thumb-picked melodies to incisive rock-inflected solos, with singing harmonics teetering on the edge of feedback and distortion as he finally sent us away with the down-home blues of Nussbaums Sure Would, Baby.


15/06/2011 John Fordham, The Guardian 4 stars ****

The band spiritedly collides the casual song-spinning of a Pat Metheny band with scorching postbop intricacies, notably from pianist Gwilym Simcock, and bursts of raw electric blues from guitarist Mike Walker. With Americans Steve Swallow (bass guitar) and Adam Nussbaum (drums) adding dynamism and vast experience, they sound even more like a world-class jazz band than on their debut a year ago.

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14/06/2011 Jack Massarik, Evening Standard 5 stars *****

Crazy name, crazy group, but crazy like foxes. An OBE, please, for the anonymous producer who thought to introduce two US veterans, bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Adam Nussbaum, to a couple of Mancunian mavericks who had never worked together before.
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14/06/2011 Chris Parker, London Jazz

The hallmark of the band's album is the quartet's discernible enjoyment of and respect for each other's playing; this live performance, assured and relaxed yet consistently musicianly, each participant unfussily virtuosic, was simply small-group jazz at its unequivocally enjoyable best.

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10/06/2011 Bebop spoken here

Gig of the year so far, was the consensus of many and it certainly is a contender. I absolutely adored the CD but live! within the intimate confines of Hall Two it was something else.
Like so many good things it began with a 'calm before the storm' feel as Mike Walker gently picked his way around his axe. Enter piano, increasing the tension, showing us the way. Bass and drums change gear and suddenly! - we've got lift-off. No problem here at The Sage - Houston.
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24/12/2010 Peter Bacon, Birmingham Post

I think my gig of the year would have to be the Gwilym Simcock Quartet at the CBSO Centre in late May. With Simcock were British guitarist Mike Walker and the US bass and drums partnership of Steve Swallow and Adam Nusbaum.

Walker has been a favourite for years and it was great to hear him soaring in this esteemed company. The good news is that this band now has a new name, The Impossible Gentlemen, and a CD out on the Basho label in May next year.
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27/05/2010 John Fordham The Guardian, 4 STARS ****

Jazz supergroups are volatile concoctions, bespoke teams of virtuosi often just getting in each other's way. But the Anglo-US quartet built from scratch this week around the untried partnership of pianist Gwilym Simcock and Salford Mike Walker, with Americans Steve Swallow on bass and Adam Nussbaum on drums, fulfilled all its promise – and then some. read more


27/05/2010 Jazzwise

Gwilym Simcock Dazzles With Ango-American Supergroup At Bergen Nattjazz Festivalread more


26/05/2010 Leicester Mercury

A packed Embrace Arts Centre enjoyed a world-class performance by an international jazz group on its way to Ronnie Scott's and a European tour. read more


23/05/2010 Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast

Let’s hope it becomes more than a one-tour stand. The band is going on to play around Europe but if you are within driving distance of either Leicester (Embrace Arts Centre tonight) or London (Ronnie Scott’s tomorrow) – so, anywhere on the mainland, in other words – I’d urge you to get along. It’s the real deal.
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23/05/2010 London Jazz Blog

This should be the start of something big. read more


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