Photo credit Drift Studios

Please you tell us about your new album and album launch?

Our original plan was to record an album in 2020, but the pandemic forced us to put these plans on hold for some time!

The hiatus did however enable us to work hard on developing some new material, and the national lockdowns inspired three of my original tracks.

Hills & Valleys (the title track of the album) and Whitchurch Down were both inspired by the landscape encountered during walks in my local area, Dartmoor National Park.

As the band is primarily South West-based, we felt that this should be reflected in our creative output and these two tracks were very much developed with this area in mind.

2020, the final track on the album, is a musical diary of that fateful year, with all its twists and turns, with cheeky references and musical segments that chart the course through that historic period.

We were also delighted to collaborate with two leading UK composer/arrangers, Tom Green (who wrote Snake’s Meadow) and Callum Au (who arranged Burt Bacharach’s “Close to You” especially for us) and are very keen to provide a new and interesting vehicle for exciting composers on the scene in our future plans.

We finally recorded the album back in February 2023 at AIR Studios, who were a pleasure to work with, and are very excited to be launching the album with a special London gig for SpiceJazz Soho at the Crazy Coqs on Wednesday 5th June, with the album release date scheduled for June 7th.

What other projects are you currently involved in?

We (Superlocrian) are planning a tour to promote the album in the autumn, but are also involved with Sidmouth International Jazz and Blues Festival, with a concert performance and educational workshop/jam on Monday 27th May. I am really fortunate that the band is not only packed full of talented players, but also highly experienced educators, so this is shaping up to be a really exciting weekend!

Personally, I am fortunate to be working on a number of other projects – my education work in the South West keeps me busy, organising and running workshops in schools and working for the local Music Education Hub.

As a trumpeter, alongside Superlocrian I have been working with a diverse range of artists in large and small ensembles over the last year or so, including Mike Westbrook’s Uncommon Orchestra, Bob Chiilcott and Claire Martin with the Swing Machine Jazz Orchestra alongside local groups Leskyn Kernow, the Al Lloyd Orchestra, saxophonist Martin Dale’s Quintet and an organ quartet with guitarist Jesse Molins.

What are you currently listening to and what was the last CD or download you bought?

I was lucky enough to get to see George Cooper’s Jazz Defenders on tour recently, and I bought their new album “Memory in Motion” after the gig – it’s a fantastic record, and a great live experience too! I’d highly recommend checking them out if you can, a great band and wonderful writing and arranging from George.

What is your all-time favourite album and why?

Such a difficult question, as there are so many! I think overall, given the combination of the world-class playing and the gorgeous writing, I would have to say it’s “Music for Large and Small Ensembles” by Kenny Wheeler, with “Citadel/Room 315” by Mike Westbrook in a very close second!

Who has caught you attention recently that we should be listening out for?

I’m really enjoying pianist and composer Fergus McCreadie’s new album ’Stream’, I’m particularly enjoying the tracks ’Snowcap’ and ’Sun Pillars’ – a lovely relaxed sophisticated band sound, lovely textures and lovely harmonies – highly recommended!

Hills & Valleys by Superlocrian is released on Spark! (SPARK010)

Release date (CD & digital): Friday 7 June 2024

Tour Dates:

27 May – Sidmouth International Jazz Festival & workshop*

5 June – SpiceJazz at Crazy Coqs, Brasserie Zédel (album launch)

7 September – Calstock Arts Centre

8 September – Teignmouth Jazz & Blues Club