Every New Day
F-IRE RECORDS – distributed by Proper – Release Date 30 APRIL 2012
“Quietly intense, beguilingly beautiful” Time Out
“If the lineup sounds like a dream made real, so does the music’ All About Jazz
“A musical mosaic that feels as spiritually uplifting as a Paulo Coelho novel” Jazzwise
Guitarist and composer Jonny Phillip’s Oriole features a unique set of musicians chosen for their musical openness, empathetic playing and ability to assimilate folkloric styles into a unified contemporary sound. First formed in 2004 their members represent something of a F-IRE super group, albeit one whose sound is a million miles from the leftfield jazz often associated with the ground breaking collective. You can almost feel the sun passing overhead as Oriole undertakes a musical journey through parched landscapes influenced by the Iberian peninsular, where their composer Jonny Phillips spent the last few years performing with Spanish, Portuguese and Cuban musicians. This album is warm, not only in its analogue recording, Latin rhythms and alto tonalities but also in the musical interplay of these long-time musical friends who elevate Phillips gently luminous but compelling music to new heights.
Seb Rochford has played drums for Oriole since the beginning and here you’ll hear a different side to his playing: all ears, simplicity and latin rhythms. He enjoys an almost telepathic relationship with Brazilian percussionist Adriano Adewale who brings a myriad of wonderful sounds and textures to the table. Bassist Ruth Goller is known mainly for her grungy bass playing in punk jazz outfit Acoustic Ladyland but her playing here is minimal with great time and feel. Keyboardist Nick Ramm brings a huge knowledge of Latin and African rhythms. Giving Oriole much of it’s unique texture is the frontline of tenor sax and cello. Whether in unison, harmony or counterpoint the combination is able to cover a broad musical and historical palette and in unison they have a unique strange beauty that first grew between saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and cellist Ben Davis in Laubrock’s own band adding weight and darkness to the sound. Clarinetist and saxophonist Idris Rahman is influenced at least as much by African and reggae music as jazz and brings his own personality to the music. But it is of course Jonny Phillips who is at the heart of Oriole, not only as composer and arranger, but also the guitarist quietly holding things together. Like a ticking clock you notice him most when things are quiet but it his love of Brazilian and African music, background in classical and church music of his composer parents that give Oriole it’s uniquely powerful sound. Music that is both quiet but robust, simple but deceptively deep. Phillips’ music springs from a magical realist tradition drawing on events, feelings and people from the real word and capturing their essence, the magic behind them, with music. It is a philosophy that chimes with F-IRE founder Barak Schmool’s idea of music being a functioning part of society not an artistic style separated from society and mainly made for musicians. It is an idea that has taken Phillips around the world, living and playing music in Iberia and beyond and much of Every New Day was written while in Cadiz, surrounded by Spanish and Cuban music and inspired by the sounds, people and landscape of a special place. A place of warmth and beauty where cultures and landscapes intersect just as they do in the music of Oriole!
For further information, images and interview contact:
E: Kerstan@riotsquadpublicity.com P: 077 7565 5573
About the music
Levante. Stylistically a Bolero and at times a waltz, but that’s not so important what is important is the real world feeling it strives to capture. Composed while sitting on the beach in Cadiz with his guitar feeling the beginnings of the hot African wind called “Levante” and all the stories it carries with it, a powerful feeling worthy of immortalizing in music.
The next two pieces Mountain flower and Sintra are connected musically and in title. Mountain Flower uses a Brazilian style called Baiao, it features to great effect Idris Rahman on Tenor. Sintra is a beautiful Portuguese mountain top village who’s magical castles, gardens and beautiful people have been an inspiration to Phillips. Stylistically the piece uses a Maracatu, Afro-Brazilian rhythm Phillips came across in the north of Brazil. Later the heavy folkloric beat drops out completely to feature Nick Ramm on solo piano.
La Sonrisa Picara – the mischievous/mysterious smile. Phillips tried this one out many times in Cadiz, Spain with the local guys. It was tried as a straight waltz, 6/8 flamenco but eventually settled on a Venezuelan rhythm.
Medem/Temba: Medem is a dedication to Spanish director Julio Medem whose melancholic films celebrate love and coincidence in a way that ultimately only the Spanish can. Temba is biographical tune about the youngest boy to climb Everest. He is a Sherpa. A song of positivity, determination and overcoming. Stylistically this is a 3/4 samba and features fine solos from Nick Ramm and Ingrid Laubrock on Sax.
Between the Mountains and the Sea – Another waltz although the deceivingly hard coda has the odd bar of 9/8 that Ramm has no problem soloing over. Its a celebration of the open spaces and southern European landscape. Laubrock’s solo takes the band on a journey of her own.
Every New Day – A happy gospel tune rhythmically based on a Afro-Brazilian style called Afoxe. It’s really a traveler song, celebrating the potential of Every New Day on the road. Listen out for the Drum/Percussion solo backed by cello mimicking the fiddle players of north Brazil.
Sherpa Song – Again inspired by the Sherpas – for Phillips the ultimate human metaphor for determination and featuring an epic and emotional solo from Idris Rahman.
Bertha(intro)/ Bertha Main Theme – This song was a commission for the Derby Jazz Festival. Its composed for and about both of Phillips’ grandmothers who were from Derby and Nottingham. Both, oddly enough, were called Bertha, when they first met there was a brief moment of confusion as you can imagine. Its a gospel tune as they were both into church music something that has ultimately had an influence on the music of Oriole. Here though the music has been mixed with an African rhythm bringing to mind the African gospel jazz of Abdullah Ibrahim.
“Phillips conjures music that is quietly intense, beguilingly beautiful and full of pleasingly robust tunes that stay with you long after you hear them. Expect waltzes, gentle samba, persuasive grooves, poignant themes and uplifting melodies that’ll make you smile, think and want to dance.” Timeout London