The Matt Anderson Quartet represents a culmination of the last two years of my development as a saxophonist and composer, during which time I have sought to bring together some of my seemingly distinct musical influences, for example exploring the common ground between the folk music reminiscent of my rural upbringing in the North Yorkshire Moors, the bluesy, country strains of Bill Frisell and Scandinavian jazz. Some of this exploration has involved writing for larger ensembles, so for this album I wanted to add extra instruments on some of the tracks to give a more varied palette. I wrote a lot of the music during the past two years, but the album also includes some old compositions I have re-visited and put into a new context.
Although made up of talented band-leaders, the sum of this group is greater than its individual parts, and playing intensively together during studies at the Royal Academy of Music, London, has created a playfully interactive band sound between Pete Lee (piano), Jay Davis (drums), Will Harris (bass) and myself (saxophones). For the larger ensemble pieces, we’re joined by musicians we’ve collaborated with frequently over the years, Aubin Vanns (guitar), Nick Malcolm (trumpet) and Owen Dawson (trombone).
I formed the band two years ago during Masters studies at the Royal Academy of Music, however we had all worked together and were friends before this, with Jay, Pete and I all studying together previously at Leeds College of Music. Jay and I also both play in Will’s band Paraphernalia, and Pete and I even shared a house for a time, so we’re all very close!
As the Matt Anderson Quartet we have performed across the UK as well as representing the Academy as finalists at the Keep an Eye International Jazz Competition at Amsterdam’s Bimhuis. This new album follows up on my first album, Wild Flower, which featured Laura Jurd, Alex Munk, Jamil Sheriff, Sam Gardner and Sam Vicary. This was described by Selwyn Harris of Jazzwise as ‘their own unique stamp on Shorter's very personal repertoire... of a quality that resonates with its inspirational source... Enjoyably un-pretentious," and was released in 2015 on Jellymould Jazz alongside a 13-date U.K. tour, with an album-launch at Pizza Express Dean Street, London.
I mentioned that everyone in the group is a band-leader – well, Pete Lee is just about to release his debut album ‘The Velvet Rage’ with jazz quintet and strings, Jay Davis collaborated on Big Bad Wolf’s release ‘Pond Life’ earlier this year and Will Harris and Emily Wright’s band ‘Moonlight Savings Time’ released their debut album to critical acclaim in 2015.
The Project So Far
We recorded the album on the 26th and 27th September 2017 at Fieldgate Studios in Cardiff with their beautiful microphones and Fazioli grand piano, working with house engineer Andrew Lawson.
Since then I've been working with mixing engineer and trumpeter Alex Bonney to mix the album. I’m thrilled that Jellymould Jazz are on board for a second time to release the album, and Oli Bentley from Split is working on artwork to follow on from the beautiful work he did for Wild Flower.
We still need to:
- Complete mixing of the album
- Master the album
- Produce artwork
- Print CD’s
- Run a PR campaign to promote the release
We have three weeks to raise £1,000 to go towards getting us over the final hurdle, and we won't receive anything unless we raise all of this in this time! I'm so grateful for anything you feel you can contribute to the project. It is also possible to contribute as much as you like for a CD or download if you'd like to pledge more but are not interested in some of the higher rewards on offer. Thank you so much!
The release date for Jellymould is 27th April 2018, however I hope to have advance copies ready in February 2018 for anyone who supports us in this campaign.
Any extra funds that we raise over our target will further help us to meet the costs involved in finishing off the album. Anything left over will go towards our album-release tour, which we will be undertaking in stints in Spring, Summer and Autumn 2018. Extra funding is always useful here to help with regional PR, social media campaigns, travel and accommodation costs and producing promotional materials like posters and mailing these out to venues.
Risks and challenges
I’ve carefully budgeted for the album and have experience in delivering this kind of project before, having produced my Wild Flower album in 2015. For this we received Jazz Services support as well as running a crowdfunding campaign. Everyone in the band has released albums of their own previously, so we know how this works!
Unexpected delays can happen and, although the project has run to schedule so far, there is a risk that printing might be delayed from my target of February 2018. However, I’m confident that whatever happens, we’ll be ready for the release date of 27th April 2018.
If we don't raise our £1,000 target, there's no risk to you - your contribution will be refunded.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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