I am a Leeds-based improvising pianist, composer and writer. I lead the octet Metamorphic, and I am currently developing my solo piano/poetry project, As Warm As The Sun.
I am also part of a collaborative project, 'Pursuance', with artist and percussionist Walt Shaw [www.waltshaw.co.uk]. The Pursuance project has now been running for over two years, during lockdowns, with Walt creating paintings inspired by my poetry, which I would then reciprocate by writing in response to new paintings created by Walt. This project has been - and continues to be - a hugely healing, supportive and nurturing process. It was a natural development to layer the project further with piano and percussion, and to invite multi-instrumentalists/composers Faye MacCalman [www.fayemaccalman.com] and Lara Jones [www.larajonesmusic.com] to join the project.
I am also part of saxophonist/writer Keith Jafrate's group, Orfeo 5, alongside Anton Hunter (guitar), Johnny Hunter (drums), John Pope (double bass) and Andy Champion (double bass). We recorded an album in Summer 2022 which will be released in 2023.
I was also honoured to be asked to contribute words for the upcoming Johnny Hunter Quartet album 'A Consequence In Three Parts', soon to be released on the Efpi label [www.efpirecords.com]; with Johnny Hunter on drums, Seth Bennett on double bass, Mark Hanslip on tenor and Graham South on trumpet [www.johnnyhuntermusic.com]. I am honoured to have also been invited to be part of live gigs for this project, on spoken word.
Other projects/recordings I have been involved in include: The Martin Archer/Julie Tippetts ensemble; Martin Archer's large ensemble, Engine Room Favourites; Martin Archer's Deep Tide Quartet (with Martin Archer on saxophones, Kim Macari on trumpet and Walt Shaw on percussion); and Corey Mwamba's Nth quartet with Corey Mwamba on vibraphone, Johnny Hunter on drums and Andy Champion on double bass [www.coreymwamba.co.uk].
Metamorphic's third double album, The Two Fridas, was released on the Discus label [www.discus-music.co.uk] in 2018; the album was recorded at Real World Studios in 2017. The cover artwork for the album was created by wonderful artists Gina Southgate [www.artistginasouthgate.com] and Gonzalo Fuentes, and is inspired by the famous painting 'The Two Fridas' by artist Frida Kahlo. Reviewers have called the album 'Heartfelt [...] uncannily beautiful' (Ian Mann); 'Conceptually coherent, with shape and development [...] a slow, atmospheric listen' (AJ Dehaney, LondonJazzNews); 'Joyous [...] outstanding' (Nick Lea, Jazz Views).
Metamorphic's two previous albums, Coalescence (2013) and The Rock Between (2011) received widespread critical acclaim; with reviewers describing the music as 'utterly remarkable' (Brian Morton, Jazz Journal); 'amazingly original' (Jez Nelson, Jazz on 3); and 'ear-catching and compelling' (Peter Quinn, Jazzwise).
Metamorphic are: Chris Williams, alto sax; John Martin, tenor/soprano sax; Ollie Dover, bass clarinet; Kari Nergaard-Bleivik, vocals; Seth Bennett, double bass; Ruth Goller, double bass; Johnny Hunter, drums; Laura Cole, piano/ composer/ arranger.
Links to The Two Fridas album can be found on My Music page.
As part of my solo piano project, As Warm As The Sun, I travelled up to Lyth Arts Centre in Wick, Scotland, for a piano residency there in September 2017. This resulted in recording my first solo album, Enough, which was released on the Discus label in 2018.
Similarly to The Two Fridas, Enough is a double album, of two parts: the first disc is a series of arrangements of pieces given to me by esteemed colleagues and dear friends, specifically for this project; and the second disc is a series of improvisations and compositions written by myself.
The impetus for the solo project initially came from reading the extraordinary work, 'Daybook', a journal by sculptor Anne Truitt. The cover artwork for the album was created by percussionist/artist Walt Shaw.
Links to the Enough album can be found on My Music page.