Click here to purchase Andromeda from the
Whirlwind Recordings site (CDs, FLAC, ALAC, MP3s + more)

Andromeda by Alex Garnett

Serpent-big
Click to view larger image

Personnel | Album Credits

Alex Garnett – tenor saxophone
Tim Armacost – tenor saxophone
Liam Noble – piano
Michael Janisch – double bass
James Maddren – drums

Recorded at Red Gables Facilities Ltd. London, 25 Nov 2013
Engineer: Dick Hammett
Mixing & Mastering – Tyler McDiarmid
Produced by Michael Janisch & Alex Garnett
Executive Producer – Michael Janisch

 

About: Andromeda

Official worldwide release date – January 26, 2015

Andromeda is the second solo release from London-based saxophonist and composer Alex Garnett and is the debut recording of ‘Bunch of Five‘ his new two tenor saxophone project. This quintet brings the classic dueling saxophone format into a contemporary context, giving it a fresh face without losing its gladiatorial edge. The musical ethos is strongly routed in groove and swing and combines the eclectic tastes and experiences of the ensemble members while leaving plenty of room for liberties and unexpected twists within the various song structures.

The two frontmen, Garnett and the NYC-based Tim Armacost, have a collective 50 years of combined playing experience on the international stage, frequently appearing at festivals and clubs across the map. Finally a situation has matured to allow these two men to join forces and expand upon their mutual admiration, and their individual sound, phrasing and approach to playing the saxophone compliment each other greatly while at the same time pushing each other to their improvisational limits.

‘Bunch of Five’ engages in original repertoire which at once is both grounded in the tradition yet aspires to push beyond the comfort bubble in its harmonic considerations and improvisations. Rounding out the group is a versatile rhythm section featuring UK pianist Liam Noble, American bassist Michael Janisch, and one of London’s in demand young drummers, James Maddren.

The compositions are all Garnett’s creations reflecting a broad sweep of influences from the last twenty years of his musical journey. Material is spawned from varied sources including the effect of hearing a life changing Benny Golson concert in the early 90s, a fascination with astronomy and the relationship of universal frequencies, Alex’s love of (and skills in) comedy, to even the more recent impact of fatherhood and its spiritual demands.

The title track of the album, ‘Andromeda’, is dedicated to the mythological Greek Princess and far away galaxy of the same name. In a musical metaphor, the two saxophones weave their way towards each other finally converging in the eerie 7/4 time slash chord groove. Garnett cryptically informs the listener that this serves as a “reminder of the darker elements of her intentions towards us” and that In 3.75 billion years or so the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies are set to fatally collide.

Although the concept of time is basically a human construct, you could say that emotionally this latest creative release of Garnett’s has been twenty years in the making but spiritually speaking hasn’t come a moment too soon.

 

 

 

Promo Video

 

Preview Tracks

1. So Long!

2. Charlie’s World

3. Andromeda

4. Delusions Of Grandma

5. Early Autumn

6. Holmes

7. Her Tears

8. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

 

Press Highlights

“Garnett’s group includes New York saxophonist Tim Armacost in a series of virtuosic two-tenor conversations backed by Liam Noble (piano), Michael Janisch (bass) and James Maddren (drums). The leader’s dark, almost baritone-like tone and Armacost’s lighter sound establish plenty of intrigue. Serpent was a hard act to follow, but Garnett has nailed it, and without repeating himself.”
4 Stars, The Guardian

“These are musicians with their own strong personalities and improvising styles.”
The Sunday Herald

“The tough, tight and sinuous front line was a fresh look at the twin-tenor set up.”
The Financial Times

“The writing throughout (mostly Garnett’s) is very convincing… Garnett and Tim Armacost bounding around like labradors.”
4 Stars, Marlbank

“This a fine album from Garnett and his Bunch of 5 that unusually for a two tenor front line resists the temptation for combative duelling, and the net result is a set that reveals more with each listening.”
Jazz Views

“The combination of the leader’s tone and delivery is every bit as commanding as Rollins or Getz, whether rocking widely or producing those gorgeously lush, reaching phrases – and the diversity and inventiveness of the strong Garnett/Armacost musical partnership here is compelling throughout.”
AP Reviews

“Thoroughly enjoyable.”
The Northern Echo

“Andromeda features five of the brightest stars on today’s jazz scene.”
London Jazz

“The two tenor front line has long been a classic combo format – Think Sonny Stiit/Gene Ammons; Teddy Edwards/Dexter Gordon; Gordon/Wardell Gray; Zoot Sims/Al Cohn; Lockjaw Davis/Johnny Griffin and, of course, the Jazz Couriers in the form of Ronnie Scott and Tubby Hayes. However, comparisons are odious or, in this case, melodious, and this quintet can stand up and be counted alongside any of their predecessors.”
Bebop Spoken Here

 


 

Click here to purchase Serpent from the
Whirlwind Recordings site (CD, MP3, FLAC, ALAC, etc)

Serpent by Alex Garnett

Serpent-big
Click to view larger image

Personnel | Album Credits

Alex Garnett – tenor saxophone
Anthoney Wonsey – piano
Willie Jones III – drums
Michael Janisch – double bass

Recorded at Systems Two, NYC
Engineered by Mike Marciano
Mixed by Tyler McDiarmid
Mastered by Mark Wilder of Sony Music
Executive Producer – Michael Janisch

 

About: Serpent

Official worldwide release date – September 5, 2011

Alex Garnett has been one of the leading saxophonists in the UK and Mainland Europe for over two decades, with an instantly recognizable sound and facility on his instrument that has gained him widespread appeal with fans as well as respect from fellow musicians. A versatile player and first call sideman, he has enjoyed success as both a professional jazz artist, composer and arranger, and an in demand session, studio and commercial saxophonist, having racked up countless recording credits along the way.

A ubiquitous performer with many of the UK’s leading bands, he is also a regular sideman of choice for many of the top visiting American artists when touring in Europe, and has himself performed worldwide appearing at such venues as The Blue Note, Birdland, as well as the Perugia, North Sea, Vittoria, Montreax, and Oslo Jazz Festivals to name but a few, with artists such as Sir John Dankworth, Wynton Marsalis, Pete King, Humphrey Littleton, The Rolling Stones, Scott Hamilton, Van Morrison, as well as with his contemporaries Gareth Lockrane, Seamus Blake, Phil Robson, Michael Janisch and Joel Frahm.

It’s very rare that an artist as renown and prolific as Garnett (he’s also regarded as an inventive composer and arranger) waits until his 40th year to release his own solo record, but even that wasn’t planned. What was a routine pilgrimage to NYC ended up his debut album Serpent, the result of a lucky chance to grab some last minute studio space with some of his musician friends who happened to be in the city at the same time. Recorded at Systems Two Studios, the album features drummer Willie Jones III, Anthony Wonsey on piano and double bassist Michael Janisch and showcases eight spirited original compositions full of melodic and harmonic twists from the leader. With the arrival of Serpent Garnett establishes a solo career as a saxophonist and composer of standout originality.

 

Promo Video

 

Preview Tracks

1. Lydia

2. Three for a Moor

3. Blueprint

4. Draculas Lullaby

5. Saluda Hakim

6. The Pimp

7. Serpent

8. Atonement

 

Press Highlights

Best Albums of 2011 Critics List, Jazzwise Magazine

“Music to make you realize why you love this music.”
JazzUK

“Garnett has all the individuality, skill and stamina every star soloist needs, and his debut album as leader is an impressive affair. Alex contributes eight excellent themes including the title track. This is a serpent with plenty of bite.”
**** 4 Stars, CD Pick of the Week for July 29th, 2011
The Evening Standard

“[Serpent] reveals a compositional sharpness that makes this new solo career look like a long-term one… full of exhilarating melodic turns… it’s an unexpected gem.”
**** 4 Stars, The Guardian

“Impeccable…[Serpent] delivers the impression of a club gig even though it’s a studio session.”
Clarinet and Saxophone Journal

“Alex Garnett has a classic saxophonists sound, and on ‘Serpent’ he fronts an impeccable band.”
Cuadernas de Jazz (Spain)

“[Garnett] confidently moulds a personal voice out of the best of the contemporary mainstream on his first, somewhat belated album as a leader… with a deep-tone, soulful spontaneity and an impressive sense of form.”
**** 4 Stars, The Financial Times

**** 4 Stars, CD of the Month for Sept. ’11
UK Jazz Radio

“Garnett’s trip to NYC in 2009 paid off…what we hear on this disc is something jazz is supposed to offer but seldom does these days.”
Jazz Journal

“These musicians don’t chase fashion. They are what they are, and do what they do as well as anyone. It [Serpent] has been worth the wait.”
London Jazz

“A thoroughly enjoyable and refreshingly unpretentious album, unfussily recorded in what sound like first takes, so that the overall effect is of a hot live performance.”
London Jazz

“[Serpent] impresses on numerous levels, including the quality of Garnett’s writing, the playing skills of the individual muscians and the way in which they lock in together as a unit…a belated but emphatic debut for Garnett as bandleader, who reveals himself to be wild, hip and cool in turn.”
All About Jazz

“Garnett confirms jazz as one of the most renewable of energies with a very clever, grooving reworking of ‘When The Saints Go Marching In’ (here renamed Atonement), revealed his and his band’s mastery of Latin American and bebop rhythms and tempos, and encouraged a collective free improvisation that resolved into consummate jazz ballad playing.”
Scotland Herald

“[Serpent] is a self-composed album of agile, fresh-sounding contemporary bop.”
The List

“What a great disc! What a great band!…Close your eyes and it could be a ’50’s blowing session by Hank Mobley, Joe Henderson or Dex, ‘cept Garnett has also absorbed later saxophone gurus such as Joe Lovano and George Garzone and the end result is an intricate weave of those influences culminating in a sound that is totally today.”
Bebop Spoken Here

“Garnett is a first call sideman to the stars… [Serpent] is an engaging introduction to a notable talent who’s ducked donning the leader’s hat for too long.”
Jazzwise Magazine

“Full of life and spontaneity… Garnett has a great muscular style and a rich, gritty tone.”
The Jazz Breakfast