Kit Downes Quintet
@ the PizzaExpress Jazz Club
17 November 2011
Click an image to enlarge.
Pianist/composer Kit Downes exploded onto the British Jazz Scene
playing with the band Empirical, taking him through Europe and America,
and then with Troyka, Stan Sulzmann, Fraud and Acoustic Ladyland.
He then went on to win the BBC Jazz Award for Rising Star in 2008,
a Yamaha Scholorship in 2009 and a British Jazz Award in 2010. After
Empirical, Kit moved on to his own trio project and his debut album
saw him develop into a strong voice both as a performer and composer.
Joined by his two Royal Academy colleagues award winning bassist
Calum Gourlay and rising drum star James Maddren this music displayed
a level of understanding and intelligence between players that could
have only come from working closely together for a number of years.
Their debut record ‘Golden’ was subsequently nominated
for the 2010 Mercury Music Prize. Having just recorded their second
album for Basho, the trio have invited guests James Allsopp (bass
clarinet), Josh Arceleo (tenor saxophone) and Adrien Dennefeld (cello)
to join them on the album and on their gigs for the release.
The band has spent these years developing their own personal sound.
It uses melody, inspired from a range of sources ranging from Bela
Bartok to Bill Frisell to Skip James, and endeavors to create a
sound that is engaging, but without sacrificing it’s integrity.
They have recorded live sessions for BBC Jazz on 3, BBC 6 Music
and Jamie Cullum on BBC 2 as well as playing at the NattJazz Festival
in Norway, Tel Aviv Jazz Festival, London Jazz Festival, Cheltenham
Jazz Festival, Brecon Jazz Festival and Glasgow Jazz Festival and
have toured throughout Germany and Austria.