Wednesday, May 29, 2013

BRUNO HEINEN SEXTET - 'Karlheinz Stockhausen Tierkreis'.

BRUNO HEINEN SEXTET - 'Karlheinz Stockhausen Tierkreis'.  

We're very proud to present yet another recent release: BRUNO HEINEN SEXTET - 'Karlheinz Stockhausen Tierkreis'.  
Pianist and arranger, Bruno Heinen was knee-deep in Stockhausen from an early age. The luminous presence of wind-up music boxes from his childhood are at the heart of his exquisite arrangements of Tierkreis.
Both Bruno’s parents – cellist Ulrich Heinen and violinist Jacqueline Ross - had worked with the composer & electronic music innovator Karlheinz Stockhausen in the 70’s in Germany when he composed Tierkreis (1974-5) for 12 music boxes. Bruno’s father had acquired 4 of the music boxes, and Bruno’s fascination with the piece began in the family home. A 5th was recently presented to Bruno for his birthday in late December appropriately the Aquarius box - and he returned to the studio in January this year to lay it into this recording.
Tierkreis (meaning “the signs of the Zodiac”) has 12 melodies based on tone rows, one for each star sign. Heinen has adhered to Stockhausen’s brief instructions for the popular work, allowing for any combination of instruments, but that the performance should begin with the melody falling under the star sign of the selected date, and end with a repeat of the opening melody. Heinen’s recording in April, begins and ends with Aires, and on which the music box has a particularly vivid presence.
Heinen brings his classical training and jazz sensibility, with traces of funk, west coast flavour and Blue Note inflexions, to his substantial reworking of the composer’s ideas. Certain movements include improvising with the melodies and music boxes, while others involve reharmonising. His sextet of distinctive players bring their diverse experience to their readings and improvisations.
Stockhausen was a great believer in improvisation, and his influence rubbed off on a wide array of jazz musicians during his lifetime and since, including Miles Davis, Cecil Taylor and Herbie Hancock.
It’s five years since Heinen first arranged Tierkreis for a jazz sextet, but in 2010 he also arranged the work rather differently for cello, double bass and piano for a performance that also included his father Ulrich Heinen, the long time principal cellist of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Tierkreis recorded with Markus Stockhausen’s blessing, in April 2012 at Eastcote Studios, was produced by Philip Bagenal and Bruno Heinen. The album is dedicated to Heinen’s former teacher, the pianist and composer, Pete Saberton, who died in 2012.


A former classical piano student at the Royal College of Music, Bruno Heinen continued his studies with a Masters in jazz performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, taught there by John Taylor, and where he now teaches Jazz Harmony to Guildhall’s classical students. He has collaborated with many leading lights of the UK scene extensively since, including Julian Siegel, who guested on Heinen’s Dialogues Trio release Twinkle Twinkle released by Babel in 2012. Bruno leads both his trio and the sextet, and performs with Palestinian Singer Reem Kelani. As a composer, Bruno has written for groups ranging from sextet to two pianos and percussion, and from big band to classical string trio. He also leads the King Alfred School big band, and recently led them to win the Music For Youth Competition with his arrangements.

Bass clarinettist James Allsopp won a BBC Jazz Award for innovation in 2008, recognition in part for his groundbreaking band Fraud. More recently he has led his band The Golden Age of Steam, whose debut Raspberry Tongue was released by Babel in 2010, followed by Welcome to Bat Country” on Basho.

 Tenor saxophonist Tom Challenger is best known for his electronica-leaning post-jazz band Ma, and Dice Factory, who debuted in 2012. Challenger became involved in improvisation while still at school, and later gained a first class honours degree from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

London-based Italian trumpeter Fulvio Sigurtà jazz training has included study at Berklee in Boston, and a Masters at the Guildhall School of Music in London. With the Guildhall Big Band he appeared on Pure and Simple, an album that featured John Taylor.

Andrea Di Biase studied double bass at the Milan Conservatoire, and continued with postgraduate studies in jazz at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He leads the Oltremare quartet releasing debut album Uncommon Nonsense in 2011 on Babel, and is a member of the Dialogues trio.

Drummer Jon Scott is also a member of Dice Factory, the Oltremare quartet and Dialogues trio, and is best known for his work with the MOBO-winning Kairos 4tet.

Album launch @ the Vortex Jazz Club in March

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Beyond A Love Supreme: John Coltrane and the Legacy of An Album

Beyond A Love Supreme is a new book by Tony Whyton the author of Jazz Icons: Heroes, Myths and the Tradition (2010). This latest offering takes on not just a John Coltrane masterpiece but one of the greatest jazz albums of all time whose importance and influence cannot be overstated. Coltrane's emergence from a dark period coincided with a heightened sense of spirituality and creativity that came together in the recording of  A Love Supreme, which explains why the work is often regarded as one of redemption.

A Love Supreme is widely considered John Coltrane’s magnum opus and one of the greatest jazz albums of all time.   In Beyond A Love Supreme, Tony Whyton explores both the musical complexities of A Love Supreme and the album's seminal importance in jazz history. Marking Coltrane's transition from the bebop and hard bop of his earlier recordings to the free jazz style perfected
throughout the rest of his career, the album also embodies 
the deep spirituality that characterized the final years of his life. The titles of the four part suite—"Acknowledgment," "Resolution," "Pursuance," and "Psalm"—along with the poem Coltrane composed for inclusion in the liner notes, which he "recites" instrumentally in "Psalm," reflect the religious aspect of the album, a quality that contributes to its mystique and symbolic importance within the canon of major jazz recordings. But Whyton also shows how A Love Supreme challenges many of the traditional, unreflective assumptions that permeate jazz culture—the binary oppositions between improvisation and composition, black music and white music, live performance and studio recording. He critically examines many of the mythologizing narratives about how the album was conceived and recorded and about what it signifies in terms of the trajectory of Coltrane’s personal life. Sifting through the criticism of late Coltrane, Whyton suggests ways of listening to these recordings that go beyond the conventional ideologies of mainstream jazz practice and open the music to a wider range of responses. Filled with fresh insights into one of the most influential recordings in jazz history, Beyond A Love Supreme is an indispensable resource for jazz scholars, jazz musicians, and fans and aficionados at all levels.


“Tony Whyton has brilliantly revealed how it has become impossible to know John Coltrane's A Love Supreme outside notions of race, spirituality, history, authenticity, and nostalgia.  For me, it's like hearing the music for the first time.”—Krin Gabbard, Author of Hotter Than That: The Trumpet, Jazz, and American Culture

“Smart and engaging, Whyton's study highlights the multiple and ever-changing interpretations of Coltrane's most famous recording.  In the process, Beyond a Love Supreme serves as an important corrective to those efforts -- however well-meaning -- that might limit how we understand jazz and its people.”—David Ake, Jazz pianist and author of Jazz Cultures and Jazz Matters

Author Tony Whyton is Director of the Salford Music Research Centre at the University of Salford.   and co-editor of the Jazz Research Journal. Beyond A Love Supreme is Published by Oxford University Press. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013


Robert Ratajczak 
has reviewed a number 
of Babel releases which are 
in Polish but can be read using the 
google translator

Monday, May 13, 2013

Latest News from the Tower (May)

View from the Tower will be back Sunday 23 June 16:00 @ the Vortex Jazz Club

A word from Dan Messore:

Preparation for the "View From The Tower" residency are steady and underway. There is lots of exciting new music coming in from the likes of Mike Chillingworth, Dave Hamblett, Garteh Lockrane and more.
It's a real privilege to explore this collection of music with such beautiful musicians and the steadily increasing audience and interest in the project has breathed life into it's sails. These will be a fabulous series of concerts and I hope to keep expanding the potential for this project. It's a honouring and soulful learning experience to have the opportunity to work with the heritage material of British jazz. Next instalment is with Eliot Galvin (piano), Dave Hamblett (drums), Steve Waterman (trumpet), Gareth Lockrane (flutes), Joe Wright (sax), Tom Farmer (bass) and myself on guitar. Sun 23rd June 4pm at The Vortex.

The last few months I've been touring "The Bloody Ballad Of Mary Maid" a macabre Tarentino-esque theatre piece which has been on national tour and ended its run at Soho Theatre a week ago. Off to Edinburgh for August and the festival. It's a great show and it's lots of fun. I'm playing surf/rockabilly/country/ blues on my trusty Telecaster and it's been a treat to do my best Danny Gatton impression. Finger picking good.

Also, I've been heavily into organ trios recently. Especially that of Bernstein/Stewart/Goldings, John Scofields' Trio Beyond and the infamous Larry Young Unity record. I've been writing and rehearsing for a new group with Tim Giles on drums and Ross Stanley on organ and Garteh Lockrane on flute.  Finding myself in very fortunate surroundings, these guys are just awesome and I look forward to our first gig June 11th at Amersham Arms.

Dan  x

p.s. I've got a new website :

Wednesday, May 01, 2013


Indigo Kid is a project that guitarist / composer Dan Messore has run run for three years which came out of his collaboration with saxophonist / composer Iain Bellamy. The result was the birth of 'Indio Kid' based on Iain's image of Dan as a little feral country boy. For their first album 'Indigo Kid' (Babel)  2012, they were joined by Tim Harries (bass) and Gethin Jones (drums). Indio Kid will hit the road on a Jazz Services tour between May 16-27 with the Vortex Jazz Club gig marking the end of the tour. TICKETS 

KATAN500: Where did you get the idea for Indigo Kid?

DAN MESSORE: Indigo Kid is a project that I've been running for 3 years now. I had been writing with the intension of combining my influences. At this time I came into contact with Iain Ballamy. He showed interest in what I was doing and we began chatting, gigging and developing my work. This was an incredible experience for me, giving me confidence to follow my heart and also focus to refine my experimentation. It became mutually agreed that we wanted to record, Indigo Kid was born. The name for the group comes  Iain's view of me as a little feral and country, it stuck! When discussing who to use on the recording, Iain introduced me to bassist Tim Harries and I introduced him to drummer Gethin Jones. Both were perfect choices. 

KATAN500: Is there a new  Indigo Kid album in the pipeline? 

DAN MESSORE: I was very recently in the studio recording "Indigo Kid II". The line up on this new record is Martin France on drums, Tim Harries on electric bass and Trish Clowes on sax. With Iain guesting on several tracks. I'm really happy with this new recording, advancing and evolving the concept of the music deeper into the place where it belongs. Trish has been a great presence and influence. I worked closely with Martin and Tim with the material and identiy of the compositions.  Tim and I are mixing the tracks in June and I can express how enjoyable and growing it is to work in this capacity with such an experienced musician. More on this soon...

KATAN500: When are you playing at the Vortex in London?

DAN MESSORE: 27 May. Ya'll come down now...

Indigo Kid Jazz Services Tour May 16-27

16th - Dempseys, Cardiff
17th - Bebop Club, Bristol
20th - Beaver Inn, Appledore
21st - St Ives
22nd - Teingmouth
23rd - Jazz Steps, Nottingham
24th - Rush Hour, Birmingham 
26th - The Groove Inn, Leeds
27th - The Vortex, London