★★★★ - Marlbank
"Fragment succeeds magnificently" - Bebop Spoke Here
Award-winning drummer and composer Jonathan Silk releases his adventurous new album Fragment this November on Stoney Lane Records – a set of striking, dynamic originals for big band and strings.
From the high-octane power of the 19-strong big band alongside the graceful 13-piece string section, Fragment gives subtle nods to Jonathan’s Scottish roots, his world travels and the ever-changing natural landscape.
A driving presence on the thriving Birmingham jazz scene since graduating from the city’s Conservatoire in 2011, Jonathan’s recording brings together key players from both Birmingham and London, conducted by fellow Scottish drummer Andrew Bain. Awarded the Scottish Young Jazz Musician of The Year in 2014, Jonathan is a rising star in UK jazz, having performed worldwide with stellar names from Soweto Kinch and Liane Carroll to Stan Sulzmann and Ian Ballamy.
There are strong US influences on Jonathan’s writing, notably Brooklyn-based drummer Jim Black and saxophonist David Binney, to mentors and celebrated composers Maria Schneider and Vince Mendoza, with whom Jonathan studied over the past three years in Los Angeles and New York. He also cites his Birmingham teachers – Tony Levin and Jeff Williams – as formative in shaping his writing style.
Jonathan Silk - Fragment - Stoney Lane RecordsThe album’s intense title track, Fragment, is Jonathan’s exploration into varied rhythmic cycles and the development of groove-based, hard-hitting material overlapping the many layers of the band, set against frantic improvisation.
In contrast, First Light captures that twilight hour, whether from an early morning start or a very late finish. The 13-piece string orchestra in tandem with Percy Pursglove on flugelhorn explores a winter night spent with whiskey and friends, awaiting the snow reports at 6am. The second part of the suite, the reflective Last Light, is written around late-night wanderings, in particular a small Scottish island harbour, the knocking boats and quiet waves, ending on a note of restfulness and hope.
Barefeet was written following Jonathan’s time in South Africa, inspired by the endless walking to reach the summit of the Drakensberg Mountains, and one of the world’s highest waterfalls, the Tugela Falls. Taking similar inspiration, Buchaille pays homage to the first great mountain when you turn the corner into the once-volcanic mountain region of Glencoe, in the Scottish Highlands. ‘Buchaille Etive Mor’ was the first Munro (mountain over 3000ft) Jonathan climbed with his dad, friend and his late father – the mountain is a beautiful part of the landscape but holds a hidden more adventurous side to tackle once you climb.
Fragment is Jonathan’s second album – and first for Stoney Lane – following his debut self-release Uncouth in 2013. Fragment features an original artwork and painting commission by artist David Stanley.
“An exciting collection of melodious, joyful and youthful new music created by a fine young musician Jonathan Silk. I’m sure we will hear plenty more from him in the coming years. Very reassuring hearing ‘the music’ in such good hands.” – Stan Sulzmann
Jonathan Silk – Fragment
Released 4th November, 2016
Recorded at Angel Studios, London – January 2016
Produced by Chris Mapp and Jonathan Silk
Mixed by Alex Bonney
Mastered by Peter Beckmann
EAN – 5052442099740
7th October – Birmingham – Symphony Hall
1st November – Birmingham – Spotted Dog
2nd November – BBC Radio Scotland / Live – The Jazz House
3rd November – Glasgow – Dukes
4th November – Edinburgh – The Jazz Bar
9th December – Birmingham – CBSO Centre (full Big Band with Strings)
Scottish drummer, composer and band leader living and working in Birmingham. Since graduating from the city’s Conservatoire
in 2011, he has been developing his projects with a focus on composition study and performance. He performs regularly across the UK with his own projects with recent performances at many of the top festivals including, Cheltenham, Glasgow and London Jazz Festivals....more