Rising star alto saxophonist Tom Harrison has put together a new project to interpret the music composed by or in some way associated with extraordinary and overlooked contributors to the great jazz legacy. The current focus of the group is the great unsung hero of the alto saxophone Sonny Fortune. With a unusual combination of musical voices, Harrison attempts to bring new life and attention to the jazz master’s musical legacy. Capturing the spirit of the iconic Blue Note Records of the 50s and 60s, and drawing it together with the transcendent spirit of Coltrane, Sonny music is both melodic and spiritual. Inspired by Fortune’s recordings for Blue Note, Harrison reached out to jazz master and his manager Marty Khan to get an inside perspective on the music. The interview was published by Jazzwise here:
Memories of Sonny Fortune
The group’s debut performance to a sold out house at the London Jazz Festival 2015 was a huge success. UK Vibe reviewed the show, describing the performance as “Sheer bliss... it was as if some of Sonny Fortune’s essence had transmuted to the younger saxophonist.”
The full review can be found here; UK Vibe Review
Live recordings of the show can be found here;
Tom Harrison: For alto saxophonist/composer Tom Harrison, the art of jazz is far more than mastery of the instrument, fluency in the repertoire and respect for the tradition. For Tom, the real undertaking is to connect with that which inspired the immortals of jazz, and to cultivate it within his own work. Since graduating from the renowned Trinity College of Music in 2012, Tom Harrison has performed or recorded with a host of internationally recognised jazz musicians in 12 countries, including Terell Stafford, Joe Lovano, Jason Rebello, Michael Buckley and Jean Toussaint, as well as commercial artists such as Heather Small, M-People, Talib Kweli and The Fall. His debut album was well received by the media, described as “impressive” by Jazzwise and “a strong calling card” by All About Jazz. The album was launched with a 22-date UK tour, featuring a series of guest tenor saxophonists including Jean Toussaint and Paul Booth.
Featuring prominently in the group is internationally renowned trumpeter Quentin Collins. Described by MOJO magazine as “A trumpeter whose style is a sizzling update of the Morgan/Hubbard approach,” Quentin’s performance credits range from Prince to Gregory Porter, as well as highly regarded jazz instrumentalists such as Will Vinson and Joel Frahm.
Robert Mitchell: In the early 90s, Robert Mitchell began to emerge as an important member of the London scene with two groups Quite Sane and Tomorrow's Warriors. Poles apart in their music and purpose, the diversity foretold Robert's wide-angle view of Jazz expression. This quickly led to further involvement internationally with Steve Coleman, Greg Osby, Courtney Pine and Steve Williamson. Over his nearly 20 years entrenched in the art of music, Robert has recorded eight albums of his own projects, participated in over 100 projects as a sideman and has performed in more than 40 countries.
Tom Harrison: Alto Saxophone
Quentin Collins: Trumpet
Robert Mitchell: Piano
Conor Chaplin: Bass
Dave Hamblett: Drums
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