Presenter Ian Shaw features a broad range Ubuntu artists, and praises Martin Hummel’s passion for his artists and the Label. Featured Ubuntu Music artists include Mark Kavuma, Andrew McCormack, Tom Cawley, Quentin Collins & Brandon Allen, Leo Richardson, Miguel Gorodi, Eric Alexander & Harold Mabern and others.
“If you closed your eyes during a set by the Leo Richardson Quartet at Christ Church Friday night, you could easily imagine that you were back at Minton’s Playhouse in Harlem, circa 1959.”
Quentin Collins Sextet
UBU0027 / CD, Digital & Vinyl Formats
Release Date: 13th September 2019
Ubuntu Music is delighted to announce the signing of Quentin Collins for his second album on Ubuntu Music. Road Warrior will be released worldwide on 13th September.
As one of the hardest working and in-demand internationally renowned jazz trumpet players, Collins has formed an all-star band which is a progression of his quintet with alto sax ace, Tom Harrison, which gave birth to the Quentin Collins Sextet.
Collins’ overarching ambition was to record an album, consisting of original material, with the joint collaboration of a select US-based rhythm section and an established UK-based horn section. The end result is a collection of straight-ahead contemporary bop, composed equally by Collins and Harrison.
As background, Collins met in-demand US pianist Dan Nimmer (Wynton Marsalis) while touring with Kyle Eastwood, a band Collins has been a regular with for years. Collins was so impressed with Nimmer’s playing that he invited him to be a part of the new project. Nimmer graciously accepted the offer, and suggested that the incredible drummer, Willie Jones III from New York City, joined the line-up. In addition, one of Nimmer’s close friends from high school, NY bassist Joe Sanders, rounded out this most impressive roster.
Collins further decided to stretch the front line with young tenor sax sensation, Leo Richardson, whose debut album Quentin produced on the Ubuntu Music record label. By chance, Tom Harrison also went to music college with Richardson, which made the ensemble that much more synchronistic. Meilana Gillard (who was drafted in to play alto on four days’ notice, when injury left Tom Harrison unable to make the recording) completes the line-up.
Harrison asked the iconic Jazz Messenger’s legend, sax titan Jean Toussaint, to join the project in performing on two tracks and to produce the album. Collins, by contrast, asked the multi-talented composer/arranger/musician Troy Miller (Laura Mvula) to mix the album.
As Collins explains, “This music has been a personal journey of self-discovery. It is also a significant collaboration with my great friend, Tom Harrison. Each of our compositions represents a journey--be it spiritual or physical--and all the great wisdom gained along the way. I hope the love that went into the composing and recording process for ‘Road Warrior’ will be equally embraced by all who listen.”
Regarding his relationship with Ubuntu Music, Collins elaborates, “Releasing Road Warrior on Ubuntu is, for me, the perfect next step in my journey with the Label. Having been Artistic Director for its first three years, I know intimately how much care, attention and love Martin Hummel puts into each project. This comes from a deep and long-standing appreciation for music and music makers and makes working together on this album a real joy and thrill.”
Martin Hummel, Director of Ubuntu Music, sums up the project, saying, “Quentin and I have shared a special relationship, as friends and as business partners with a deep mutual respect for the other. I started the Label with Quentin, and Ubuntu’s second release featured Quentin and Brandon Allen in a terrific album. It gives me great joy to extend the relationship further with ‘Road Warrior’, an absolute killer of an album created by Quentin and another good friend, Tom Harrison. This is a must-hear album that brings Quentin to a new level in his career that is much anticipated and long overdue.”
Leo Richardson, Bonsai, Andrew McCormack and Tom Cawley are featured.
UBU0026 / CD & Digital Formats
Release Date: 9th August 2019
Ubuntu Music is delighted to announce the signing of Leo Richardson for his second album on Ubuntu Music. Move will be released worldwide on 9th August.
Leo is widely recognised as one of London’s leading tenor saxophonists, best known for his honest, straight-ahead, contemporary hard-bop style. His influences include John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, Horace Silver and Art Blakey. Leo's 2017 debut album, The Chase, received exceptional reviews from around the world, including the first ever 5 Star review for a debut jazz album by the Observer. The Chase was also selected by The Times as one of the Top Ten Jazz Albums of 2017. In America, Downbeat Magazine praised the album as being straight out of the mid-1960’s jazz classics.
Leo has performed throughout the world and appeared last year at the Love Supreme Jazz Festival in the UK. This summer, Leo’s quartet will be performing at the Rochester International Jazz Festival in the US. He has played at Ronnie Scott’s, on numerous occasions.
Move, Leo’s next Quartet album, features his powerhouse rhythm section of Rick Simpson (piano), Tim Thornton (bass) and Ed Richardson (drums). The ubiquitous tenor Alex Garnett joins the band as guest on the final track. The sophomore album picks up where the debut album left off.
As Leo describes, “I never thought I’d release my second album so soon after the first, but I just love playing with the band so, I thought, why not?! The compositions on this record are very much a natural progression from the first album. I feel the music has developed and matured, instilling the essence of hard bop but remaining contemporary. The rhythm section in this quartet is absolutely world class and I’m very lucky to be able to play my music with them and develop it together as a band.”
Leo has been on Ubuntu Music from the start of his recording days. Concerning the Label, Leo explains, “Martin Hummel has put his life and soul into nurturing and growing Ubuntu. I have no idea how he manages to support all of his artists, regularly attending shows and helping artists move in the right direction. It’s a great pleasure and privilege to be able to release another recording on what is fast becoming a world-renowned label.”
Martin Hummel, Director of Ubuntu Music concludes, “Leo is a top-notch musician and a wonderful human being. The journey from the development to the release of his first album was sheer joy for me. The music was exceptional, and the world concurred. This guy is a very serious talent and we expect Leo to continue to go from strength to strength, with Ubuntu as his privileged partner. Brace yourself, for ‘Move!’”
Sebastian Scotney applauds the tenor sax man’s music in London Jazz Festival.
Another young-ish tenor saxophonist left a very strong impression with his gig on Wednesday at the Spice of Life club in Soho. Leo Richardson’s 2017 album The Chase, with a guest appearance from that daredevil of a previous generation Alan Skidmore, made it into several 2017 best-of lists. Richardson has just recorded another album, which includes another two-tenor roast, this time with Alex Garnett. Richardson’s quartet is also interesting for the sheer range of appealing characters and personalities in it, from the quirkily humorous Rick Simpson to the virtuosically insouciant Tim Thornton to the constantly provoking Chris Draper.
“We were treated to offerings old and new, with a sneak peak of the Leo Richardson Quartet's new album which, if last night was anything to go by, will be just as good if not better than the last.”
The ghost of Chet Baker was in the room when pianist John Horler's trio from the 1980's re-formed for a last time to launch Chet Baker Live in London Volume II.
Jazz in Europe features the second release, and the album launch show.
An interview that looks at Hummel's business, the state of the industry and the future!