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.
Because the three majors report only their overall recorded-music revenue, there is much speculation about what their owned labels earn individually. In an effort to shed light on the subject, Billboard has estimated their 2018 U.S. revenue.
Jocks&Nerds Magazine’s Chris May writes, “AFTER DECADES in the shadow of its American parent, British jazz is finally coming of age. A network of young, London-based musicians is forging a rebooted style which reflects the Caribbean and African cultural heritages of the majority of its vanguard players and also addresses the race, class and gender inequalities which infect modern British society.”
LJN’s Mike Collins writes, “What kept bringing me back to listen however, was the emotion and lyricism in Hobgood’s playing. That combined with the creative arranging and fine playing of the ensemble make this a release well worth seeking out.”
Hi-Fi News & Record Review Magazine selects release as Album Choice in August Issue.
“His (Gorodi’s) conviction is clear enough and the band tackles the material with what can only be described as judicious gusto.”
‘Gods of Apollo’ earns solid review and is selected by BBC Radio 3 as a top release.
The storied Blue Note label will continue its 80th birthday celebrations with Eagle Vision’s release on 6 September of the new documentary Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes.
JazzWax’s Marc Myers writes, “Gerry Mulligan's contributions to jazz are extraordinary and almost too many to mention here.”
John Law’s Congregation
UBU0036 / CD & Digital Formats
Release Date: 1st May 2020
Ubuntu Music is delighted to announce the signing of John Law, one of the truly great classically trained jazz pianists in the UK. The album, CONFIGURATION, features John’s quartet Congregation and will be released worldwide on 1st May.
John, a prize-winning classical prodigy on piano, turned away from classical piano studies to pursue jazz and improvised music when he was 23 and has been involved in, and acclaimed for, a wide variety of contemporary jazz and classical projects: from solo piano concerts and albums through trio and quartet tours and recordings, right through to large scale works for his semi-classical ensemble Cornucopia.
John has played at over 50 festivals worldwide and recorded over 35 albums, working with musicians as diverse as Gwilym Simcock, Andy Sheppard, Jason Rebello, Tim Garland and Evan Parker. John’s primary project for his own work is his acclaimed Quartet, Congregation, which has toured across Europe and beyond, appearing to exceptional audience acclaim in concert halls, clubs and at festivals such as the North Sea Jazz Festival (Rotterdam) or the Queen Elizabeth Hall, London (London Jazz Festival). His other projects include his other Quartet, Re-Creations, which plays other people's tunes, in addition to his solo and duo projects.
John Law’s Congregation plays exclusively John’s original compositions, designed to mix contemporary jazz and electronics, often playing over electronic music backing tracks and also occasionally mixing in elements from John’s past. This includes free improvisation from his improv work in the 1990s as well as going even further back, drawing inspiration from his classical roots. The quartet line-up consists of Ashley John Long and Billy Weir as the dynamic rhythm section and features, from Mercury Prize nominee Roller Trio, James Mainwaring on saxophones, guitar and electronics. Interestingly, it’s the electronics side that gradually became more and more a feature of the band’s sound and approach. This line-up toured widely in the UK, Germany and India before recording their debut album, CONFIGURATION.
As John describes the project, “With ‘CONFIGURATION’, my upcoming album, it feels like all the kaleidoscopic parts of my musical life have finally come together. Jazz, rock, electronics, classical… it’s all in there. My aim for Congregation, my band, is to put each composition into a different visual space, with its own individual identity. Like separate colours blending to form a design. A couple of the tunes took shape during a wonderful tour in India, where the sounds and colours we experienced there found their way into the music. And the whole thing is brought to life by the stunning young musicians I work with: James Mainwaring, on saxophones and guitar – the group’s partly built around his full-on saxophone playing and subtle understanding of electronics; Ashley John Long, on double bass – an extraordinary bass virtuoso and simultaneously a ‘straight’ composer who writes through-composed works for the London Philharmonic Orchestra; and Billy Weir, on drums – who brings the fire and enthusiasm to the project that is commensurate with his tender years!”
John continues, concerning his signing with Ubuntu Music. “I’m so proud to be signing to a label filled with amazing professional musicians I admire. The whole thing, from my very first contact with dynamic Director Martin Hummel, felt like joining an intimate group rather like a family. And one where the raison d’être is artistic quality coupled with a global, ethical vision and not financial gain. I’m looking forward to being part of this ‘family’ and working hard to make my contribution a part of the growing success story of Ubuntu.”
Martin Hummel, Director of Ubuntu Music, sums things up by saying, “John has been a well-kept secret for far too long, relative to his overall prowess as a pianist and a composer. For the many who know John, they are well-aware of his exceptional talent. And everyone is now in for a real treat. ‘CONFIGURATION’ joins all of John’s constituent artistic facets, connecting the delectable dots seamlessly and beautifully, delivering an exceptional album for the world to enjoy. It’s a pleasure to welcome John and his music to the Ubuntu Music Family.”
For further information, please contact:
Martin Hummel / Ubuntu Music: firstname.lastname@example.org
Emma Perry / Publicity: email@example.com
Mary James / Management & Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org