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Paul Towndrow

Thursday 09 Nov.2006 on stage 8pm
Bonington Theatre
Tickets £9 concs.£7 Students/children £5

Paul Towndrow Quartet

Paul Towndrow (ss)(as) Steve Hamilton (p) Michael Janisch;(dbass);Alyn Cosker (drms)

Paul has recently toured with the sensational U.S super group the Bad Plus. Performances at the 2006 Cheltenham International Jazz Festival as part of the Jerwood Rising Stars programme have given him many new fans.Following his every move with intelligence and grace the quartet broods on ballads with smokey elegance but can switch in an instant to delivering hard driving grooves with passion and technique belying their young years.

"he plays jazz the way it should be played straight from the soul"- Edinburgh evening news

paul_towndrow (Twice a finalist of the World Saxophone Competition, and already a veteran of the European festivals circuit, Paul Towndrow's strong sound and firm grip of the straight-ahead tradition have gained him much critical and public acclaim. Original compositions and innovative takes on jazz standards make up the set while group interplay and melodic, dynamic improvisation are key features.

"A turbo-charged amalgam of all your saxophone heroes" The Guardian

"Paul Towndrow - write that name down because it's going to be a big one in the future!" Humphrey Lyttleton, BBC Radio 2

Visit the Paul Towndrow Web Site - www.paultowndrow.com

Paul's MySpace site (includes music) (opens in new window)

PREVIEW – by Trudie Squires

A PRODUCT of the ever growing Scottish jazz scene, saxophonist Paul Towndrow impressed a Jazzhouse audience last November when he appeared with the all-saxophone Brass Jaw Quartet. He returns to the Bonington Theatre, High Street, Arnold, on Thursday, November 9, this time fronting his own very integrated and swinging quartet. A scholarship to Berklee College in Boston, Massachusetts, led to Towndrow studying with George Garzone and Joe Lovano. He’s recently toured with sensational US group The Bad Plus, playing the music of Ornette Coleman. Paul is also a member of the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and has also performed with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra.

In July 2003 Paul reached the last four at the World Saxophone Competition at Montreux Jazz Festival. He reached the final stages again in 2004 at the London Jazz Festival. On both occasions he was the only representative of the UK to reach the finals. That same year he performed as part of a collaborative project with some of Norway’s top players including drummer, Thomas Strønen and pianist Haavard Wilk, culminating in performances at both Edinburgh and Oslo Jazz Festivals. Paul was also selected to perform at this year’s Cheltenham International Jazz Festival as part of the Jerwood Rising Stars programme. He also currently performs, records and arranges for pop group, Hue and Cry. Along with Steve Hamilton (piano), Michael Janisch (bass) and Alyn Cosker (drums), his quartet’s music is lucidly melodic with spontaneous interplay and group dynamics being the key focus. Expect a mix of original compositions and standards with a twist.

The quartet’s pianist, Steve Hamilton, born in Aberdeen, grew up in a musical family. After encouragement and tuition from internationally renowned saxophonist Tommy Smith, Steve also applied for and won a full scholarship to study at Berklee. This great opportunity was made possible by financial support from many benevolent friends, including pop icon Phil Collins. After graduating in 1995, Steve spent five years in London where he teamed up with legendary drummer Bill Bruford and became a long serving member of the Bruford’s internationally acclaimed jazz quartet Earthworks. Steve left Earthworks in 2003 and is currently living and working in Scotland.

In the rhythm department bassist Michael Janisch is an excellent ensemble player and superb soloist; his work with the bow is a delight. Drummer, Cosker, likes to turn up the heat and even on ballads makes his presence felt. That said, his sense of drive and dynamics is well paced and for all his energy his playing does manage to leave plenty of breathing space for his colleagues.

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