I wanted to make a project that could only happen at this specific moment in time, bringing together different musicians I’ve connected with over my time in London. Lockdown offered an opportunity, both to get the musicians together practically but also to respond positively (and with unity) to the difficult past year. I wanted to create space for these musicians to express themselves and shape my music – some of whom I’ve worked with for 10 years, and some of whom are new to me.
I felt lucky to be surrounded by so many distinctive and contrasting voices, wanted to capture that variety in an album rather than just recording one band. At a time when people weren’t able to play and create as much I wanted to go the other way, taking a maximalist approach to make something that was ambitious and wide ranging.
Partly, it was a kind of ‘curating’ – I wanted to bring these combinations of musicians together and allow them to make the music their own – every single musician made creative decisions over the three days’ recording that changed the direction of the tune as I’d originally conceived it.
The title, ‘Dream Band’ – I imagined what different combinations of my favourite musicians would sound like and wrote music for that. But it’s not something that’s totally fixed, with the lineups changing throughout the album. There are multiple possible dream bands…
released November 19, 2021
ALEX HITCHCOCK saxophone (all tracks)
CHERISE ADAMS-BURNETT voice (Tracks 4, 6)
CHRIS CHEEK saxophone (Track 6)
DAVID ADEWUMI trumpet (Track 6)
DESCHANEL GORDON piano (Tracks 1, 10)
FERG IRELAND bass (Tracks 2, 7, 9, 11)
JAS KAYSER drums (Tracks 1, 10)
JASON BROWN drums (Tracks 2, 7, 9, 11)
JOE DOWNARD bass (Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 12)
LUISITO QUINTERO percussion (Track 7)
MIDORI JAEGER voice/cello (Tracks 1, 8, 10)
NOAH STONEMAN piano (Tracks 2, 7, 11)
SHANE FORBES drums (Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 12)
WILL BARRY piano (Tracks 3, 4, 5, 6, 12)
WILL SACH bass (Tracks 1, 10)
'A fantastic talent... undoubtedly one of the stars of the
future' – Helen Mayhew, JazzFM
'The ideas and emotions cascading from his imagination... emerge as perfectly shaped notes and beautiful phrases from the bell of his saxophone. It’s a spellbinding process to witness’ – thejazzmann.com...more
Oh man, I just love this. Off-kilter in so many ways, but really lyrical at the same time. Came to it via James Maddren/Ant Law Quintet who I saw playing in Cambridge. James is one of the most interesting drummers I’ve seen for a long time. emdashman