Album Info

Album Veröffentlichung:
2014

HRA-Veröffentlichung:
18.06.2014

Label: Naim Records

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Mainstream Jazz

Das Album enthält Albumcover

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Formate & Preise

FormatPreisIm WarenkorbKaufen
FLAC 96 $ 17,00
  • 1The Simple Light Shines Brightest09:43
  • 2Bellsonian Scales03:50
  • 3The Prophet07:35
  • 4Ascent04:46
  • 5Descent02:17
  • 6Empiricism07:07
  • 7Studies In Time (The Healer)07:21
  • 8Where Wisdom is Found08:05
  • 9One For ‘Bones’ Jones05:12
  • 10The World In His Mind11:27
  • 11Scoffie (The Moody One)04:09
  • 12Repentance08:54
  • 13Studies In Time (Relative)06:58
  • 14Conflict In Our Time09:50
  • Total Runtime01:37:14

Info zu Tabula Rasa

The Guardian once commented that 'Empirical have become fascinating and fearless' and their fourth album Tabula Rasa is evidence that this is still very much the case. Never a band to shy away from taking risks, Tabula Rasa is a double album and marks yet another new direction from the band once dubbed by the Daily Telegraph as 'the coolest of Britain's young jazz bands'. Now come of age, they are considered one of the UK's most highly acclaimed jazz outfits and Tabula Rasa is the next chapter in their developing story, consolidating ideas first explored on their previous Naim Jazz albums ‘Out'n'In' (2009) and ‘Elements of Truth' (2011).

The line-up remains the same as the previous two albums: Nathaniel Facey alto saxophone, Shaney Forbes drums, Tom Farmer bass and Lewis Wright vibraphone, but is here augmented by strings from the Benyounes Quartet whom the band met during a tenure as Golubovich Jazz Scholars at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance. The use of strings had been in the band's mind for a number of years, but keen to avoid just ‘adding' strings to their sound they instead treated them as a compositional tool with each piece exploring a different concept of the string quartet tradition. Able to explore more classical influences as a result, the band have also been able to take their improvising into hitherto unexplored directions.

Those familiar with Empirical's music will know that experimentation and observation have always been key - forming the basis of 2011's ‘Elements of Truth' - and on Tabula Rasa they are as vital as ever. Not only have they taken the bold step of working with strings, they have also embraced the theme of storytelling, something they began to explore during their research into Eric Dolphy for ‘Out'n'In'. Tabula Rasa is therefore an anthology of sorts, with each track being a story or character in its own right. Bellsonian Scales depicts an alter ego, outgoing and slightly mad whereas Scoffie is an aspect of a character, cheeky, fun and humorous. Real life characters the band members have encountered also feature; One For ‘Bones' Jones' was inspired by a martial artist from the UFC. A biblical story forms the basis for A Simple Light and is about finding beauty in simplicity, whilst Ascent and Descent describe the spiritual journey either up to a better place, or down to a worse place. Although there is no voice to guide the listener, there is a cinematic quality to the tracks, which though complex and rich, leads us effortlessly through an entire double album of original music.

Ask who their influences are and the band are reluctant to be drawn on the subject - and rightly so. With their ethos of 'Gathering Knowledge through experiment and observation' their work is a reflection of the times, where music of almost any genre is readily available to anyone, so the crucial idea is to keep looking forward. Throughout their career they have inevitably been labelled in many ways but Tabula Rasa, Latin for ‘blank slate', invites the listener to approach the music with an open mind, free of preconception to draw from it what they will.

'there's freshness to Empirical's distinctive sound that's edifying' (MOJO)

'an urgent rhythmic punch with an otherworldly sonic... gripping throughout' (Jazzwise)

“Empirical are aiming high here and largely they succeed on what is unquestionably their most ambitious recording to date.” (The Jazz Mann)

Tom Farmer, double bass
Nathaniel Facey, alto saxophone
Shaney Forbes, drums
Lewis Wright, vibraphone

Benyounes String Quartet:
Zara Benyounes, violin
Emily Holland, violin
Sara Roberts, viola
Kim Vaughan, cello

Recorded by Dave Moore at Assault and Battery 2, London, UK
Mixed by Dave Moore and Empirical
Mastered by Ray Staff at Air Studios, London, UK
Produced by Empirical

Empirical besteht aus Nathaniel Facey am Altsaxophon, Lewis Wright am Vibraphon, Tom Farmer am Kontrabass und Shaney Forbes am Schlagzeug (auf dem Album ist als Gast auch Julian Siegel an Tenorsaxophon und Bassklarinette zu hören).

Alle sind sie Mitte zwanzig, und dennoch besticht jeder einzelne durch eine Kombination aus Virtuosität und künstlerischer Reife, die selbst bei einem weniger jungen Menschen noch erstaunlich wäre. Zusammen entfalten die vier ihre Kreativität derart souverän und mit solchem Einfallsreichtum, dass man ohne Übertreibung sagen kann, dass sie bereits die gesamte Jazzwelt haben aufhorchen lassen.

Musiker vom Kaliber von Nathaniel, Lewis, Tom und Shaney sind nicht etwa von Natur aus Meister ihres Fachs, sondern werden es durch jahrelanges hingebungsvolles Üben und Lernen. Man könnte sich fragen, wie ein Mensch in so jungen Jahren schon so viel geübt haben kann.

Fest steht dagegen, dass alle vier ihr heutiges Können nicht nur ihrem eigenen Einsatz verdanken, sondern auch den Chancen, die London jungen Jazzmusikern seit Mitte der Achtziger bietet. In einer Zeit, in der der Jazz in den Massenmedien regelmäßig totgesagt wurde, stellte man sich in London gegen den Trend. Musiker wie Courtney Pine und Ensembles wie Loose Tubes hauchten der Londoner Jazzszene neues Leben ein und machten den Jazz wieder zu einer Kunstform der Jugend.

Die Nachwirkungen dieser Zeit sind heute noch zu spüren – und dazu gehört zweifelsohne auch Empirical.

Dieses Album enthält kein Booklet

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