Preview: Ed Jones Quartet at Vortex, 8th April

Left to right: Ross Stanley, Riaan Vosloo, Ed Jones, Tim Gilles

Ed Jones writes about about his upcoming gig at Vortex on 8th April with his band: the Ed Jones Quartet. Besides Ed (saxophones) The group features Ross Stanley (piano), Riaan Vosloo (bass), Tim Gilles (drums) and will be recording a live album there for release in the Autumn.

One of the few regrets that I have is that none of my gigs with any of my groups in the old Vortex club in Stoke Newington were ever properly documented. It was an important place for me as it was one of the first venues in London to take a chance on an unknown, and fairly inexperienced saxophonist. Those gigs there and at the old Jazz café on Newington Green, and the 606 Club really helped support and shaped my first fledgling attempts at performing and developing my own music. Some 25 years on Vortex and 606 clubs are still here supporting the music every night 365 days a year and still giving new young talent a chance, a place to start.

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Sometimes our lives are shaped by unusual co-incidents, and constellations. I remember clear as daylight playing my last gig at the old vortex in spring 2004, with my band at the time, which as it turned out was the last gig that line up ever played.

In early 2005 Trumpeter Damon Brown and myself formed Killer Shrimp and that kept me fairly occupied artistically and creatively amongst other projects. I hadn’t really considered forming a new group under my own name, and at the time i didn’t have anyone in mind to write for except for Killer Shrimp.

A few years ago one day, in conversation with the bassist Riaan Vosloo, he floated the idea that it might be an idea for me to put a band together and do a few gigs. He suggested Ross Stanley on piano, and Tim Gilles on drums. I had already played with Ross before and thought he was amazing. Tim I had never played with, but had heard him a few times over the years, a great gig at the old vortex with Iain Ballamy when Tim must have been 15 or something ridiculous like that, definitely stuck in my memory.

I first met Riaan on a gig in Bristol some years before on a pick up gig when he still lived there, his sound and vibe and approach to music in general really impressed me. There was no time to rehearse for the first gig so I brought along some of my old tunes, some Wayne Shorter tunes, and a few standards and we were off (!), opening the first night at the Hideaway Club in Streatham.

Right away there was a sound, a connection, some sparks flew, it really felt exciting and already it sounded like a group. That really took me by surprise, I hadn’t expected that coming, and I knew immediately I wanted to write again for this line up. There we go again, constellations!

I’m really excited by the prospect of playing and recording some new music at the Vortex in Dalston on April 8th with my latest project. All of the band have musically very strong personalities and are prepared to take risks, and instinctively let the music go where it wants to. For me its a real pleasure and challenge to play with them.

The decision to make a live recording hasn’t been an easy one, the risks of a live gig recording are high and fairly apparent; there’s no second takes, no second chances, it’s warts and all if you like, but I think its the only way to capture the sound of this current batch of compositions. In some ways its probably my most detailed composing for this kind of ensemble so far, but still with a lot of room for improvising, and it brings together lots of ideas I’ve had in my head for quite while. I’m really excited by documenting it in an environment that allows the music to go where it really wants to go. The new Vortex has that vibe, its a great room to play in and the audience really listens.

What does it sound like? Come down to Dalston on April 8th and find out!

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