The Bebop Shop : Current Events: New Jazz and Beyond : Clark Tracey
The catalyst for the group's formation was Clark's in-house tenure as a tutor at Birmingham Conservatoire, an establishment that boasts a formidable turn-out of notable jazz talent. Of the many students he's heard there over the past few years, three in particular piqued the drummer's interest: saxophonist Chris Maddock, pianist Harry Bolt and bassist Daniel Casimir. Around this nucleus the new Clark Tracey quintet began to take shape in 2013. Clark first encountered Henry Armburg Jennings, the band's trumpeter, when he called him to do a gig "and remarked that he was going to be in my next band! I couldn't turn down confidence like that!"
"This is our second album and I believe it documents our progress as a unit over the last two years very well. Each musician respectfully puts everything into the quintet's music and we've now reached a more intuitive level on gigs, which I hope has been successfully captured on this recording. It's a joy for me to watch these really talented musicians mature and develop, and as always it's a pleasure to be working in their company." - Clark Tracey, March 2016. (Proper Music) Price: £13.99
Trumpeter Alex Ridout is already making heads turn, winning the BBC Young Jazz Musician of the Year Award in 2016 when just 17 years old. 18 year old alto player Sean Payne was a finalist in the first of those awards when he was 14. Both musicians were heard by Clark at the Purcell School of Music some years ago and are currently studying at the Royal Academy of Music. On piano is Elliott Sansom, who recently graduated from Birmingham Conservatoire where Clark regularly teaches and he was also a finalist in the BBC jazz awards. Bassist James Owston is still studying at Birmingham where he is tutored by Arnie Somogyi and Mark Hodgson.
Recorded in April of 2018, this recording, which is Clark's 15th under his own name, has two original tunes by the horn players and three tunes which allow the musicians to stretch out. In their first year, under Clark's guidance, the quintet have performed at a number of major venues including Ronnie Scott's Club and the Pizza Express, along with festivals such as Swanage and the South Coast Jazz Festival. (Proper Music) Price: £13.99