Launching this October in association with the Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music we are crowdfunding to establish a bespoke, ethically driven record label run by artists in which to present unique international jazz and improvisation.
New ideas and new sounds for a new decade.
Pre-order our first releases, pay it forward and pledge to be part of something new as we put down the foundations for an environmentally-friendly label supporting artist independence, investing in independent music studios and collaborating with carbon neutral sustainable businesses to manufacture and deliver our products.
Established in 2017, the Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music was set to present the fourth edition this coming October 2020, but like many others, due to Covid-19, it is not possible to stage this year's event.
There are no tickets to buy for the festival this year but we sincerely hope audiences invest in this new initiative.
The idea of a label directly associated with the festival has been considered for a number of years, and now with some freedom of time, and a lack of live performance situations on offer to artists and audiences, we’ve decided this is a great moment to put alternative plans to action.
Whilst the postponement of this year's festival was not a decision anyone wished to make, it has been taken to ensure the wellbeing of all involved. However, with restless energy and putting the little grey cells into action, we hope to react positively and creatively by continuing to present high-quality jazz and improvised music through a different channel.
Our initial crowdfunder is being set up to generate enough income for our first three releases with audiences buying advance copies, or simply investing into our set up costs. A further stretch goal has also been created in order to look further to the future and begin discussions with other artists for successive releases.
The level of funding is set to cover the production costs of manufacturing our first three ecologically friendly CD pressings, alongside some studio costs and creating an online digital presence through a website and Bandcamp.
The Artistic Director and Producer of Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music will work closely with local and international musicians, graphic designers and studio engineers to create high-quality bespoke releases, with every aspect of the music production through to graphic artwork and presentation given full attention to detail.
Given the international nature of releases and flexibility currently required with social distancing, recordings will come from a number of studios and live performance situations. In Newcastle Upon Tyne future plans include working with both Blast and Blank Studios in Ouseburn for recording and mastering to ensure the high quality audio of each release.
We hope that audiences will invest in this new initiative as we continue to engage world class jazz and improvising musicians and encourage sustainability for crucial independent music studios and carbon neutral manufacturing plants.
RELEASES and PRODUCTION
Each release will be presented through CD’s in Eco Digipacks made entirely from 100% recycled card, egg boxes and cork. Sleeves will also be banded with a recycled matt card Obi strip adding a collectors element and emphasising the unique label identity. Further emphasising the sustainable nature of our releases each digipack will be housed in 100% compostable and biodegradable environmentally friendly wrap.
Our products will be manufactured in a carbon neutral pressing plant using 100% renewable energy and similarly delivered through a carbon neutral courier, finally arriving at your door in fully recyclable and biodegradable packaging envelopes.
There are three project releases to begin...
JOHN POPE QUINTET featuring John Pope (Bass) / Faye MacCalman (Tenor Saxophone and Clarinet) / Jamie Stockbridge (Alto Saxophone) / Graham Hardy (Trumpet) / Johnny Hunter (Drums)
The debut album from the Northern UK based Quintet with recording dates set for this coming October and a subsequent album support tour throughout 2021.
An urgent collection of new Solo Piano recordings entitled 'Via' recorded in March 2020 just prior to lockdown measures being imposed.
LAURA TOXVAERD - JACOB ANDERSKOV - MARIA FAUST
The Danish / Estonian Trio of Saxophones and Piano recorded live at Winterjazz in Copenhagen, February 2020.
THE ARTISTS and PROJECT RELEASES
John Pope Quintet / Project Release: Debut Album
As current Jazz North ambassador artists, the John Pope Quintet features five of North England's strongest young voices, with John himself also a current Serious Music Take Five participant, earmarking him as a vital emerging voice in the UK jazz scene.
As a bass player, composer and performer his work explores the boundaries and combinations of jazz, free improvisation, rock and experimental music with his own chord-less quintet inspired by the music of Ornette Coleman, Misha Mengelberg and the Art Ensemble Of Chicago.
Last year John appeared at Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music with the first presentation of ‘Liber Musika’, an ongoing composition project blending structured pieces and free improvisation, he is also co-leader of the avant-jazz trio CARTOON with UK improv veterans Chris Biscoe and Roger Turner, as well as being a founding member of award winning alt-jazz group Archipelago.
As an active member of the UK improvised music scene, John is deeply committed to the exploration of improvised music as a vehicle for both collective and solo expression. He has performed extensively as a soloist and in collaboration with internationally recognised artists including Joe McPhee, Evan Parker, Tony Bevan, Rhodri Davies, Alexander Hawkins, Cath Roberts, Paul Hession, Mick Beck, Han Bennink, Mariam Rezai, Beatrix Ward-Fernandez, Anton Hunter and many others. Appearances at festivals across the country include London Jazz Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, TUSK and Gateshead International Jazz Festival, alongside prestigious international venues such as Bimhuis (Netherlands) and Area Sismica (Italy).
John Pope Quintet were originally scheduled for an album release party at this year's Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music. In constructing a new plan of action members of the John Pope Quintet will now come together over the first weekend of October in order to record their debut album and perform a live streaming event from Newcastle.
It’s a great pleasure to welcome the debut album release from John Pope Quintet for the first run of the NEWJAiM Recordings project at such an inspiring point in the band's musical progression.
Paul Taylor / Project Release: Via
Paul Taylor is emerging as one of the most consistently interesting and innovative solo pianists in recent years, eschewing the conventional cliches associated with jazz improvisation in favour of an unorthodox, harmonically complex and often compellingly beautiful musical language that is often inspired by the classical tradition. Nonetheless, his playing also encapsulates the restless capacity for invention that is a cornerstone of jazz.
As well as an increasing profile in the UK, with appearances at Manchester Jazz Festival and Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music, Paul's music is also acquiring international acclaim, with recent performances at several festivals in Romania and Slovenia helping to establish his reputation as a master of piano improvisation.
In 2017 Paul received an invitation and performed solo for Transilvania Jazz Festival at the Hungarian State Opera House and Theatre in Cluj-Napoca in Romania, where he appeared before an audience of over 600 people. He also shared the stage with Matthew Bourne and much loved late Keith Tippett at Marsden Jazz Festival in the Victorian cathedral of the Colne Valley, St Bartholomews Church, as well as performing in a joint collaboration from Durham Jazz Festival with Jazz North East in the iconic Durham Cathedral.
For several years Paul Taylor has self released his own material, it’s a perfect time to be connecting him with the NEWJAiM Recordings project to present his brand new album ‘Via’ which carries a new sense of urgency, recorded on a Steinway Grand at Sage Gateshead in March of 2020 just prior to lockdown.
"A rare phenomenon" - International Piano Magazine
Laura Toxværd - Jacob Anderskov - Maria Faust
Project Release: Live from Winterjazz in Copenhagen 2020
Laura Toxværd (Photograph by Peter Gannushkin)
Laura Toxværd was a name unknown to Newcastle Festival of Jazz and Improvised Music until a visit to Copenhagen Jazz Festival in July 2019 was arranged through Jazz Danmark. On a hot and sunny Danish Sunday afternoon Laura performed an exceptional set with the Trio of Jeppe Zeeberg and Ole Mojfell at the city's legendary ILK Records 5e Club. An invitation to perform in Newcastle was made without hesitation and although the Trio are unable to come this year, the band’s UK visit is being rescheduled for October 2021.
Meanwhile however it’s a great pleasure to welcome Laura to the NEWJAiM Recordings project in which she presents a “Graphic notation in 3 parts”. Recorded in February 2020 from Winterjazz in Copenhagen the concert of Laura Toxværd (alto sax), Jacob Anderskov (piano) and Maria Faust (alto sax) represents an improvisational performance of said graphic notation and also revisits the duo Laura had with Jacob Anderskov some years ago which resulted in the album "Phone Book”.
The concert was reviewed by Jan Granlie for the European Jazz Media website Salt Peanuts with a strangely apt closing paragraph (Translation: Norwegian to English)
“Then the evening was rounded off with the project PHONE BOOK, a duo project with Jacob Anderskov on prepared piano and the alto saxophonist Laura Toxværd, one of our absolute alto saxophone favorites. They had invited to this concert the alto saxophonist Maria Faust, the ester who has made Danish of herself, and who in recent years has made a strong mark on the newer, Danish music scene, including the trio Shitney.
Before the concert, Anderskov stood on his head to fill the inside of the piano with a lot of "sticks" and other remedies that would make the piano sound different, and when they started we noticed that the placement of the various remedies inside the piano had its clear effect. In front, the two saxophonists, who even though they play the same instrument, sound very different. Toxværd with a hefty and raw tone against Faust's soft and more traditional alto saxophone sound. And together this becomes an exciting constellation. And when Toxværd walks around the room to share the "rawness" with the audience, while Faust looks for new chips and Anderskov sits and listens, the hall is captivated by the intense experience. Anderskov comes in with very creative and exciting playing, which despite all the remedies inside the piano, sounds original and nice, and as the two saxophonists take out the last, Anderskov picks out one and a half of the remedies inside the piano, and each sound that occurs fits perfectly with the two alto saxophonists' extravagant playing.
A lovely set, which I also think was recorded. So maybe we will also get this trio out on record soon. That would be great. Because it can be difficult to create the same intensity and energy in a record studio as what you get in a setting for a listening audience. And this evening the communication between stage and hall was perfect”