News from Jazz Pianist/Composer GEOFF EALES
NEW RELEASE INFORMATION FOR PRESS/MEDIA
“as original as they come, listening to everyone but beholden to no single influence; Eales demands your attention with the force of his musical personality and keeps it with his musicianship” – Budd Kopman (Cadence)
GEOFF EALES is regarded as one of Europe’s most inspirational pianists and composers. Though he has been pro-active in a vast variety of musical situations throughout his long and distinguished career, it is within the realm of jazz and improvised music that the full extent of Geoff’s personality is revealed.
Geoff is that rare breed of artist – the multiple specialist. He is fluent in many musical languages: blues, bebop, swing, ragtime, gospel, latin, fusion, classical, the avant-garde and more. As Jack Kenny puts it in Jazz Views, “Geoff Eales is unique. When you talk to him one word comes up over and over, eclectic… any performance by Geoff will refer to the varied influences of his life so far: a splendid synthesis from Messiaen through Henry Mancini to Bill Evans.”
Geoff’s incredible musical journey began in the late 1950’s in the South Wales Valleys, his jazz-loving father sowing the seeds for a life in music when he taught him the 12-bar blues when he was only eight years old. From that moment on Geoff has never looked back.
Having graduated from Cardiff University with a Masters in Music in 1973, Geoff enrolled on a Ph. D course where he specialized in Composition and the music of American composer Aaron Copland. As a career in academia beckoned Geoff decided to broaden his horizons instead. Cruising the world as a ship’s musician for a couple of years, Geoff absorbed the music of many different cultures – Greek, Turkish, North African, Spanish, Japanese, Balinese and North and South American. These early musical experiences would have a tremendous impact on his later work.
Geoff moved to London in 1977, joining the BBC Big Band a year later. Here he worked with some of the best arrangers in the business including Nelson Riddle, Billy May and Bob Farnon and many fine jazz vocalists such as Norma Winstone, Rosemary Clooney and Marian Montgomery. By the time he had left the organisation in 1983 he had been featured in well over a thousand broadcasts.
After the BBC years Geoff quickly became one of the most sought-after pianists on the London session scene. He remained a top studio musician for over 15 years working alongside a host of musical luminaries, Leonard and Elmer Bernstein, Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith and Lalo Schifrin included. However as the new millennium approached Geoff felt an inner need to return to the music that had inspired him in his youth – jazz.
In 1999 Geoff released his first jazz album as a leader, Mountains of Fire, to rave reviews. Since then a steady stream of highly acclaimed albums has flowed: Red Letter Days (2001), Facing the Muse (2002), Synergy (2004), The Homecoming (2006), Jazz Piano Legends (2007), Epicentre (2007) and Master of the Game (2009).
Throughout his career Geoff has performed at many of the world’s leading jazz clubs including the Blue Note Clubs of Japan, New York’s Birdland, the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, Louisville’s Jazz Factory and London’s Ronnie Scott’s. He has also graced the main stages of many of the major jazz festivals such as Belgrade, Zagreb, Cork and Brecon.
Geoff is very pleased to announce the release of two CD projects that illustrate his diversity and musicianship – both as performer and composer. Both discs will be fully serviced to all UK classical & jazz music press and radio. Advertising will include major appropriate music magazines and publications. For more details, and to request a review sample and/or an interview request, please contact John Cronin at Music & Media Consulting Limited.
Title: Shifting Sands
Cat. No: 33Jazz226
Discs: Single CD/Standard Case
UK Release: Available Now
Distribution: Proper Note (UK)
Towards the end of 2010 Geoff Eales formed the exciting genre-busting band Isorhythm featuring Ben Waghorn (saxes/bass clarinet), Carl Orr (guitar), Fred T Baker (bass guitar) and Asaf Sirkis (drums). “Shifting Sands” is Isorhythm’s debut album (which includes a guest appearance by the brilliant violinist Chris Garrick).
Featuring eight new compositions by Eales, this is the pianist’s ninth album as leader and is his most daring and innovative to date. The vibrantly colourful music is firmly rooted in the jazz-fusion genre and is replete with propulsive rhythms, sudden metrical shifts, post-Hendrix guitar wailings, edgy sax lines, infectious bass riffs and take-no-prisoners power house drumming.
The sources of Eales’ inspirations are many and varied: Mahavishnu, Bitches Brew, Soft Machine, Zappa, Messiaen and Stravinsky to name but a few. However, he never imitates. Instead he listens, absorbs, and then transcends his influences.
“Shifting Sands” reveals Eales to be a master story-teller. Some of the tales are dark and menacing – angry even. Others speak of unbridled joy and ecstasy. There are songs of sadness and regret. At times the music floats ethereally. Elsewhere it throbs and grinds with primeval energy.
Isorhythm tour the UK in late spring 2012. Confirmed dates so far include 606 Club Chelsea (18/4); The Castle Wellingborough (19/4); Wakefield Jazz (20/4); The Woodman Sevenoaks (23/5); Symphony Hall Birmingham (25/5); Jagz Ascot (27/5); Dempseys Cardiff (29/5); Swansea Jazzland (30/5); Stratford Jazz (3/6).
Further information can be found at www.geoffeales.com
Artist: Geoff Eales
Title: Mountains of Fire
Cat. No: NI6158
Discs: Single CD/Standard Case
UK Release: Available Now
Distribution: Wyastone Estate/Discovery UK
GEOFF EALES, piano: NIGEL HITCHCOCK, alto saxophone: ROY BABBINGTON, bass; LAURENCE COTTLE, bass guitar: MIKE SMITH, drums: IAN THOMAS, drums
Geoff Eales writes:
Since the original notes to ‘Mountains of Fire’ were written thirteen years ago, a great sea-change has taken place in my musical life. From the time I left my native South Wales in 1977 for the buzz and excitement of London until I recorded ‘Mountains’ in 1998, my work could be best described as follows: studio musician, accompanist to the ‘stars’ and part-time jazz musician.
The whole dynamic changed post-1998. I became less and less interested in playing second fiddle to others and more and more concerned with carving a career for myself as an artist in my own right. Also, jazz had been on the back-burner for a very long time and I felt that it was high time that it occupied centre-stage. After all, it was the music that meant so much to me in my youth. ‘Mountains’ was warmly received by both public and jazz press alike and this further inspired me to dig deeper into my jazz soul.
The last thirteen years of intensive touring and recording have been hugely rewarding. I have had the opportunity to meet and work with many wonderful people throughout America, Europe and Asia, and it is always a thrill to go into the studio with a brand new project. I feel that I am on an incredible journey, one that would never have begun if it wasn’t for my decision to record ‘Mountains of Fire’.
Finally, I would like to say how delighted I am that Nimbus Alliance has re-issued my debut CD – it’s the album that changed my life.
Geoff Eales has an active tour schedule (in addition to the Isorhythm dates listed above) and confirmed highlights in 2012 include Kings Head Bexley (9/1); Bulls Head Barnes (20/1); Hawth Theatre Crawley (22/2); The Pheasantry Chelsea (13/4 & 14/4); Wales Millennium Centre (6/5); Portsmouth Jazz Society (14/5); Ribble Valley Jazz and Blues Club (7/6); Village Institute, Hornby, Lancaster (8/6); Zeffirellis Ambleside (9/6); Savile Club Mayfair (15/6); St Mary’s Church Hall (27/6), Sandbach: Berkhamsted Civic Centre (30/6). These dates are followed by a nine day Russian Tour with vocalist Salena Jones. Further information can be found at www.geoffeales.com
Geoff Eales Press Release Dec 2011 (91.5 KiB)