MIKE PAXTON – Drums
Mike has performed with many of the leading jazz musicians working in the UK: Ronnie Scott’s quartet, Peter King, Stan Sulzmann’s quartet (with John Taylor), Ronnie Ross, Pete Hurt, Jeff Clyne’s ‘Turning Point’, Jim Mullen, Alan Barnes, Rick Taylor’s quintet, Australian saxophonist Dale Barlow, Jimmy Hastings, Phil Lee, Art Themen, Jimmy Deuchar, Don Rendell and many others.
Mike’s first CD of his own compositions, ‘Song of the Even Dunes’, released in 2015 features Martin Shaw, Mornington Lockett, Robin Aspland and Alec Dankworth. Journalist Peter Vacher, reviewing the recording for Jazzwise magazine, awarded it 4 stars (excellent), saying, “The instrumentation might suggest just another hard bop combo: not so… As might be imagined with the calibre of musicians he has recruited, the playing isexemplary and Paxton’s drumming is up there with the best”.
MARTIN SHAW – Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Blessed with perfect pitch, a warm, distinctive sound on trumpet and flugelhorn, and a remarkable ear for contemporary harmony, Martin has earned the respect of his peers in a wide variety of musical settings. He is recognised as one of Europe’s finest jazz soloists, having worked and recorded with many leading British and international artists: Kenny Wheeler, Phil Woods, Stan Tracey, John Dankworth, Dick Morrissey, Tim Garland, Stan Sulzmann, Michel Legrand, James Morrison and many others. Martin’s experience and outstanding musicianship also creates considerable demand for his services as a studio and touring player with more commercial artists, like Sting, Natalie Cole, and Jamie Cullum.
MORNINGTON LOCKETT – Tenor Saxophone
Mornington’s tenure with many of Britain’s finest jazz outfits speaks volumes: five years with Jim Mullen’s quartet, five years touring internationally with Ronnie Scott, fourteen years with various ensembles led by Stan Tracey, and several years co-leading the New Jazz Couriers with Martin Drew. He has also gained a formidable reputation, as a soloist, working with musicians from the USA and Europe: touring the UK with Arturo Sandoval, undertaking a European tour with Jimmy Smith, and working with Jack deJohnette, Niels -Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Ulf Wakenias, John Faddis, Franco Ambrosetti, Don Grusin, and Hungarian piano virtuoso Bela Szakcsi Lakatos.
ROBIN ASPLAND – Piano
A gifted and very imaginative improviser, with deep roots in the music, Robin is one of the UK’s busiest jazz pianists. As an accompanist, his taste is impeccable and, as a soloist, he finds unexpected delights in whatever material he addresses. He has worked with a vast array of leading jazz musicians: George Coleman, Bobby Watson, Eddie Henderson, Ronnie Scott, Steve Grossman, Kenny Wheeler, Dave O’Higgins, Art Themen, and many others. His ability to find new and exciting approaches to harmonic material has made him a favourite with some of Britain’s best known singers: Cleo Laine, Georgie Fame, and Van Morrison, to mention but three.
ALEC DANKWORTH – Bass
With a remarkable feel for time, a huge sound, and precise intonation, Alec has the flexibility to create a firm foundation for any ensemble, to create interplay, or to make virtuoso solo contributions. He has worked, around the world, with many leading jazz artists: as a member of Dave Brubeck’s quartet, with Abdullah Ibrahim, Mose Allison, Clark Terry, Johnny Griffin, David Murray, Mel Tormé, Peter King, Martin Taylor, Tommy Smith, Courtney Pine, Lew Tabackin, Anita O’Day, Michael Garrick, Jean Toussaint and the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Alec also leads his own ensembles: ‘Spanish Accents’ and ‘World Spirit’, which draw on Spanish and ‘world’ music.