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Tom Harrison Quintet ft. Cleveland Watkiss – “Unfolding In Tempo” Launch

Tonight Tom Harrison launches his second album ‘Unfolding In Tempo – Reflections on the Ellington / Strayhorn Canon
Featuring an all-star cast:
Ashley Henry – piano
Daniel Casimir – bass
Tom Harrison’s second album, released on Lyte Records, is a joyful celebration of the music of the jazz legend Duke Ellington and his longtime collaborator Billy Strayhorn.

Recorded live at London’s Pizza Express Soho and Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre during Harrison’s hugely successful national tour last February, the album features an all-star cast of British jazz musicians, most prominently internationally recognised vocal star Cleveland Watkiss, whose credits include Stevie Wonder, The Who, Wynton Marsalis and Bob Dylan. Also featured heavily are 2015 MOBO Award nominee David Lyttle, whose recent collaborations include Joe Lovano, Talib Kweli and Soweto Kinch, and Steinway artist Robert Mitchell. Together the group interpret both popular and lesser-known masterpieces, including ‘Solitude’, ‘The Intimacy of The Blues’ and ‘Take the ‘A’ Train’.

Harrison says, “Like all jazz musicians I grew up listening to Ellington. In preparing for this project, I spent a long time studying as much of his music as possible. It’s very intimidating to try to develop music that already has such a strong history and identity. I haven’t tried to reinvent the music, I’m trying to capture the feeling behind Duke’s songs, what they’re about, what they mean to me, and build a performance on that.”

Multi-award-winning vocalist Cleveland Watkiss is no stranger to the music of Ellington either, having performed it with a huge range of artists and ensembles throughout his career: “Duke Ellington is the daddy of our music. I’ve performed his work many times, but in this setting I can explore his music with a freedom I’ve never had before. When the music starts, anything can happen!

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