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“Haunting Lyricism”

Flood Tide is the Sam Crockatt Quartet’s second album. It sets out the group’s stall as the makers of a new contemporary jazz sound coming out of London. The quartet inhabit a lyrical land of hooky grooves, fast paced melodies and toe-tapping jazz swing. The antidote to the thrashy punk jazz of their peers, this music is soulful, absorbing and upbeat.

Interest has grown for the group since their first album ‘Howeird’. It won album of the year in the 2009 Parliamentary Jazz Awards and picked up strong reviews across the media. The band, a member of London’s Loop Collective, are part of a young group of musicians who’ve sprung some of the most interesting new jazz ideas about. The quartet, revolving around north London and specifically a house on The Ridgeway, (also a name of a driving groove-laden track on the album) is where Crockatt has lived for the last 10 years. This dynamic space of jazz musicians has over the years seen Jim Hart, Robin Fincker, Dave Smith all spend time there. Indeed Outhouse’s Outhouse recording shed is located in the garden out back.

A fleet of fine musicians comprise the quartet. They are Sam Crockatt on sax, 2010 Mercury nominated Kit Downes on piano, Oli Hayhurst on bass and Ben Reynolds on drums.

The album was written over the last few years and recorded in Cavalicco, Italy where many of the ECM records were also made. Says Sam: “It’s a place where time stands still, there weren’t the demands of London’s gig circuit pulling any of us away and we were able to record the album in this hugely relaxing place over a period of days.”

The album is a collection of fresh ideas, from the freebop-ish bounce of King Apple to the bluesy Theodore's Spring Song, which conjures up images of bustling Victorian thoroughfares. Entitled Flood Tide the album was so called as Crockatt feels the album reflected a kind of magnetic ebb and flow. Opening with the catchy and cinematic Sun and Moon, written with a Wakefield car journey in mind where the sun and moon reflected on either side of the car’s paintwork. Trilogy’s three part epic trips through a plaintive folky melody, solemn march and loose improvising. Groovy modern jazz tune The Golden Goose was written on the sax and named by Sam: “the upper part of tenor saxophones look like geese and I quite like the idea of a golden goose!” he chuckles. The excellent The Prophet is also worth a mention, loaded with a haunting melody and rumbling drums it’s based on the verse on death from Kahil Gibrain's book.

With Flood Tide the quartet are presenting a sound that whilst aware of its jazz legacy is never constrained by it, and it’s just what the scene’s been looking for.


released November 14, 2011

Sam Crockatt (tenor-sax)
Kit Downes (piano)
Oli Hayhurst (double bass)
Ben Reynolds (drums)

All songs except Sun and Moon written by Sam Crockatt
Sun and Moon written by Kit Downes


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Babel Label London, UK

Babel Label was founded in 1994 by Oliver Weindling. It primarily records and releases jazz albums from UK artists.

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