New releases

  • Sarah Heneghan: Grass Will Grow Over All Of Us

    26th October 2023

    Grass Will Grow Over All Of Us is the third and final single from Sheffield-based drummer Sarah Heneghan’s debut album, ‘Power Out’. Power Out is also a stunning solo show of live drums, electronics, and lights, and the music will soon be available for your ears, 24/7. After three single releases, the campaign will be wrapping up with the album release in November. Power Out will be touring the UK in mid-late October to promote the album and the show itself. It’s not to be missed.

    Sarah Heneghan presents: Power Out has received support from Arts Council England, Manchester Jazz Festival, Serious Music, Sage Gateshead, and Jazz North. All music recorded and produced by David Glover at Tesla Studios, Sheffield. Photography & film by Kate Griffin Photography.

    'Grass Will Grow Over All Of Us is a gentle climate change anthem and reminder that, ultimately, nature will overcome us and our cosmic insignificance. The track oozes dreamy spacious electronics driven by a drum ‘n’ bass groove with a relaxed jazz feel, inspired by the drummers of contemporary Scandi jazz and EDM.'

    Upcoming Live Dates:

    Adelphi Club, Hull - 12/10/23

    Newcastle, Cobalt Studios - 14/10/23

    Hyde Park Book Club, Leeds - 16/10/23

    Full of Noises, Barrow-in-Furness - 19/10/23

    Newcastle, Gosforth Civic Centre - 20/10/23

    Peer Hat, Manchester - 25/10/23

    Secret location, Sheffield - 26/10/23

    Vortex, London - 15/11/23

    For further info and to follow and support click here

  • Jennifer Wharton: Grit & Grace

    20th October 2023

    Bass trombonist/composer Jennifer Wharton exemplifies Grit & Grace on the stunning third album by her trombone-forward ensemble Bonegasm. Grit & Grace, due out October 20, 2023 via Sunnyside, features new compositions by women composers along with Wharton’s first original works and bold arrangements

    “Jennifer Wharton's Bonegasm blows the doors wide open for the bass trombone. The horn itself may play from the bottom, but it can certainly operate at the top of the heap.” – Dan Bilawsky, All About Jazz

    “[Bonegasm] captivates as it ranges between the intimate and the orchestral with plenty of whimsy... that makes listening to a bunch of low notes immensely enjoyable.” – Hrayr Attarian, Jazziz 

    In a 2019 article, Forbes Magazine decreed that the two characteristics women need most to thrive in the business world are “grit and grace.” Bass trombonist Jennifer Wharton has exemplified those qualities in the music she’s made with her brass-forward band Bonegasm since its 2019 debut. How else to explain Wharton’s venture into improvising and bandleading after years in the classical world, big band sections and Broadway orchestra pits? Or her dedication to giving the oft-neglected trombone – and more to the point, her own bass trombone – its place in the spotlight? And not least, that she’s done so with a tricky balance of elegant arrangements, bold musicianship, and audacious wit?

    On her third outing with Bonegasm, Grit & Grace (due out October 20, 2023 via Sunnyside), Wharton demonstrates both attributes brilliantly on a vibrant and thrilling collection of new music, played with rousing vigor by the stellar ensemble: Wharton on bass trombone, along with trombonists John Fedchock, Nate Mayland and Alan Ferber, pianist Michael Eckroth, bassist Evan Gregor, drummer Don Peretz and, on half the tracks, percussionist Samuel Torres.

    “That Forbes article really resonated with me,” Wharton says. “Here I am, a woman playing a ‘man’s instrument’ in jazz, which I started relatively late. I was looking for a way to make music mean more to me, so when I discovered I could have something of my own it changed my whole outlook on music. I just decided to put on my big girl pants and do this.”

    The album provides a showcase not only for the leader’s grit and grace, but for that of several women composers that Bonegasm commissioned to write for the album: Vanessa PericaMiho HazamaCarolina CalvacheNatalie Cressman and Nadje Noordhuis. Wharton herself joins their ranks, contributing her own compositions to the band’s book for the first time.

    “Dare I say, ‘I'm a feminist’?” muses Wharton. “I didn't have any female role models coming up, so I'm trying to encourage young women. Then I looked at my band and realized it's me and a bunch of dudes – just like most other bands I'm in – so I decided the answer was to commission only female composers for the third album.”

    Australian composer/conductor Vanessa Perica contributes the moving “In Our Darkest Hour,” a somber yet determined rumination on the political turmoil that swept the U.S. in 2020. The piece is driven by Wharton’s low moan of a melody, a sole lamenting voice that gains in strength and momentum as her compatriots join in. Grammy-nominated composer/conductor Miho Hazama’s “Norhala” draws from an obscure source: A. Merritt’s 1920 fantasy novel The Metal Monster. Norhala is a mysterious character who can control lightning and bring metal objects to life, vividly illustrated by Hazama’s stirring, heavy metal-inspired piece.

    Colombian-born pianist Carolina Calvache depicts a period in which the composer was faced with several daunting decisions, its dense layers capturing the sense of overwhelming uncertainty. Singer, songwriter and trombonist Natalie Cressman offers a Brazilian-tinged anthem in keeping with the album’s themes of beauty and solidarity with “Menina Sozinha,” which translates as “girl on her own.” The album ends with Australian-born trumpeter Nadje Noordhuis’ rollicking “Coop’s Condiments,” an homage to the titular Creole restaurant in New Orleans that features Wharton on lead vocals. The bandleader had previously flexed her pipes on Bonegasm’s self-titled debut, albeit in more of a tongue-in-cheek fashion. “I’m not a singer,” Wharton protests. “But I am a giant ham.”

    With Grit & Grace, Wharton’s own name can now be added to the ranks of those rising star composers. The album opens with her own “Be Normal,” arranged as a birthday gift by bandmate (and husband) John Fedchock. The title is a bit of self-admonition from the composer over her own frenetic energy, with a wink to a joke from Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein. “My whole life I’ve wished I didn't feel this constant need to be productive, but I guess my brain is just abnormal.”

    Wharton’s first-ever composition, “Virtual Reality,” is a tense and frenetic piece featuring venturesome solos by Alan Ferber and the leader. “Mama’s Alright” is a tribute to the pioneering trombonist Melba Liston, who worked with Randy Weston, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and other icons, but only recorded one album under her own name. Wharton builds on a fragment of Liston’s playing from that album to craft a rousing new piece fueled by Torres’ evocative percussion. The bandleader also arranged “Anita,” a hauntingly gorgeous Dick Oatts piece inspired by the death of a close friend’s daughter; and “La Bruja,” a sultry and venomous Mexican folk song provocatively performed by Salma Hayek in her biopic of painter Frida Kahlo.

    It certainly took that unique combination of grit and grace for a band with the beauty, humor and boldness of Bonegasm, to exist. But those same elements prove to be essential ingredients for the band’s most spirited and vivifying album to date, a concoction both bracingly gritty and rapturously graceful.

    Jennifer Wharton is a low brass specialist based in New York City. Though getting her start classically, Jen has planted deep roots in jazz and commercial music. She can usually be found honking out low notes in a Broadway pit, a recording studio, on stage or in a big band section. Jen is a member of multiple Grammy-nominated jazz orchestras, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, Alan Ferber Big Band, Remy LeBoeuf’s Assembly of Shadows, Generation Gap Jazz Orchestra and the Terraza Big Band. She has also performed or recorded with the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band, Woody Herman Orchestra, Ayn Inserto Jazz Orchestra, Jihye Lee Jazz Orchestra, Big Heart Machine, and with her favorite husband, trombonist/composer John Fedchock. She has released three albums with her trombone-forward band Bonegasm: a self-titled debut released in 2019, followed by Not a Novelty in 2021 and Grit & Grace in 2023.

    Jennifer Wharton’s Bonegasm – Grit & Grace Sunnyside – SSC 1709 – Recorded May 15, 2023 Release date October 20, 2023


  • Jocelyn Gould: Sonic Bouquet

    13th October 2023

    Swing, blues and bebop are the core musical values of Jocelyn Gould’s new album Sonic Bouquet. With this record, the JUNO-winning guitarist builds on the success of her first two albums with a studio recording that captures the spirit and spontaneity of a live club performance. It was recorded in a single day, immediately after Gould’s return to Toronto from a six week, thirty-three concert tour of the United States. Gould and her internationally acclaimed band landed in Toronto together, just in time to start an electric, four- night run at Toronto’s storied Rex Hotel. The morning after their last show, they entered a studio in the heart of Toronto to capture the energy of these performances.

    The title Sonic Bouquet refers to a musical process where each musician can add their own colour, timbre, and personality to a recording - much in the same way that a collection of individual flowers combines in a bouquet. The ensemble features an unconventional front line of two guitars and clarinet: this unique instrumentation was central to the writing and arranging process.

    Gould has always put together world class bands for her recordings, and Sonic Bouquet is no exception. Featured musicians include drummer Quincy Davis from Texas, bassist Rodney Whitaker and guitarist Randy Napoleon from Michigan, pianist Will Bonness from Winnipeg, and clarinetist Virginia MacDonald from Toronto. The band, spanning 3 generations, brings decades of love and passion for jazz music to life.

    Sonic Bouquet is full of swing, bebop, blues, jazz standards - both familiar and obscure - and original compositions. It is the result of Gould’s long-time desire to collaborate with Randy Napoleon, an old friend and one of her favourite guitarists. Both Gould and Napoleon contributed arrangements and original music written specifically for this collaboration.

    Sonic Bouquet will be released worldwide on Friday, October 13th, 2023.

    Click here for more information

  • Kristina Barta: Endless Questions and Answers

    10th October 2023

    Pianist and composer Kristina Barta introduces her international quartet, featuring the acclaimed Jure Pukl.

    Album Release Date: October 10, 2023

    In 2022, pianist Kristina Barta assembled her quartet, a pivotal decision spurred by her experience performing at Jazzahead! in 2021. This transformation encompassed both her composition style and the selection of her band members. During this period, she embarked on a quest for a new label, ultimately finding her artistic home with the Austrian label Alessa Records and establishing a new partnership with Second Records.

    Barta elaborates on her latest endeavour, stating, “This album embodies a progressive evolution in my music, inspired by the resonance of acoustic sound and reflective of my newfound sense of personal freedom. It also explores the intricate emotions stemming from the ceaseless exploration of questions and the discovery of answers”.

    The line-up for “Endless Questions and Answers” represents an exciting blend of longstanding musical partnerships, including her husband, the drummer Marek Urbánek, as well as a new connection with one of the Czech and Slovakian music scene's finest bass players, Peter Korman. A pivotal moment in Kristina's musical journey is her collaboration with the internationally acclaimed tenor saxophonist, Jure Pukl, a Slovenian musician now based in New York. Pukl’s fresh and highly professional approach played a crucial role in the creation of this outstanding album. This collaboration with one of the jazz world’s luminaries injected international energy into the entire band, leaving a profound impact on the recording process for all musicians involved in the studio. Pukl, a bandleader known for his collaborations with esteemed musicians like Joe Sanders and Kendrick Scott, infuses the album with his unmistakable sound. His captivating solos, particularly in tracks like “Losses”, stand out as the defining moments of this recording.

    Barta’s songwriting serves as a poignant reflection of her emotions, stemming from her profound and impactful experiences. It not only delves into her personal inner world but also offers a glimpse into her perspective on life in our interconnected global society. In her poignant solo performance within the song “Break Through Some Border”, she expressed the feeling of breaking down mental barriers to discover the radiant light beyond.

    With her current quartet, Barta has discovered the perfect canvas to paint her artistic vision, creating an enriching musical journey for both her and her listeners.

    To purchase click here

    Track listing:

    Break Through Some Border

    The One Who Believes

    No Time Ritual

    Everything’s Changed

    Without Anxiety

    Fictional Trips

    It Is a Folly To Take Comfort In The Past


    Impro D19


    Kristina Barta, piano

    Jure Pukl, tenor saxophone

    Peter Korman, bass

    Marek Urbánek, drums

     Production Credits:

    Produced by Kristina Barta

    Recorded on March 19th and 20th, 2023, at Sono Doupě Records in Nouzov, Czechia

    Recording Engineer: Adam Karlík

    Mixed by Matias Kiiveri / Hollywood House Studios, Finland

    Mastered by Pauli Saastamoinen / Finnvox Studios, Finland

    Photography by Michal Kubelka

    Graphic Design by Zuzana Malá

    All compositions © 2023 Kristina Barta (OSA)





  • Rotraut Jäger: Dynamite

    6th October 2023

    The flute ... it is a very special instrument. Jazz history is not exactly rich in musicians who specialised in the flute alone; most of them also played the saxophone, clarinet or other woodwind instruments. The German/Swiss Rotraut Jäger, who lives in Zurich, is a flutist with a passion. On her second album "Dynamite", she manages the remarkable feat of calibrating herself completely to the flute and yet not recording a flute album. Because the focus of her music, which is refreshing in every respect, is without exception the respective song - the melody, the groove, the mood and the mental environment in which the song was created. With a relaxedness that is rarely heard in jazz, she simply plays. And in this case, playing is to be taken literally. She plays her instruments in a completely uninhibited way.

    Instruments? Doesn't Rotraut Jäger only play the flute? Yes, but like the saxophone, the term flute covers a whole family of instruments that are used here. In the end, it is completely irrelevant to the listening ear whether Rotraut Jäger plays C, bass, alto, piccolo or the unpredictable bansuri flute, because the album is not an advertising soundtrack for different types of flute. But with a fine feeling for contexts and sound associations, the German/Swiss finds the right timbre and thus the appropriate instrument for every mood, every ambience and every context. When she lovingly talks about her flutes, it actually sounds as if she were talking about family members. "The C flute is very flexible, I can use it well for all styles. On the bass flute you can play groovy things, but also express yourself very softly. That's also true of the alto flute. The lower instruments sound very good and are best suited for ballads. But you can also play them a bit more percussively. The piccolo is not exactly the most popular instrument. I had the ambition to use it in a way that would fit cool. The bansuri flute, on the other hand, is a more difficult instrument because it's often a bit out of tune and you have to be very precise with the intonation. But that's what makes its timbre so appealing." 

    The charm of her record, however, is made up of quite different components. Rotraut Jäger is a gifted storyteller. Just by playing different flutes, very different voices come into play, which act like the characters in a plot. Coming from the classical flute, the musician was also interested early on in the rock band Jethro Tull, whose band concept was dominated by a flute, and played in funk and fusion bands. She has remained faithful to classical music to this day, but it is in the exchange of her experiences with diverse styles, cultures, traditions and playing styles that she sees her chance to address a wide range of listeners who go far beyond one of the aforementioned segments.

    To avoid misunderstandings: "Dynamite" is neither classical with jazz nor jazz with classical. Nor is it a jazz cake with rock cherries and ethno icing. Rotraut Jäger creates her very own universe, with a vocabulary within which she can move freely and impartially and - perhaps more importantly - which imposes no conditions at all on the listener. As demanding and complex as her compositions are, they nevertheless sound away as easily as a fresh spring breeze. "I often think about what style or groove I want to compose a piece in," she describes the creation of her songs. "I'm very rhythmically oriented and always sit down at the piano first. That's where rhythmic patterns or motifs emerge. I record them and start improvising on them with the flute. In the process, I come up with new melodies and motifs from which I put the pieces together. I always think of a bass line to go with it."

    Rotraut Jäger does not record her album alone, but with her band Sonambique, which includes drummer Omar Diadji Seydi, bassist Abdourakhmane Fall and pianist Andreas Ebenkofler. All three bring very different qualities to the table. The bassist and the drummer come from Senegal and also function as a rhythm unit outside of Sonambique. They are not only familiar with jazz, but also have experience with African music as well as reggae, flamenco or pop. Pianist Andreas Ebenkofler is also a brilliant improviser and spontaneous creator. All three bring a great passion for odd meters, which makes them virtually predestined for the flutist's compositions.

    Although Rotraut Jäger herself has developed a distinctive language on her flute and the chemistry within her band also holds all the songs together like a good bonding agent, each track on the album describes its own stylistic world. The record as a whole seems like a multi-stylistic hike, not only through manifold moods, but also through a whole series of regions of this planet, without ever getting a flat global village feeling. The flutist, composer and, in a certain way, sound colour cartographer deals with her influences very sensitively and subtly. "I am interested in very many styles, which I have heard on the one hand, and which I have also played in various bands on the other," confesses Rotraut Jäger. "For me, the central question is always, what music do I want to listen to myself? What interests me?"

    Good thing. Because "Dynamite" is nothing less than an explosive outburst of undisguised joie de vivre that depicts life in its interaction of banal ordinariness and complexity.


    For further information, please visit website here

  • Rebecca Poole: Dreamers Ball

    6th October 2023

    *Dreamers Ball *is the new album from singer-songwriter and composer Rebecca Poole. Forthcoming in October 2023, Dreamers Ball sees the charismatic vocalist return to her roots to record original material in a classic jazz style with an interpretation of one of her favourite songs included for good measure, stripped back to their vital essence in order to emphasise Rebecca’s unique abilities. With nowhere to hide, this is in itself a formidable challenge, however Rebecca Poole’s sincerity and talent shine through on her new work, clearly demonstrating that she has trusted her instincts and followed her heart.

    Achieving success in more commercial realms under the moniker ‘Purdy’, Rebecca Poole’s multiple accomplishments include a support tour with Jools Holland’s band (culminating in a mesmerizing performance at The Royal Albert Hall), a recent appearance in Netflix TV series 'The Crown' singing 'Can't Take My Eyes Off You', performing to over 90,000 people at Wembley Stadium, not to mention sharing a stage as a guest vocalist with Jamie Cullum at Cheltenham Jazz Festival. Rebecca’s creative awareness led her to know that this future project should be separated by definition in style, illustrating her prowess as a multifaceted artist. Because this is undoubtedly her most personal work to date, a return to her birth name seemed natural and appropriate.

    Rather than covering much performed material by the stars of yesteryear, Rebecca Poole makes the bold move of presenting her own songs to the world, with an album of predominantly original material. This confident approach is testament to Rebecca’s resolute belief in her potential as a singer and a songwriter guided by intuition.

    Speaking about Dreamers Ball, Rebecca Poole says: “It has been a fulfilling experience, finding my way back to jazz, with the help of producer James McMillan and some extraordinary players. It was important to me to record the whole band together in one room. Each song you hear is one take and you can feel the integrity and continuity that comes with doing that. I love how this album is a collection of new compositions combined with some carefully picked poignant songs from my past that have been most praised by my listeners. It feels like a musical journey back home and the Dreamers Ball is a timeless place where we can all go to lose ourselves in music.”

    Dreamers Ball is a powerful album created by a stand-out artist that has achieved the perfect showcase of her musical abilities – an important contribution to this year’s creative output.

    Links here