Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Monday, 13 November 2017

New recordings

Where did the last year and a bit go? I blame Tove Jansson.

Anyway. Some recent recordings:

Duo with Andrew Cheetham - not released yet, recorded August 2017 at Queens Ark in Levenshulme, Manchester, a preview track:

HTrio (with Otto Willberg (bass), Andrew Cheetham, (drums)) - not released yet, recorded August 2017 at Queens Ark in Levenshulme, Manchester, a preview track:

Crux Trio (with Ed Gauden (drums), Colin Somervell (bass)) on FMR, stream/buy here (UK/Europe) or here (US), read nice reviews here (scroll down) and here. We also just played (and recorded) a launch gig here, beautiful venue and co-run by Claudia Lis and great guitarist Barry Edwards who we played a quartet set with. There's also another trio session in the can/bag/hard drive somewhere

Church (with Stephen Grew (piano), Alex Cutteridge (laptop), Ed Williams (guitar) on the amazing Tombed Visions label, stream/buy here, read nice review here

The Revival Room (with Adam Fairhall (organ), Johnny Hunter (drums)) - these are just demo tracks for now, we'll be recording a proper album in the new year. We've done some nice gigs recently at the Lescar in Sheffield and Howard Assembly Room in Leeds, and are at the Hillary Step in Manchester in December

Friday, 26 August 2016

HTrio / Revival Room

The debut HTrio CD has arrived! 

You can stream, download or buy the CD here:

Or just stay here and have a listen:

The physical CD features two additional tracks and artwork hand printed by Otto Willberg (yes the bass player on the record, he's many-splendoured) 

There'll also be a video from our recent Manchester Jazz Festival gig posted here soon 

Autumn/winter gigs are listed on the gigs page, more dates tba soon 

I'm also in a lather about The Revival Room, a new organ trio with Adam Fairhall and Johnny Hunter - we'll be trying out all our new material at the Hillary Step in Chorlton, Manchester on Sep 18th 

Sunday, 17 April 2016

HTrio, Northern Line, 'Strange Folk' release and other news

As always seems to be the case these days it's far too long since the last post, so no messing about:

HTrio / Northern Line

HTrio (my lovely band with Otto Willberg on double bass and Andrew Cheetham on drums) has been picked for round 4 of Jazz North's Northern Line scheme - this means at least some of our northern gigs between Sep 2016 and Dec 2017 will be subsidised and properly promoted, so we'll be able to work a lot more than usual which is obviously good news

Our Northern Line page is here, we've also got a Gigmit page here and a Facebook page here, making it easily the most social media-savvy band I've been in. 

We've also made a couple of recordings recently, expertly engineered by Sam Weaver, which we're working behind the scenes to get ready in physical form in time for the first run of gigs in autumn. A taster track from each session below to whet your appetite:

Fluid Structures

'Fluid Structures', a dance film created by Michelle Richards that Phil Morton and I contributed some music to, has been broadcast on Bay TV Liverpool (a regional free view channel) and uploaded to YouTube thusly:

There's also a selection of the music Phil and I recorded up on Soundcloud here, not all of which made the final edit but I thought worth sharing:

Twelves: 'Strange Folk' CD release and launch gig 

Twelves' third album 'Strange Folk' is finally set for a July release on the Babel Label and we'll be playing a CD launch gig at the Vortex in Dalston, London on July 18th.  I hear it's had some play on Radio 3 recently too which is nice.

Other news

I've also been playing in a trio with aforementioned Otto Willberg and Stephen Grew on piano up in Lancaster, we've made some recordings which might well see the light of day before long.  Also been gigging in a very fun trio with Phillip Marks and again Phil Morton, we're averaging one gig every 5 months (best not to rush these things eh) at the moment so the next one should be in autumn. 

Finally, a trio session with drummer Ed Gauden and guitarist Barry Edwards from last year is set for release on Slam Productions in the autumn

Thanks for reading

Mark x

Sunday, 11 October 2015


As always, I've left it ages since the last post, so straight in with, in no particular order, what I've been doing: 

Blank Canvas @ the Ship & Mitre 

Phil Morton and I have been curating this bi-monthly night in Liverpool together for the last 18 months or so and it's felt like growing in the last 6 or so.  In the last year we've had the pleasure of putting the following gigs on: 

November 2014: Ripsaw Catfish (Anton Hunter and Cath Roberts) + me/Johnny Hunter duo + 'Shoaling' quartet set.  Recording of the quartet set along with others from RC's tour here, and you can hear my duo set with Johnny here

January 2015 (one-off at Bluecoat Arts Centre): Trio 876 (Jean-Michel van Schouwburg / Matthias Boss / Marcello Magliocchi) + Huddersfield Trio (Mark Hanslip / Phil Morton / Phillip Marks) 

March: Hugs Bison (Shaun Blezard / Phil Powell) + Phil Morton solo + HowlingBeast (Andrew Leslie Hooker / Christof Spanring) 

May: Bark! (Phillip Marks / Paul Obermayer / Rex Casswell) + Anoikis II (Andrew Leslie Hooker / Melissa Pasut), videos of Bark!'s set (featuring audio lovingly recorded by me) here

July: Shepherds of Cats + Panelak + Hanslip/Willberg/Cheetham 

September: Malchamech (Phil Hargreaves / Richard Harrison / Richard Harding) + Phil Morton solo + Caroline Kraabel solo 

November 1st will see us hosting THF Drenching (dictaphone + dog toys) plus the return of the Huddersfield Trio (me, Phillip Marks and Phil Morton)

January (date TBC) will mark the return of Hanslip/Willberg/Cheetham oh yes

Recordings with Ed Gauden + friends

I've started playing regularly with a young Shropshire-based drummer called Ed Gauden, and he's being remarkably pro-active on the recording front - so far we've done a quartet session with Colin Somervell (bass) and Noura Sanatian (violin), and a trio with fantastic guitarist Barry Edwards, both of which should hopefully emerge at some point.  We're also doing some jazz standards gigs in Autumn, see Diary page for details. 

Trio gigs with Otto Willberg and Andrew Cheetham 

In July I did run of gigs with 2 top Manchester players, one at my old Birmingham haunt Fizzle (now run very capably by Andrew Woodhead), one at Freedom Principle (run by efpi boss Ben Cottrell and Anton Hunter) and one at aforementioned Blank Canvas, all really well attended, well received and, well, good.  Working towards a recording now, more soon, in the meantime here's a chunk of our Liverpool gig:

DIY recordings at Lancaster Baptist Church 

February, April and August have seen sessions with Stephen Grew (piano) and Alexander Cutteridge (laptop), joined by guitarist Ed Afraux in August, which I expect will be cobbled together into a release before long.  These sessions have been my first steps into DIY recordings, with a not-unexpected amount of trial and error, but they've turned out really well and it's been dead interesting to learn about the engineering side, especially having been in studios for so long on the playing side.  It's an interesting group to play with, Alex's laptop creates an unusual amount of static space which really contrasts with Stephen's more vertical and unpredictable style, the two different sound worlds work together really nicely.  

Here's a piece from the April session:

Twelves - Strange Folk album release 

Truth be told, I don't know when this is happening, but I'm assured it's soon, all the artwork and mixing/mastering is completed so news should be out there in the autumn, with the album being released on the Babel Label.  In the meantime, a preview track from the record: 

Fluid Structures

Back, with a rhetorical flourish, to Liverpool - Phil Morton and I have been working hard on a soundtrack for a dance film created by Michelle Richards (and featuring Martin Shead who works frequently with Cheshire Dance) under the working title of Fluid Structures.  It's a great piece and I've really enjoyed working on it (we even made a graphic score and everything) - I will post an update on the finished article, but in the meantime you can watch a preview which was televised on (local free view channel) Bay TV Liverpool's Arts Alive show here and you can see some pics of the filming here

Sunday, 1 February 2015


It's been far too long since my last post, so I'm playing catch up - here's what's been happening, multiple albums being released into the wild, and some good things happening closer to home:


The new Twelves record 'Strange Folk' is well on the way, currently being mastered ready for release on the lovely Babel Label.  Please take a minute to 'like' our long-neglected Facebook page, and admire Jeb Loy Nichols' splendid artwork:

Olie Brice Quintet release

Olie's record 'Immune To Clockwork' has been released on the excellent Poland-based Multikulti label, and has been getting some attention in the jazz press, here's a preview track and links to a couple of reviews:

Tony Bianco's Utoma Quartet release

Tony's Utoma Quartet CD has also been released on the FMR label, we played a great concert to celebrate the launch in Essex organised by label boss Trevor Taylor - I think a film of the gig is knocking about somewhere, I will post it when I find it.  Hopefully there'll be some more gigs soon.  In the meantime here's a link to a great write-up from Bruce Gallanter of the Downtown Music Gallery in New York, SquidCo (where you can buy it) and a preview track:

Jonathan Bratöeff 'Words of my Father' album release!

I'd almost forgotten about this one!  Many moons ago (well, 2011) I was in a band called the Jonathan Bratöeff Quartet feat. Marcina Arnold.  We did lots of nice gigs around London, and then recorded an album, which due to factors of relocation and label prevarication that I can relate to (Jon lives in Berlin now) didn't get released.  Well it is being released now on the AJazz label,  and you can watch a video about it and everything, Amazon link to buy the record below the video player.

Jonathan Bratoeff: Words Of My Father Album /Jazz EPK from Stephen Folorunsho on Vimeo.

Blank Canvas

As some of you might have noticed, I'm co-curating (with Phil Morton) a series of gigs in Liverpool called Blank Canvas, and we've put on some belters.  In May we had Colin Webster & Graham Dunning up from London; July saw a visit from the Sheffield contingent - Phil played a lovely with Beatrix Ward-Fernandez, a trio of Adam Woolf, John Jasnoch and Charlie Collins played a great set, and I ventured into solo territory for the first time (recorded evidence of which will remain in lockdown); in September a double bill of Manchester's finest ABC (Sam Andreae, David Birchall and Andrew Cheetham) and Stockholm-based reedist Paul Pignon playing solo; November saw a visit from the Ripsaw Catfish tour (Cath Roberts and Anton Hunter), plus myself and Johnny Hunter, and in January we were lucky enough to be able to host Trio 876 - Jean-Michel van Schouwburg, Marcello Maggliochi and Matthias Boss - plus support of myself, Phil Morton and Phillip Marks.

Looking ahead, the March gig at the Ship and Mitre pub on Dale Street will involve the contrasting ambience and violence of Hugs Bison (Shaun Blezard and Phil Powell on various electronic devices) and Concrete Bunker (Ian Simpson on guitar, Rob Harrison on drums) plus Phil Morton solo.  May and July are still TBC!

Here's a chunk of my duo set with the excellent Johnny Hunter on drums:


In addition to the usual Centrifuge gigs - where a pool of 12 or so players form various one-off quartets and quintets throughout the night - there was also the Centrifuge: Developing an Aesthetic workshop at Manchester Met University in Crewe, involving playing and discussion between a remarkably disparate group of characters: Rob Harrison on drums, Robin Hartwell on piano and objects, Phil Morton on guitar, Adam Fairhall on piano, Steve Lewis on voice and myself on saxophone.  It was a highly productive session - lots of insights were shared, contrasting viewpoints articulated and most importantly some great music was played.

Another, similar session is being planned for the summer, in the meantime there are gigs happening at the Kro Bar in Manchester on Feb 9th and at Fizzle in Birmingham on March 17th.

Here's a piece from a recent Centrifuge gig with Alex Cutteridge, Simon Fell, Phil Hargreaves and Charlie Collins: 

Killed In Cars

As mentioned in previous posts, I've been writing articles for a US-based new music blog called Killed In Cars, I've done 3 so far and am hoping to find time to do some more.  It's been nice to discover some unbeknownst-to-me new music as well as exercise the old critical faculties, see what you think:


No, I've not been dancing.  I have however been playing with dancers, most frequently the lovely Rosalind Holgate-Smith, associated with the Cheshire Dance organisation at a regular Contact Improvisation session at Chester University, and am hoping to do more in the coming year.  It's been REALLY refreshing so far and I'm very excited by the possibilities the format opens up.  Check out Cheshire Dance's website for an idea of the amazing range of work they do.  Also check out Fallen Angels, a charity working with ex-addicts - Claire, one of their main organisers, is also a regular participant at the Chester CI sessions.

Gigs are being added to the diary page, highlights in February are another outing for the duo with John Jasnoch in Sheffield, and a recording with Stephen Grew in Lancaster.

Thanks for reading as always,