This is a fascinating trio led by pianist David Rees-Williams that successfully blends the traditions of classical music and jazz. Although at first sight this may seem an unusual approach to improvised music there is a long history of this in the jazz canon, particularly from the 1960's with the likes of John Lewis and the MJQ and most famously the French jazz pianist Jacques Loussier and his "Play Bach" series. Always interested in both styles of music, David began his musical career as a chorister at New College Oxford before winning a music scholarship to Cranleigh School and from there to The Royal College of Music, graduating in 1981 with a B.Mus (Hons). He formed his first trio shortly after moving to Canterbury in the mid 80's and by 1988 the David Rees-Williams Trio of David, Neil Francis on bass guitar and Phil Laslett on drums was formed. Initially supporting the likes of visiting jazz artists such as Jim Mullen, Tony Coe and Alan Skidmore through the 90's David and trio developed a unique and versatile style, swinging effortlessly from classical to jazz, playing sophisticated modern jazz explorations of classical music from the last four centuries. The trio became something of an "overnight" success when, in 2001, a track from their first album "Classically Minded" was played on Radio 3. The response was significant and led to the trio being invited to record a disc for the BBC on their then new Late Junction label. The resulting "Hidden Colours" was released in May 2002, receiving 4-star reviews in The Times and The Independent On Sunday, was the Editor's Choice in HMV Choice Magazine and become No2 on HMV's 10 Best Classical discs of 2002. It was also rated best of its genre by The Financial Times. Since then David and the trio have released a series of albums, including "Time Scape" (2004), "Thinking Allowed" (2007), "Back from Before" (2010), "Full English" (2012) which was David's first solo album and "Ex-Mass" their Christmas album! (2012). Music on the various albums features composers such as Ravel, Bach, Chopin, Stanford, Purcell, Elgar, Warlock, Scarlatti, Mozart and Debussy and they have variously continued to receive rave 4 star reviews from the likes of The Sunday Times, The Independent On Sunday, Jazzwise Magazine, BBC Radio 3, Classic FM and the Arts Desk. The trio's latest offering, "Classically Re-Minded" features mainly the work of J S Bach and was again received with universal praise, reaching a place in the Sunday Times top 100 albums of the year in December 2017. The concert this evening promises to be quite special, incorporating material from the world of the classics parcelled in a fresh and authentic jazz style from a trio that have been performing together now for more than 30 years. As David says, "when people have taken a classical theme and jazzed them, you hear a theme and a lot of jazz improvisation and the two don't necessarily relate. What I try to do is to allow the improvisation to morph directly from the original so it is pretty seamless. On a live concert of course, we can expand much more". A special gig from a special player.
"The David Rees-Williams Trio have just got better and better….their new recording of jazz forays into the classical repertoire is just magical" Guardian; "David Rees-Williams’ rendition of Purcell’s ‘When I am laid in earth’ literally stole my breath….the trio far outstrips anything [similar]....they are on another plane and deserve huge recognition" Evening Standard; "Rees-Williams is an improviser with a voice of his own" The Times
Official Link: http://www.606club.co.uk/events/view/david-rees-williams/