Andy Scott (Tenor Saxophone)/ Rob Buckland (Sopranino & Soprano Saxophones)/ Krzysztof Urbanski (Soprano Saxophone)/ Simon Willescroft (Alto & Soprano Saxophones)/ Dave Graham (Alto Saxophone)/ Mike Hall (Tenor Saxophone)/ John Helliwell (Tenor Saxophone)/ Rob Cope (Tenor & Baritone Saxophones)/ Chris Caldwell (Baritone Saxophone)/ Jim Fieldhouse (Bass & Baritone Saxophones)/ Gwilym Simcock (Piano)/ James Pusey (Guitar)/ Laurence Cottle (bass guitar) & Elliott Henshaw (drums)
Launching their new CD and new band identity, Andy Scott leads his 14-piece sax colossus – including John Helliwell and Mike Hall and featuring the stellar talents of pianist Gwilym Simcock. The dazzling anthology of new music exploits the full range of the saxophone family, each player having strong links with mjf over the years. Since its origins as Sax Assault, the group has matured into a detailed exploration of the full sonic possibilities that its unlimited permutations offer, with the textural colours that their jazz, classical and pop backgrounds bring.
“My ensemble Group S is a re-branding of SaxAssault, featuring musicians that I have formed musical friendships with over a number of years, thus creating a scenario where I am writing bespoke parts for each musician.
Group S has recorded a new CD on Basho Records, officially launched at this mjf gig, which is special as practically everyone in the band has strong personal connections with mjf.
The name change reflects the way that the group has developed musically over 20 years, from being an assault on the ears, loud and in your face, to a far more detailed and subtle approach, exploring sounds and colours, voicings, and different instrumental combinations that create a sense of journey for an audience.
Featured is Gwilym Simcock on piano who has written new works for the CD. As with myself, he is fascinated with exploring the combination of jazz, improvising, classical and other musical forms, bringing them together compositionally in an organic and honest way, via years of performing and writing experience in these genres/styles.
Group S is dynamic and visually striking, with the use of sopranino to bass saxophones, and features every musician in their own right – from the pop-influenced John Helliwell and Simon Willescroft, to the classically-trained virtuosity of Rob Buckland and Jim Fieldhouse, to the inspiring improvisational ideas from Krzysztof Urbanski and Mike Hall, all supported, led and featuring a world class rhythm section, that includes the astonishing bassist Laurence Cottle.”