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John Burgess Quartet, The Urge to Burge

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Martin Kershaw (sax)
Chick Lyall (piano)
Mario Caribe (bass)
Stuart Brown (drums)

1. Sketch (5.35)
2. Eclipse (5.02)
3. Plan B (5.38)
4. Life Form (7.06)
5. Hope (7.15)
6. Dance of the Siamese Children (5.18)
7. Long Way To Go (6.28)
8. Parallels (6.55)
9. Stupic Blues (2.52)
10. Sauvetage (7.55)
Martin Kershaw
Caber 026
Martin also appears on:
Mario Caribe - 'Bacuris' caber 025

Album Notes : Fruition

Mario Caribé's 'Bacuris¹ represented Kershaw's debut on a Caber release, and he really shines on that record. Here however, he presents his own group for the first time on CD, a contemporary acoustic jazz unit that has been gigging regularly for the last 3 years, and a raft of original compositions that create a really powerful introduction to his writing and playing talents.

The CD features Caribé on bass, the mercurial Chick Lyall on piano (who is soon to release his own Quartet album with Sweden¹s Jokim Milder) , and the phenomenal young drummer Stuart Brown, who is making his debut on Caber and is one of the hottest young drummers on the Scottish scene.

The music ranges from the hip to the cool to the burning, while staying very much in the Coltrane, Brecker, Kenny Garret lineage of contemporary jazz saxophone. Kershaw also cites Lee Konitz as an influence, and has a real talent for writing cool, accessible, and hip tunes ­ from the urbane 'Sketch¹, through the swinging and street smart bass riff of Plan B, to the witty and unexpectedly contemporary sound of his arrangement of 'Dance of the Siamese Children¹. The album also features some absolutely beautiful ballads such as 'Eclipse¹ and 'Hope¹. There is a lightness of touch and consistent weight to the compositions which makes this album very easy on the ear.

As expected on a saxophonist¹s leader¹s debut this CD features the wonderful exuberance of young jazz musicians enjoying their talent and ability and broadcasting it to the world, and features heavily the technical facility, singing tone and metric precision on Kershaw¹s alto and soprano saxophones. It also showcases Lyall¹s ability to shift from calm pastoralism into Tyner-esque chromaticism, and the rhythm section¹s willingness to let rip and burn. Fruition is an important first release for a saxophonist and composer who has a great future ahead of him.

Artist Information:

Martin Kershaw was born in England in 1973 and came to Edinburgh University to study English in 1992, which is when he began playing the saxophone regularly on the Scottish scene. In 1997 Martin moved to Boston, U.S.A. to study at Berklee College of Music. Upon his return to Edinburgh in 1999 Martin quickly re-established himself on the Scottish scene.

The Martin Kershaw Quartet was conceived in 1999 after Martin's return from the states, and the current lineup dates from mid 2000. The intention behind the formation of the group was to create a strong group as a vehicle for Martins jazz writing while also encompassing a variety of individual playing styles to be built upon in compositions.

He has performed alongside all the top names in Scotland, including Brian Kellock, Mario Caribe, Tommy Smith (with The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra), Colin Steele, Nigel Clark, Paul Harrison and Tom McNiven.

He has also recorded and toured extensively with Fcom deep house star Aqua Bassino. As leader, he founded soul-funk outfit Groovediggaz, drum and bass/hip hop collective Green Juice and of course The Quartet itself. The development of these bands, in particular The Quartet, was largely fostered through gigs at Henry's Cellar Bar in Edinburgh with the support of Assembly Direct.

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