Press Coverage & Reviews for Seven Ages

Press Coverage and Airplay for Seven Ages of Man

London Jazz News: Feature by John Bungey
Jazzwise ‘Video of the Day’: featured track ‘Gestation’
Jazz Views: Extended Interview with Nick Lea

Jazzwise & Gramaphone (****): Stuart Nicholson focuses on the scale of ‘Seven Ages of Man’, commenting that the 28-piece string orchestra and Jazz sextet has a magnitude which has been ‘thin on the ground since the 1960s and 1970s’. A ‘Rolls-Royce project’ that should be ‘toured around the regions and enjoyed by as many people as possible’

“powerful and exquisitely crafted compositional writing” All About Jazz

BBC Music Magazine (****):”What do you get when you cross two of the UK’s finest jazz soloists with a swathe of orchestral musicians? Mottram’s vivid cycle spins an enjoyable musical yarn, taking us from human gestation to old age with bags of cinematic character, charm and musicality”. Michael Beek

“a perfect combination of orchestrally scored music and improvisation” Jazz Views

The Scotsman (****): “This richly toned suite for jazz sextet and string orchestra by TV and film composer Paul Mottram features the soprano sax of Tim Garland alongside pianist Jason Rebello and Jonny Mansfield on vibes, bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado, drummer Ralph Salmins and percussionist Paul Clarvis. Shakespeare’s infant-to-old-age chronology expands to nine movements, and from its haunting solo opening strains in Origins to the stately resolution of Old Age, Garland’s soprano sax twines beguilingly through the shimmer of strings, escorted empathetically by Rebello and Mansfield, as in the dreamlike Gestation movement. Piano and vibes add brio to the jaunty progress of Schoolboy, Rebello sets the scene elegantly for Lover, which becomes increasingly vivacious with sax and vibes, while Garland’s bass clarinet pooters about the fitfully stalking Pantaloon, with sumptuous string echoes of Autumn Leaves. Some jazz purists may shake their heads, but this is a thing of beauty nonetheless.” Jim Gilchrist

“among the most ambitious UK jazz or jazz-related album releases this year” – London Jazz News

All About Jazz (*****): In his 4.5 star review Neil Duggan summarises ‘This major project…….sits at the intersection of jazz, classical and soundtrack” and continues “With a great sense of scale, Mottram has succeeded in channeling the emotional narrative of the subject through his music. This is powerful and exquisitely crafted compositional writing. The balance and interlacing of scored and improvised, within the structure of a classical piece, is highly impressive. A compelling and engaging listen.”

Jazz Views: Nick Lea’s detailed review calls ‘Seven Ages of Man’ “an astonishing accomplishment and a perfect combination of orchestrally scored music and improvisation……Even when improvising over the string section, there is a feeling that the music is moving organically as one” and adds “inspirational writing and playing from all mark this album out as something special.”

London Jazz News: Mike Collins writes that “The integration of written passages and improvisation is seamless with the orchestra providing by turns texture, rhythmic energy and accompaniment, dense layers of harmony, soaring melodies and sometimes all of these at once” adding  that “The blending of the sextet and the orchestra combined with sublime playing, gives the music a real emotional charge.”

Bebop Spoken Here: Lance Liddle writes of Tim Garland and Jason Rebello saying that “Both musicians are at the top of their game, providing fire and tenderness as the mood demands” and adds “The pastoral beauty of the strings, the arrangements and the compositions along with Mansfield’s vibes make this something to treasure”

Presto Music: Barney Whittaker writes “One can’t help but ascribe a desirable filmic quality to the album thanks to its contrasting moods and shades but, with substantial pathos and thematic insight to boot, it all makes for a thoroughly mesmeric experience. I’d love to hear this receive a live performance at the BBC Proms”

‘Soldier’ and ‘Schoolboy’ have been played on ‘The Blueprint with Chis Philips’ and Helen Mayhew’s ‘True Brit’ on Jazz FM. ‘Pantaloon’ was played by Alyn Shipton on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Jazz Record Requests. The whole album has been played on Radio Catalunya’s ‘Via Jazz’



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