Album Remarks & Appraisals:
The Big Screen trio joyfully explores the worlds of stage and screen, swinging through a selection of timeless melodies which enjoy universal appeal. A heavyweight of British jazz, pianist David Newton is joined for this project by Tom Farmer (from Empirical), who has a contemporary approach to bass playing, and Matt Skelton, whose virtuoso drum skills keeps everything moving nicely. David Newton has always thrived on playing material that brings new challenges to his improvisation and he has gone out of his way to do so for this new trio. There is an emotional and visceral joy when hearing these tunes rendered with the care, intellect, passion and excellence that Big Screen bring to the music. The impressive line-up of Big Screen play the music with a finely-tuned sense of taste and swing. Opening with a playful rendition of the small-screen theme 'Bewitched', most of the action takes place on the big screen with 'Heather On The Hill' conjuring up images of Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse, whilst Toy Story 2's 'When Somebody Loved Me' is haunting in its stark simplicity. From My Fair Lady, 'Get Me To The Church On Time' features a spectacularly successful conjuring of Oscar Peterson and Keith Jarrett whilst 'On The Street Where You Live' is straight-ahead swing. Oscar Hammerstein also enjoys good representation on this album with 'Hello Young Lovers' and 'Old Man River', both a much-loved part of movie musical history. Big Screen is a new trio with an enviable pedigree created with the brief to play music from the movies. David Newton has been the accompanist of choice for vocal royalty for years, and it's easy to hear why. Fittingly, Newton has been voted 'Best Jazz Pianist' in the British Jazz Awards for the thirteenth time in 2014 and was made a Fellow of Leeds College of Music in 2003. Tom Farmer's résumé includes being a member of the multiple award-winning 'Empirical' Quartet, and is a regular performer at Ronnie Scott's fabled jazz club. Drummer Matt Skelton displays tremendous talent and musicality. As the drummer for the GRAMMY®-nominated John Wilson Orchestra he is knows the vocabulary of film music and jazz drumming inside out.
Liner Note Author: Peter Erskine.
Recording information: David Long's House, Eastbourne, UK (11/04/2013-03/25/2014).
Photographer: Brian Sweeney.