Project details:

Project description:

Friday 22 January. 20:00 – 22:30.

At Crookes Social Club

Full £16, Over 60s, disabled and unemployed £14, Student with NUS card £9, 15 – 17 year olds £4, Under 15s Free. ADVANCE BOOKINGS ONLY

Advance tickets available from

Trish Clowes’ My Iris

Trish Clowes: sax; Chris Montague: guitar; Ross Stanley: piano & Hammond organ; James Maddren: drums

 Saxophonist Trish Clowes returns with My Iris, drawing inspiration from the concept of an iris opening and the kaleidoscopic range of sounds which the band are exploring. Expect thought provoking music – an exhilarating mix of brooding tunes with driving grooves, distinctive melodies and inventive shifts in tempo.  ‘An awesome foursome… With just four players, the variety of tone colour is quite remarkable and the playing…is impeccable’ …**** Dave Gelly, The Observer  

 My Iris is the latest ensemble project from saxophonist Trish Clowes. Well-known and acclaimed for her orchestral arrangements and work with string quartets, she now explores smaller scale arrangements with equal confidence, her gifts for melody, form, improvisation and leadership coming further into the foreground. Her intricate compositions juxtapose startling melodies and ethereal whispers with gnarly lines and earthy grooves. This intense and thrilling band represents the front rank of the contemporary UK jazz scene. Lauded for her imaginative approach to improvisation and composition, she provides her bandmates with a unique platform for individual expression, delivering driving grooves and lingering melodic lines, seamlessly morphing between earthy restlessness and futuristic dreamscapes.

Trish Clowes is a former BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and has recorded four albums for London-based jazz label Basho Records. Her other activities include curating her own Emulsion series of cross-genre music festivals and performing with pianist Gareth Williams in the Glow Quartet. Trish has also worked extensively with larger ensembles, incorporating orchestras on her earlier albums ‘Tangent’ (2010) and ‘Pocket Compass’ (2014), and a string quartet on ‘and in the night-time she is there’ (2012).  In December 2015, Trish won a BASCA British Composer Award for ‘The Fox, The Parakeet and The Chestnut’, her work for the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Her new album “Ninety Degrees Gravity” was released  in 2019  alongside Clowes’ first music video, for the track ‘Abbott & Costello’. Recent live highlights have included performing in the USA as part of the Made In The UK series at the Rochester International Jazz Festival and supporting Avishai Cohen at last year’s EFG London Jazz Festival and broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and Radio Bremen (Germany).

John Fordham (The Guardian) **** Review of My Iris gig at Pizza Express Jazz Club, London, January 2018: 

“Clowes and her skilful quartet combined the intricacies of their current My Iris album with exhilarating and darkly funky new work that recalls the work of Weather Report. 

Trish Clowes was a long way even from being born when the “third stream” jazz/classical movement was in its heyday in the 1960s, with its purist-populist fights as to whether jazz could mean a thing if it hadn’t always got that swing.

But the tenaciously inquisitive British saxophonist/composer’s work often resembles the third stream in suggesting contemporary classical’s knotty melodies and fickle rhythms, while superimposing parallel worlds of jazz improvisation that can be seamlessly swing-like and sleek. The 21st-century difference is that melting contrasting styles into one is now a norm, not a shock, and audiences are open to the outcomes. At Soho’s Pizza Express Jazz Club, Clowes and her skilful quartet reworked the intricate music from last year’s My Iris album, but also unveiled darkly funky new work that bears an increasingly punchy resemblance to the music of the jazz-fusion band Weather Report.

Album pieces, including the brooding One Hour and the smoky tenor saxophone ballad Blue Calm, traversed a band sound that was noticeably more electronics-inflected and atmospherically dramatic than a year ago. Clowes’s tenderly Wayne Shorter-like soprano-sax tones floated above pianist Ross Stanley’s church-organ thunder and drummer James Maddren’s booming mallet patterns on One Hour, and she sped through a surefooted tenor-saxophone solo of agile top-end twists and juddering low tones against Chris Montague’s clanging, rockish guitar chords on the playfully staccato I Can’t Find My Other Brush. But the new works stole the set.

Reverberating multiphonic tenor-sax chords introduced Listening Les in a dark and ghostly dream, but it turned into an exhilarating mix of organ-powered funk, fast-walking swing, and bursts of free-jazz spikiness. Eric’s Tune (dedicated to Weather Report drummer Eric Gravatt) shifted from a gently cajoling tenor opening to a churning, tightly meshed jazz-fusion hustle that showed just how upfront and urgent Clowes’s sometimes rather studious music is becoming. It’s a fascinating development in her work, and its repeated outings in the current tour can only refine it.”


‘How much other contemporary music has such adventurous or eclectic intellectual horizons?’ – **** Matthew Wright, The Arts Desk

‘ ‘My Iris is masterful musical wizardry and it sounds fascinating’ –All About Jazz

 ‘…a cornucopia of musical riches’ – 5/5, UK Vibe

 ‘Clowes’ most accessible, consistent and satisfying release so far’ **** Ian Mann, The Jazz Mann review of My Iris album

 “There is a balance between the players and a stylistic openness in the material, which shifts stealthily between a grounded, melodic accessability and airy abstraction.”…Kevin le Gendre, Jazzwise, 4*

 “Listen, and then listen again, if only to remind yourself that this beautiful other world really does exist.”
Fiona Talkington on Ninety Degrees Gravity


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