Phil Shotton - Tenor Saxophone
Tom Sykes - Piano
Matt Lawton - Double Bass
Jez Finch - Drums
Phil Shotton and his quartet will be playing tracks from their debut album Straight Down alongside other tunes from the Great American Songbook, in their typically swinging, melodic style.
Straight Down was inspired by Phil’s admiration of the Blue Note recordings of the 1950’s. A band meeting in the recording studio, calling some tunes and playing in a live situation. So that’s what the band did, after choosing the tunes from their recent live repertoire (over a cup of strong coffee), went straight into recording. No overdubs, tracks captured in one take, and nothing overly produced.
Phil says, ‘I believe this gives the album an honesty and empathy in the playing, more of a conversational feel between the musicians. We were keen to record everything in one take just like a live gig, I feel it gives the album a real sense of energy. Matt (Lawton) and I had talked about recording in this way for a while, which is different to the usual studio sessions we do with other ensembles. We were keen to capture the moment with all its thrills in real time.’
Having graduated from Liverpool Hope University in 2005 Phil now regularly performs alongside many national and international jazz artists and has appeared at major jazz festivals, venues and music festivals throughout the country and abroad. Highly in demand as a jazz saxophonist, Phil is gaining an enviable reputation as a soloist in the style of Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Dexter Gordon.
Alongside a busy performance schedule, with many ensembles including his own big band, Phil is also an extremely sought after conductor, musical director and wind orchestra clinician. Phil has conducted several world premiere performances of wind orchestra works staged at some of the finest concert halls across the UK.
Throughout his career, Phil has maintained his passion for music education and has recently taken up post of Professional Tutor in Music Performance at Liverpool Hope University. Phil says, ‘I’m delighted to stage the album launch gig at Liverpool Hope University. This is where it all started for me, so it feels like coming home to celebrate the new album. It’s a real privilege to be working with the students and I hope to be coming along to their album launch gigs in the not too distant future!’
CDs will be on sale during the night £10 and can be signed by Phil & the band.