FRED THOMAS:

“Fred Thomas is a highly original talent” – Chris Parker

“Distinctive arrangements and settings by bassist/percussionist/keyboard man Fred Thomas …..encourages repeated listens to reveal all the detail, and the beguiling range and variety of the songs and arrangements reward this” – fRoots Magazine

“Drummer Fred Thomas nips any slickness in the bud with his splendidly creative messiness.” – The Wire Magazine

“British pianist and composer Fred Thomas is one of the young pianists around in the world of today’s creative jazz archipelagos that has recently caught my closest attention and curiosity. I consider his work not to be overlooked nor missed. He is at the opening of a great career built of self-demand, pertinence in taste, a true sense of drama and rhythmicity, and of tone richness and delicacy. Furthermore, his seeking for a multi-layered music is an important thrust for pushing the highest expertise issues in art even further.” – Benoît Delbecq

“The audience had already been eased into receptivity for subtle nuances by the delicate piano improvising…of Fred Thomas” – John Fordham, The Guardian

“Meticulously arranged by Fred Thomas, some kind of all-hearing God in heaven” – Wallis Bird

“Thomas is challenging the status quo of the classical music genre” – The Creators Project

“Extreme sensitivity to colour and nuance….Fred Thomas is brilliant” – BBC Music Magazine

“High class.” – The Telegraph

“The Fred Thomas Trio captures the imagination of the listener with hypnotic soundscapes, whilst challenging boundaries and traditional roles of the instruments within the genres of improvised music and contemporary composition. Most importantly though, it’s beautiful music.” – Gerard Presencer

“It is drummer Fred Thomas who emerges as the leading compositional voice here. Thomas’ principal study at the Royal Academy of Music was in piano and he is an experienced performer on that instrument in a variety of contexts. This might go some way in explaining not just his dominance in the writing, but also the colouristic, textural approach he adopts on the drum kit.” – OMH Music

“superb technique” – Steve Berryman  (I Care if You Listen)

“most ear-opening of all, pianist Fred Thomas…providing an inexhaustible range of touch and colour” – Chris Morley, Birmingham Post

“first-class double-bass/pianist” – Charlie Gillett’s Sound of the World

“Fred Thomas plays with a strutting, brooding tension” – Chris Morley, Birmingham Post

“a highly cultured double-bassist/pianist” – El Correo Digital

 

PRODUCER

The Magic Lantern

“Ridiculously beautiful…one of the most intelligent and subtle albums I have ever heard” – Wallis Bird

The Road Not Taken

“This is a beautifully recorded album… All the instrumentation is perfectly captured… Thoughtful, subtly arranged songs, distinctively sung, finely played by all involved and stunningly recorded and produced. Between them, Adam Beattie and Fred Thomas have created something rather lovely here.” – Paul Jackson, FATEA

“The Road Not Taken is not a journey of straight streets where the end is in sight. The music takes you on an intricate path through all the alleyways of mystery, small paths that open onto an amazing vista” – Bluesdoddles

“Adam has teamed up with acclaimed jazz musician Fred Thomas to make his most beautifully intricate album to date. “The Road Not Taken” is an album to savour” – Woodburner

“Warmly intoxicating” – fRoots Magazine

“Adam Beattie has teamed up with Fred Thomas to make his most beautifully intricate album to date.” – No Depression

“Co-produced by highly respected jazz musician Fred Thomas, the album was mostly recorded at his studio. Thomas studied piano and composition at the Royal Academy of Music and is one of London’s most sought after multi-instrumentalists and composer/arranger/producers.” – Folking

“Incredibly beautiful” Mary Anne Hobbs, BBC Radio 6

“His efforts have not been wasted: The Road Not Taken deserves wider attention.” – Belfast Telegraph

“Fred Thomas is an arranger full of surprises, a versatile musician and creative artist blessed with an abundance of imagination.” – Hexagone

“The production entrusted to Fred Thomas is of fine craftsmanship. The ambiences are rich and sonorous. They always support the lyrics of Lily Luca” – Annie-Clair Hilga

 

ELECTROFEIT:

“These pieces take on a deep and magical dimension…each detail revealed in overwhelming relief thanks to quality sound recording and mixing, supported by an interpretative finesse that brings to mind the contemporary and subtle games of a Glenn Gould. More than yet another standard interpretation of the works of J.S. Bach, ‘Electrofeit’ is a brilliant renewal of his work’s modernism, a wonderful bridge between past and present, a moment of auditory peace and contemplation. In a word: sublime.” – SilenceAndSound

“Fred Thomas…is utilizing modern recording and post-production technologies to create unique compositions and reinventions of traditional classical music. By utilizing this kind of creative experimentation and exploring the realm of multi-track recording, Thomas is challenging the status quo of the classical music genre…Electrofeit is…a creative product and work of art wholly his own. Just as Brian Eno considers himself a composer beholden to the studio and constantly evolving recording technologies, Thomas is now pioneering this methodology in the classical genre. Electrofeit has a sound that is both more full and resonant than typical Bach recordings, with a sonic depth that can only be paralleled in music and film genres outside of the traditional.” – The Creators Project

 

THE BEGUILERS:

“a beautiful thing….The Beguilers is absolutely gorgeous” – Guy Garvey, BBC Radio 6

“A beautiful, unique album that dazzlingly recasts these poems in new and unexpected ways.” – Nest Collective Hour, Resonance FM

“The Beguilers’ version of Blake’s ‘London’ is the finest setting of the poem that I know – the human ear adorned with manacles more beautiful than any earring” – Tim Heath, Chair of the Blake Society

“The Beguilers create a mellifluous, graceful sound that entirely justifies their band name. Rose has a touching, pure, sweet voice, well suited to the affecting melodies Thomas writes, and Shulman provides just the right amount of textural and tonal variety.The Beguilers plough a singularly rich furrow and clearly entranced an attentive Vortex audience.” – London Jazz News

“The Beguilers took William Blake’s poetry and wove a rich tapestry of intricate acoustic guitar and clarinet, over which Ellie Rose’s exquisite vocals were allowed to shine. Blake’s work was given new life with this simple but textured approach, which made these classic works come to life” – The Liminal

“The Beguilers start with songs based on some of the greatest poetry in the English language, but it’s the combination of Ellie Rose’s haunting voice with Fred Thomas’s beautiful compositions that give this band its unique and unclassifiable quality – a treat equally for lovers of poetry, jazz, classical music and folksong” – Peter Slavid (UK Jazz Radio)

 

FRED THOMAS TRIO:

“A brilliant young trio. With extreme sensitivity to colour and nuance, Fred Thomas has made these organ preludes into tiny character pieces for chamber ensemble” – BBC Music Magazine

“Thomas’ treatment of the Baroque score was modern but respectful. The pieces were full of colour and creativity making full use of the dynamic combination of violin, cello and piano…great concept.” – Bachtrack

 

JIRI SLAVIK/FRED THOMAS DUO:

“’Repose’ is the debut CD of Jiri Slavik’s music with the fine pianist Fred Thomas who, together, are in sync with a clear multiple vision of sonic beauty.” – Mark Dresser

“Composition and Improvisation exquisitely merge as these two young masters converse, creating dramatic musical landscapes of extraordinary colour and dynamic contrast. At once intense, primal and highly sophisticated, this is contemporary music at it’s most inspiring best. A visionary work made by great artists with a lot to say.” – Oren Marshall

“this is music requiring patience and application, but it is rich and original enough to reward both” – Chris Parker

“There is a sense of spontaneity and originality which runs through this album” – Jonathan Freeman-Attwood

“These were musicians that were indeed in creative synergy. Particularly virtuosic was the dynamic control and pacing, with incredible breadth made possible by their superb technique.  Their set was compelling and the audience were nothing but mesmerised by their programme….an evening of colourful pieces, virtuosic in their construction with inventive sonorities as much as the technique of the playing.” – Steve Berryman (I Care if You Listen)

“High class.” – The Telegraph

 

FLY AGARIC:

“If you don’t know or haven’t flown with Agaric Airlines (AA) then you should check them out! Fresh, fun and butt kicking when called for. It’s a real pleasure to hear such excellent musicians in their deeper creative moods performing their own compositions.” – Barre Phillips

“A halting accordion, as if played by a child, a wodden flute hovering above piano and bass, some raw sax swoops, and finally train whistles receding into the distance – is this a list Morricone score? In fact it’s the debut release by a young, London-based jazz quartet, but it’s quite a while before it sounds like any such thing. If there are debts scattered here to Morricone and Nino Rota’s melodic flair, the second tune, “Serenity” – understated sax glissandos and exquisite pianissimo phrasing – seems a love letter to Ellington. The Duke’s range of colour and twinkling eye – as if he could hardly believe the sheer wonder of being a jazz pianist – offer a way out of the contemporary jazz cul de sac, and Fly Agaric grasp it with tenderness and wit.

“Arrete ca tout de suite” features a blues strut where the group occasionally lets rip, but Fly Agaric see no need to roar when you can whisper, or even mumble suggestively. Zac Gvi’s sax and clarinet are eloquent at low volume, and all four move as a team. The dead hand of the jazz solo is simply ignored as a device in favour of group music-making.

The musicians arrive from Spain via Luxenbourg, Czech Republic via Rome, and the UK. It’s tempting to hear this a a quintessentially London album, with its cunning understatement and Euro-tinged cosmopolitanism. Both Gvi and bass player Jiri Slavik are fluent composers, and Slavik’s “Ill Neige a Pontault” is a melancholy classic. Finally, Fly Agaric’s secret weapons: they don’t take themselves too seriously (“Chanson D’Ivrogne” is a florid pianist in a bar full of drunks), and drummer Fred Thomas nips any slickness in the bud with his splendidly creative messiness.” – The Wire Magazine

“In Search of Soma, like much of the F-IRE Collective’s work, views the musical world as a smorgasbord, combining snatches of blues, waltzes, free (and structured) jazz ­etc. to form a restless, constantly shifting soundscape that – appropriately enough, given the psychedelic references in the band’s name and album title – is often frenetic, edgy and kaleidoscopic, but can also be serene, mellow and meditative. Chattering percussive effects, honking rumbustiousness, roiling fervour jostle promiscuously with (deceptive) calm and ­– on one track – the voice (from a speech on employment) of Nicolas Sarkozy to make up a fascinating set of multi-hued pieces, all delivered with extraordinary panache and assurance by a band that is clearly as open-eyed as it is open-eared. ‘An adventure in sound and performance’ is promised in the band’s publicity material, and that’s exactly what the quartet delivers on this powerful, eloquent album.” – London Jazz News

“In Search of Soma demonstrates a confident grip of jazz orthodoxies, but the LP is also eager to move beyond those realms. Fly Agaric understand the distinctive freedom that can be cultivated by scholarly discipline and attentiveness.” – The Skinny

“One of Fly Agaric’s defining characteristics is a combination of sounds and approaches drawn from the wilder fringes of improv with a rhythmic clarity and directness that seems to come from as early in the tradition as the swing era. In Search Of Soma is, as its title suggests, an attempt at finding a new way of seeing – a contemporary jazz album that is less about jazz language and technique and much more about sound, concept and imaginative juxtapositions. Here are suggestions that Fly Agaric are a multi-faceted band with feeling and atmosphere in their music to match the pointed deconstructions.” – OMH Music

 

LIVING STANDARDS:

“Fred Thomas and Zac Gvi twist songbook classics as on their new record ‘Living Standards'” – Timeout

 

THE MAGIC LANTERN:

“Bitter sweet, beautiful music” – Verity Sharp, BBC Radio 3 Late Juntion

“A classic album. I love it!” – Bob Harris, BBC Radio 2

“Pretty special i think you’ll agree” – Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

“Warmly recommended, especially to anyone who thinks meaningful eccentricity and sheer originality are rare commodities in contemporary music” – Chris Parker, The Vortex

“Quirky and charming” – Timeout

“The Magic Lantern fuse delicate folk flickerings with the depth a richness of a jazz timbre. Their sounds combine to provide a refreshingly deep and mysterious atmosphere, full of imagery….extremely accessible, but in no way due to the following of common formulae.” – Pejhy

“The Magic Lantern’s set was a heightened sensory experience that contained all of the dramatics of a piece of theatre. There is a certain Jeff Buckley quality to the arrangements and diction, a songwriting capacity that, like Joanna Newsom’s, is utterly otherworldly and densely descriptive….a symphonic fuzziness to the band’s sound in which the instrumentation intermingles to create an overwhelming experience.” – Folk Radio Live Review

“They’re making bold, heartwrenching (and still bloody clever) songs.” – Neu Magazine

“9/10 – Something quite special, The Magic Lantern have produced a remarkable, enchanting and genuinely affecting album that’s sure to bring them the attention they deserve” – Planetnotion.com

“An 11-Track Stunner. There’s no real way of putting this in a subtle manner, so it’s better to be blunt and open about it from the off – ‘A World in a Grain of Sand’ is a must-buy” – Clixie.co.uk

“**** Beautiful, engrossing music” – musicOMH.com

“4.5/5 – Wondfully composed” – Sound Revolution.com

 

SISTER MARY & THE CHOIR BOYS:

“The sexy wah-wah sounds of London lying on a bed of blues from which it is impossible to roll off from – so snug and stinky is the allure. Em Pirhasan’s voice truly leaves Amy Winehouse banished in the ‘whine house’ and lyrically, they leave Lily Allen in the La La land of lightweight candy floss. Thank you for opening my ear waves into my soul.” – Billy Jenkins

“From the opening rump-moving bass notes, the self-titled debut by London’s Sister Mary & The Choir Boys impresses and entertains throughout…These guys have their own character and plenty of soul… Emine Pirhasen and Fred Thomas have produced a catalogue of tunes documenting modern woebegone love-done-gone life. I doubt many bands could go from a Cow-Cow Davenport boogie-woogie to Wurlitzer-drenched soul without it jarring, but here you go. This has been on my portable Victorola since I got it.” – Blues in London Records

 

KK SOUND ARCHIVE:

“Senegalese kora virtuoso/singer Kadialy Kouyate showcases his fleet-fingered skills on this mesmerising instrument, complementing it with his hauntingly, darkly beautiful voice, to create a Toumani Diabate-meets-Youssou N’Dour sound. – Time Out