Spinning Threads

Complex counterpoint – the combination of multiple independent melodies into a single harmonic texture – has been noticeably under-explored in jazz. This project explores improvised, spontaneous counterpoint, seeking inspiration from one of the richest resources in all of Western music history: Baroque polyphony.

Transplanting polyphonic schemes (derived from J.S. Bach) to the most classic jazz standards illuminates an un-trodden path to this fundamental songbook repertoire, one in which the culture of consecutive solos is wholly renounced. This quintet of team players synthesise polyphony and improvisation in their approach to the jazz tradition. Immersed in a liquid texture two hundred years older than the birth of jazz, these astonishingly malleable songs are heard afresh as intertwining melodies coalescing into a harmonious whole. 

 

Fred Thomas (ECM, Brian Eno) – double bass
Martin Speake (ECM, Paul Motian) – alto saxophone
Mick Foster (Cleo Lain, LPO) – baritone saxophone
Phil Stevenson (Fofoulah, Iness Mezel) – electric guitar
Phelan Burgoyne (Dave Holland, Kenny Wheeler) – drums

 

 

Album coming soon.

Fred Thomas

photo by Stephanie Claire



Fred Thomas



Fred Thomas



photo by Phelan Burgoyne