April has been quite a month for the Fergus McCreadie trio - their new album Forest Floor launched on 8th and a week later has gone to the top of the UK Official Jazz & Blues Albums Chart and finally last night (19th April) they performed at the iconic Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London.
Forest Floor (Editionrecords) is the Trio's 3rd album and is impressive for its maturity and virtuosity. The Trio of Fergus on piano, David Bowden on bass & Stephen Henderson on drums was formed back in 2016 and released their first album Turas in December 2018. Their 2nd album Cairn released during the lengthy 2021 Covid lockdown was highly acclaimed (nominated for the Jazz FM Awards and the Scottish Album of the Year 2021).
Unsurprisingly the music is rooted in the Scottish folk scene. All three of their albums pay tribute to their journey(turas being the gaelic word) through the Scottish physical and cultural landscape.
During the Ronnie Scott's gig, Fergus acknowledged that he had spent much time reading during the last few years of Covid and singled out Sunset Song the 1932 novel by Scottish writer Lewis Grassic Gibbon has having provided significant inspiration for his latest compositions. And at last night's performance the trio led in with the The Unfurrowed Field inspired by the first chapter of the novel. The three are young Scots from a generation that is absorbing every aspect of Scottish culture in an endeavour to create the modern Scot. Fergus McCreadie is in the midst of creating a new and original Scottish Jazz swathed in the folk culture - as he says:“the notes are Scottish, but the approach is jazz.”
And last night for the first time the Trio had their own main show event at Soho's finest. In front of the club's grandees and a good crowd(despite the 6.30pm start - is tea-time really the right time to showcase such talent?) they demonstrated just what talented musicians all three of them are. Their mutual understanding of each others playing and their range of melodies belies their young age. They are "conservatoire" quality and are right up with the very best of contemporary jazz trios.
The Fergus McCreadie Trio will be touring around the UK throughout much of the Spring and early Summer so I strongly recommend that you get out to see them
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