Sam Barnett , a restless young 16 year old, talented musician and composer from London,
is making waves with his debut CD - NEW YORK-LONDON SUITE - featuring an equally talented crew of young musicians that deeply impress me with every spin of this new Suite.
NEW YORK-LONDON SUITE
is available at
The album features Sam Barnett in alto and tenor sax, Laurence Wilkins on trumpet, Zoe Pascal on drums, Timur Pak on piano and Michelle Montolli on dbass.
4 elements of the band are aged under 18. The album was recorded by Derek Nash at his studio in Kent.
Sam and his amazing band will be performing at our festival series #jazznewbloodALIVE2017 on NOV 19
get your ticket:
Next week Sam Barnett 5tet is the opening band for JazzFM's 'Jazz in the Round' with Jez Nelson and Chris Phillips.
Brighton people can catch the band on Dec 15 at The Verdict part of the New Generation Jazz series:
INTERVIEW and photos by Patricia Pascal
jazznewblood: You are 16 and releasing your debut CD, at such young age what did you channel to compose this new music?
Sam: I have been composing for quite some time now, and with this, inspiration has come from various places. I think the overall vision is getting to the core of the music I listen to and love, and then convey something exciting and personal through it. This applies to both performance and the directions the piece(s) take.
jazznewblood: Describe the music in NEW YORK-LONDON SUITE?
Sam: This is very much a Suite based around the influence Jazz has had on London (and me), therefore the source being in America, particularly New York, allows that heritage to show clearly I think. I wrote the suite to represent two sets of two pieces (for the cities) and a joining piece (clearly nodding to Herbie Hancock’s classic modal tune) to link the separate themes together.
jazznewblood: When did you start playing jazz? and why jazz and not rock, pop...?
Sam: I started to play the Saxophone when I was 7, starting to jam when I was 8. There are some videos somewhere of that stuff! The early exposure allowed me to meet a lot of great musicians on the scene – many of whom I am still in contact with. I have always loved jazz since I started listening to it, to when I finally started to actually hear myself play it. I think part of being a good musician is possessing the ability to appreciate all good music, whether that’s Electronic, D’n’B, Funk or Hip Hop (and the list continues). You have to keep in mind that not all music in these classic genres are good… you have to be discerning!
jazznewblood: What are your main influences?
Sam: As a young musician particularly in jazz (and playing the saxophone), classic players
come to mind – Dexter Gordon, Coltrane, Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter for starters. More recent payers I love to hear just as much, such as Mark Turner, Chris Potter, Will Vinson, Ben Wendl and Kenny Garrett. I’m just choosing some of them because there are too many amazing players to count. I mainly listen to Tenor players although I am really an alto player, while I listen to a ton of other instruments as well – I listen to a lot of Piano records for instance.
jazznewblood: What do you find in Jazz that other music styles don't have?
Sam: The thing with jazz is that because of its diverse nature, it’s easy to cross over into another style and forget your doing it! The pure improvisation and the intelligent conversational elements with the band are my favourite aspects. I haven’t heard another genre that utilises these features as perfectly and which is as immediately engaging as great jazz (or a sub genre of Jazz). I think that’s unique!
jazznewblood: What impact does jazz have in your personal growth? -What would you say to a young musician starting to play jazz?
Sam: Jazz is such a huge expanse of knowledge and really opens a door to a human aspect in everyone, as without it you couldn’t truly improvise. It also helps you to focus on a positive goal of making great musical interaction with other players your age or older, and if you truly aspire to be a great player one day then it can definitely happen (albeit with a lot of hard work and a lot of mistakes!).
jazznewblood: What are you listening at the moment?
Sam: Right now I’m checking Ben Wendl’s latest release ‘What We Bring’. It’s got a tremendous sense of forward motion and energy. I think he one those players where you can really hear a personal sound and approach to the current generation of modern jazz coming out of America. I’m also listening to a late Kenny Wheeler and John Taylor Duo recording, along with some Dick Oatts albums.
jazznewblood: What to expect on your live performances ? Tell me more about your Quintet? is it the same line-up featuring in the album?
Sam: My Quintet is built up of young musicians in London Jazz scene that are as eager to play and create as myself. I have known some of them for a very long time so I think the overall sound of the band is more fine-tuned. I happen to know a lot of great players my age and older so a few newer guys might step in for the Feb gig. Whatever happens, I know everyone will sound fantastic! There is a lot of material to cover, including many new compositions of mine – so the heat is on, haha!
Sam Barnett talent was forged by organisations like Tomorrow´s Warriors, Jazz Academy at Royal Academy of Music , Berklee but he is very much a hard working, self taught and curious player avid for new experiences and opportunities to learn and evolve.
He´s currently studying at the Jazz campus in Basel - Switzerland.
He's been a beneficiary of EMI Music Sound Foundation awards for sometime and was recently chosen to feature in one of their films. See the film here
Learn more about Sam Barnett at :
Watch NEW YORK-LONDON teaser
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