Everything We Hold Kairos 4tet
- 1The 99 Pt 1 [Great Scott]03:52
- 2Home To You (feat. Marc O'Reilly)04:50
- 3J-Hø from the Block07:00
- 4Narrowboat Man (feat. Emilia Martensson and Marc O'Reilly)05:50
- 6Song For The Open Road (feat. Omar)04:40
- 7The 99 Pt 205:16
- 8The 99 Pt 302:56
- 9Ell's Bells (feat. Marc O'Reilly)03:42
- 10Finding Neamo06:52
- 11The 99 Pt 400:56
Info for Everything We Hold
Adam Waldmann is a young man with big hair, a big smile and big ideas. Just three years ago, the young saxophonist burst onto the scene with his band Kairos 4tet, delivering a stunning debut that swiftly positioned him as a cornerstone of the British jazz scene. With melodies that worm their way into your brain and stay there long after the final notes ring out, Waldmann is celebrated for his gift of bridging the elusive gap between crossover appeal and serious jazz cred.
Everything We Hold is Kairos 4tet's third album and first recording for Naim Jazz. This time, in a bid to push the boundaries of his own creativity, Waldmann explores in great depth the art of song. In doing so, Waldmann forged relationships that not only presented him with new musical vistas, but inspired him immensely on what became an exploration of the human condition. To that end, this album sees Waldmann collaborating with lyricist, film maker, and actor Rupert Friend (Pride & Prejudice, Young Victoria, Homeland), a writing partnership first hinted at on Kairos 4tet's second album, Statement of Intent. With one half of the album featuring vocals, Everything We Hold is Waldmann's most unapologetically diverse album to date.
For Waldmann, a socially conscious, deep thinker, the songs he wrote with Friend represent the relationships most important to him, yet have a universal essence. They reflect events that occurred during the past year, including reuniting with his band following time away due to injury, alongside compositions dedicated to, each member of his quartet. Framing the album is the instrumental suite, The 99 Parts 1,2,3 and 4 in recognition of the Occupy Movement and the phrase ‘We are the 99%' that references social and economic inequality. 'The reoccurring musical motifs both within the suite and referenced from the other songs' says Adam, 'serve to remind us of connectivity on a wider scale'.
One of three stunning guest vocalists joining Waldmann is Irish singer-songwriter Marc O'Reilly who lends his husky voice to three stand-out tracks including the incredibly moving Ell's Bells, a lullaby for Waldmann's niece. Soul star Omar, who Waldmann met at 2011's MOBO ceremony while collecting his Best Jazz Act trophy, appears on the album's ripe-for-radio, Song For The Open Road, a song about finding ones' true self. Finally, no stranger to Kairos fans having appeared on both previous recordings is Swedish singer Emilia Mårtensson, whose wistfully intimate voice is heard on the haunting song, Narrowboat Man, an ode to friendship, alongside three others. With the addition of accordion, French horn, harp, cello and even glockenspiel, Everything We Hold represents a giant leap forward for this precocious talent.
For Waldman, there was only one creative genius that could fill the producer's chair - conductor, composer, musical director, founder of the Heritage Orchestra and one of his oldest friends, Jules Buckley. Having worked with some of the country's biggest artists, from Arctic Monkeys and Basement Jaxx, to Anthony and the Johnsons and Michael Kiwanuka, Waldmann knew that Buckley was just the chap to help frame this broad and challenging body of work. 'Jules is probably the most natural musician I have ever met, and the string arrangements he did for Narrowboat Man and Ell's Bells are really wonderful. He's helped realise the potential, both sonically and creatively, that I was after“.
There's no doubt that while Waldmann has presented a remarkably accessible collection of compositions, the Kairos 4tet trademark qualities remain. At the very core of each song is a lyrical, melodic quality and exceptional inventiveness. Waldmann, a graceful player, displays remarkable talent whether on breathy tenor or quirky soprano, and with bassist Jasper Hoiby's muscular basslines, Ivo Neame's dazzling piano and Jon Scott's solid drumming, the quartet allow a sharp improvisational edge to shine through. Born through the sophisticated and compelling interplay between a quartet with incredible rapport, Waldmann's band mates have achieved the difficult task of performing their band leader's songs, rather than simply presenting a quartet with a vocalist.
'edgy groove-shuffling… slinky swing, thoughtful and quickwitted… very accomplished” (The Guardian)
“Bursting with dreamy, hummable melodic themes… (this is easily Waldmann’s ) best to date…..Mercury Prize judges might want to take note” (Jazzwise)
'a deft, clever and engaging piece of work... expressive and poetic' (Music OMH)
“Spellbinding instrumentals that blend high-calibre jazz improvisation with accessible melodies…a scintillating new opus.” (MOJO)
Adam Waldmann, saxophones
Ivo Neame, piano
Jasper Høiby, bass
Jon Scott, drums
Omar Lye-Fook MBE, vocals (on track 6)
Marc O'Reilly, vocals (on tracks 2, 4, 9)
Emilia Martensson, vocals (on tracks 1, 4, 12)
Ben Davis, cello (on tracks 2, 5, 12, 13)
Rupert Friend, glockenspiel (on track 8)
Jules Buckley, additional piano (on track 4), metal drum (on track 2)
Ivo Neame, harmonium (on track 4), accordion (on tracks 2, 4, 6), bass clarinet (on tracks 7, 8, 10)
John Turville, piano (on tracks 9, 13)
Tom Mason, bass (on tracks 9, 13)
Kate Robinson, violin (on tracks 4, 9, 13)
Matthew Elston, violin (on tracks 4, 9, 13)
Becky Jones, viola (on tracks 4, 9, 13)
Julia Dale, cello (on tracks 4, 9, 13)
Tori Handsley, harp (on tracks 4, 9, 13)
Tim Anderson, French horn (on tracks 9, 13)
Recorded at Real World Studios, Bath, UK / The Premises, London, UK
Mixed by Morten Stendahl at Redroom Studios, Trondheim, Norway
Engineered by Patrick Philips and Alex Kilpartrick (Real World Studios)
Song For The Open Road, engineered by Sonny of Sparedougal (The Premises)
Ell's Bells and additional recording engineered by Jason Howes and Tom Carmichael (The Premises)
Mastered by Ray Staff at Air Studios, London, UK
Produced by Jules Buckley
is an ancient Greek word meaning the right or opportune moment – the supreme moment. Kairos 4Tet was born out of a desire to explore times past, present and future, creating music with a sense of space, between the competing worlds of written melody and in-the-moment improvisation.
Fronted by saxophonist and composer Adam Waldmann, Kairos 4Tet are fast becoming a cornerstone of the British jazz scene. They are one of a kind – bridging the gap between classic and contemporary; the jazz idiom and the lineage of song; ferocious grooves, burning improvisations and melodies that linger long after the music stops.
A former student of Julian Arguelles and Yuri Honing, Waldmann has worked with the likes of Alicia Keys, Mark Ronson, Mark Guiliana, Alan Hampton, Paloma Faith, Tinie Tempah, beatbox sensation Shlomo, The Sam Crowe Group, Will Vinson, Jim Hart and Dutch band FinnSilver amongst numerous others. In 2010 Waldmann made the leap to band leader and released Kairos 4tet’s debut: Kairos Moment, an album that marked him out as “a powerful new voice in British jazz” (BBC), “ a precociously talented composer and player” (All About Jazz) and as a “young master in the making” (Time Out). In 2011, their second release, Statement of Intent was voted no.2 in MOJO Magazine’s albums of the year and led to the MOBO Award for ‘Best Jazz Act’.
Their third album ‘Everything We Hold’, and first outing on the renowned Naim Jazz label, takes Kairos in a new and unexpected direction. In a bid to push the boundaries of his own creativity Waldmann explores in great depth the art of song, paying homage to some of the relationships he holds dearest. Social and political concerns remain a strong influence and The 99 suite that frames the album in recognition of The Occupy movement, serves as a reminder of connectivity and kinship on a wider scale. Stand out vocals come courtesy of Swedish chanteuse Emilia Mårtensson, acclaimed neo-soul icon Omar (who first met the band at the 2011 MOBO Awards), and husky voiced, emerging Irish singer-songwriter Marc O’Reilly. Their vocal talents appear in unlikely and exciting new contexts, incorporated seamlessly into the quartet’s unique sound world, whilst adding another intriguing dimension. Extending this further is producer/arranger extraordinaire Jules Buckley (Anthony and the Johnsons, Michael Kiwanuka), the founder-conductor of the Heritage Orchestra, and principal guest conductor with Holland’s Metropole Orchestra. With the addition of strings, harp, harmonium, bass clarinet, glockenspiel and French horn, their sonic landscape is deeper and richer than ever before.
Kairos 4tet’s secret weapons on ‘Everything We Hold’ are the mesmerising lyrics of writer, filmmaker and actor Rupert Friend (Pride & Prejudice, Young Victoria, Homeland) an old and close friend of Waldmann’s who also directed a unique and stunning music video for ‘Song For The Open Road’ featuring Omar. The album has gone on to recieve 4 and 5* reviews across national/international media and featured heavily in ‘Album of the Year Polls’ with The Observer declaring it the ‘Hidden Gem of 2013′.
Whether it’s ‘Home to You’ – an unashamed love song; ‘Narrowboat Man’ – an ode to friendship; ‘Ell’s Bells’ - a lullaby for Waldmann’s niece or one of the instrumental dedications to his band mates, the Kairos 4Tet trademark qualities remain. At the very core of each song is a lyrical, melodic quality and exceptional inventiveness. ‘Everything We Hold’ showcases the compelling rapport of a working band who have long been fine tuning their intricate dialogue on Europe’s top stages, at the height of their powers. With Waldmann, a graceful player, described as “one of the most distinctive saxophonists in the UK” (Manchester Evening News) on breathy tenor and quirky soprano, bassist Jasper Høiby’s muscular low ends (Phronesis, Shai Maestro), Ivo Neame’s dazzling piano (Cinematic Orchestra, Marius Neset) and Jon Scott’s hypnotic drumming (Mulatu Astatke, Dice Factory) the quartet allow the warmth of their communal spirit and of the now improvisational edge to shine through.