Press release for “River Spirit”

River Spirit is “Kawa no Kami”, the river god of Japanese mythology. Having spent a good deal of his childhood on small wooden boats on the Norfolk Broads and the east coast of Essex, rivers are a potent source of inspiration for Adam Dyer, composer and leader on this, his debut album.

It was variously written in parts of Scandinavia, London, Devon, and even a shipping container in a field in Billericay, Essex, where Adam practised piano for a year after returning from his studies in Norway. 

It draws upon a wide range of musical influences, and as such it’s hard to pigeonhole. Compositionally there are hints of McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea on ‘Battersea Blues’, Joe Henderson on ‘The Dragonfly’ and Keith Jarrett on ‘Almost Catching the Light’ and ‘Penthos’.

Classical music also plays a role, Messiaen and Ravel, and the film music of Joe Hisaishi and Ryuichi Sakamoto (on the title track in particular). ‘Foggy Daze’, a heavy re-working of Gershwin’s “A Foggy Day” owes a debt to Wynton Marsalis’ rhythmical treatments of standards in the late 1980s.

Some tracks are in trio and others quartet format, with Duncan Eagles providing the additional musical voice. The quartet played together as the house band for The Hideaway Jazz Club, in Streatham, South London. Additionally, Duncan and Eric make up two thirds of the band Partikel, so have developed an understanding for each other’s playing over the years.

A strongly melodic compositional approach unifies the album, as well as the overriding textural and rhythmic interplay between the members of the band. Eric Ford in particular seems to not only react but to telepathically anticipate, and Jakub Cywinski has a wonderful tone and sense of melodic instinct, both in his supporting lines and his solos. Duncan Eagles has a unique improvisational voice, often probing new ways to express an idea, and spinning phrases that sound utterly unique. Adam Dyer provides sensitive support as an accompanist, and as a soloist crafts his solos a little like his compositions – with both a sense of logic, development and an emotional directness.

River Spirit is available as a CD or digital download (mp3, FLAC) from www.adamdyer.co.uk