Fergus McCreadie: Forest Floor

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Piano Jazz / Indie Jazz
premiera polska:
kontynent: Europa
kraj: Szkocja
opakowanie: Gatefoldowe etui

Editor's info:
Building on the superlative reaction to Cairn, Forest Floor develops similar traits and characteristics but imbued with even greater maturity, interaction and vision. The Scottish folk influences developed in Cairn remain central and define Fergus’ and the trio’s sound.
Occasionally an artist emerges with a talent and sound that throws them directly into the limelight. Demonstrating that the British Jazz explosion is not just a Metropolitan affair and standing up for the UK’s regions and nations, Fergus proves again he is an Artist for the moment, deserving and commanding the attention of audiences worldwide.
Fergus has an ability to communicate beyond his years, a versatility of rhythm and colour from the most delicate to the highest energy that is captivating and vital. His compositions shine a light on the folk traditions and traditional melodies that are rooted in his upbringing.
If Cairn demonstrates Fergus’ potential, Forest Floor confirms it. The success, accolades and award nominations Cairn earned (including nominations for the Jazz FM Awards and the Scottish Album of the Year 2021) only hint at what Forest Floor will achieve for him.
Forest Floor signifies an evolution in Fergus’ trio and sound, as he explains: ”In all my music I’m searching for an idea or a theme, that the composition and performance is based on. It’s a journey and adapts to each live performance. The recording documents the stage of that journey at a moment of time. With this recording, it’s the same studio, same piano and same musicians but I feel the sound we have as a trio has become more developed and rounded somehow. This album has its own journey, it’s own destination. As we perform this more and more, the music will change and our approach to it will adapt with it. That’s the beauty of this music. It’s all about evolution, not standing still, but listening and adapting with it. Forest Floor, both in its artwork and aesthetic, develops the themes created for Cairn.”
Whilst Cairn focussed on the permanence and beauty of Scottish stone, Fergus felt that this album had a greater earthiness to it, illustrated by the changes the seasons produce on the forest floor, a perception that fed into the title, music and artwork for the new work.
There’s a greater visceral energy apparent in this album. If Cairn was lyrical,Forest Floor steps up a gear in conviction whilst remaining balanced perfectly with its moments of serenity. It’s this equilibrium that makes Fergus’ music so powerful. His ability to transition from a full flowing, radiant pulse-wash of sound to a tranquil, early morning stillness in a moment is simply breathtaking.

The Jazzmann
McCreadie brings a uniquely Scottish voice to contemporary jazz. His sense of melody remains undimmed but the interaction between the members of the trio is even more vigorous and vibrant than before…

Scottish native Fergus McCreadie ignites his new trio album with a flurry of precisely placed notes, rich harmonies in forest-fire motion. The pianist has stated how he wants Forest Floor to oppose his previous set, Cairn: the immobility of the inert versus the nutritious panoply of the ecosystem…

Jazz Magazine
Maturity impresses in this 24-year-old musician whose trio seems the natural expressive medium…

You’ll recall that McCreadie came second to Xhosa Cole in that BBC Young Jazz Musician contest, way back before the pandemic, and his debut album (Cairn) was successful and even got a nomination in our Albums Of The Year 2021 poll. Which almost makes a review seem redundant, but it’s worth noting that the new release does represent an advance on its predecessor, and several of these trio tracks carry quite a punch. It’s still true that the inspiration of Scottish traditional music is discernable in the themes, but the execution is heavily jazz-influenced. Forest Floor (no relation to the near similarly- titled Charles Lloyd classic) also conjures visual images through its individual track-titles, but the nature-loving undercurrent wouldn’t necessarily be identifiable without the titles. Solos by Bowden and Henderson are relatively few and far between, but they contribute mightily to the overall impact of this performance. As such, McCreadie has put sufficient space between himself and the meanderings of an average piano trio record, and it’d be interesting to see how he would integrate horns into his musical vision.

Fergus McCreadie - Piano
David Bowden - Double Bass
Stephen Henderson - Drums

1. Law Hill 06:52
2. The Unfurrowed Field 08:36
3. Morning Moon 05:52
4. Landslide 04:33
5. Forest Floor 04:29
6. The Ridge 10:27
7. White Water 08:16
8. Glade 05:42

wydano: April 8, 2022
nagrano: Recorded and mixed by James McMillan at QuietMoney studios, 6-8 July 2021

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Fergus McCreadie
Forest Floor
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