'An incredible saxophonist, with something very unique and original to say'
Walter Smith III
‘Ridiculous technique and harmonic proficiency combined with progressive creativity that sees him leading the charge in terms of new jazz music being created in the UK’
Linley Hamilton, BBC Jazz World
'One of the important voices for the future of English jazz... a composer who creates wonderful foundations for his fellow musicians'
Saxophonist Alex Hitchcock is an immediately distinctive improviser and a leading voice on his instrument in the UK. An Ivor Novello-nominated composer, his innovative collaborations have confirmed his growing international reputation as an instigator and catalyst for captivating musical encounters that 'continually push the envelope a little further' (Jazzmania BE).
As a prolific and multi-award winning bandleader, his writing is inspired by the uniquely creative and diverse voices of the musicians he works with - always with human connection and communication as their guiding principle. His compositions, primarily influenced by black American music, unite a powerful instrumental command with an originality and clarity of musical vision that has been described as ‘exquisitely subtle’ (All About Jazz) and ‘startlingly vivid and mature’ (Marlbank).
‘Dream Band’ is his series recording his favourite musicians in new combinations, playing music written especially for them. The resulting albums are full of surprises, terrain shifts, harmonic nuance and emotional depth, underpinned by a freshness of approach and fearless interplay. The first volume (2021), recorded over three days in a London studio with three different groups, spotlights amongst others Cherise Adams-Burnett, Midori Jaeger, Chris Cheek, Jason Brown and Deschanel Gordon. The second (2022), captured over three sold-out nights at the iconic Vortex jazz club, features Kit Downes, Mark Kavuma, Liselotte Östblom, Rob Luft and Orlando le Fleming.
‘I felt lucky to be surrounded by so many distinctive and contrasting voices, and wanted to capture that variety in an album, creating space for the musicians to express themselves and shape my music. In 2021 when people weren’t able to play and create as much I tried to go the other way, taking a maximalist approach to make something adventurous and broad in scope. Partly, it was a kind of ‘curating’ – I imagined what different combinations of my favourite musicians would sound like and wrote music for that.’
His new collaboration series with guitarist Ant Law, ‘Same Moon in the Same World,’ is a call for solidarity and connection translated into music. The series takes its name from a line in Haruki Murakami’s 1999 novel Sputnik Sweetheart: 'we’re both looking at the same moon in the same world. We’re connected to reality by the same line.’ Recorded remotely across multiple continents in 2020 and 2021 in response to a time of unprecedented isolation and atomisation, the first album in the series features guest contributions from vibraphonist Joel Ross, pianist Shai Maestro, bassists Linda May Han Oh, Ben Williams and Jasper Høiby, and drummers Jeff Ballard, Kendrick Scott, Sun-Mi Hong and Eric Harland.
His contributions to other artists’ music suggest a progressive and open-minded conception of jazz as a genre; widely recognised as a thoughtful collaborator, he is equally at home in the musical worlds of trailblazers of the resurgent London jazz scene (Maria Chiara Argirò, Ashley Henry, Myele Manzanza, Rosie Frater-Taylor) as featuring in the groups of revered elders (Kirk Lightsey, Jasper Høiby, the Blackbyrds).
He lives in London, UK and regularly performs at jazz clubs, concert halls and festivals domestically and throughout the EU, leading groups at Umbria Jazz Festival, Love Supreme Festival, and Ronnie Scott’s and performing at North Sea Jazz Festival, Jazz à Vienne and Glastonbury Festival amongst many others.
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dream band is a series recording my favourite musicians in new combinations, playing music written especially for them.
I feel lucky to be surrounded by so many distinctive and contrasting voices, and want to capture that variety on record, creating space for the musicians to express themselves and shape my music. In 2021 when people weren’t able to play and create as much I tried to go the other way, taking a maximalist approach to make something adventurous and broad in scope. Partly, it was a kind of ‘curating’ – I imagined what different combinations of my favourite musicians would sound like and wrote music for that.
The first volume (2021), recorded over three days in a London studio with three different groups, features:
The second, pictured above by Steven cropper, was recorded over three nights at Vortex jazz club in august 2022. it features:
midori jaeger (cello/voice)
Deschanel gordon (piano)
will sach (bass)
jas kayser (drums)
cherise adams-burnett (voice)
chris cheek (sax)
David adewumi (trumpet)
will barry (piano)
Joe downard (bass)
Shane Forbes (drums)
noah Stoneman (piano)
ferg ireland (bass)
Jason brown (drums)
Liselotte Östblom (voice)
mark Kavuma (trumpet)
Rob Luft (guitar)
Rio Kai (bass)
Jamie Murray (drums)
James copus (trumpet)
kit Downes (piano)
Lewis Wright (vibraphone)
Conor Chaplin (bass)
marc michel (drums)
Alexandra ridout (trumpet)
kit Downes (piano)
ant law (guitar)
Orlando le fleming (bass)
James maddren (drums)
'same moon in the same world' is a new collaboration series with guitarist ant law.
the series takes its name from a line in Haruki Murakami’s 1999 novel Sputnik Sweetheart:
'we’re both looking at the same moon in the same world. We’re connected to reality by the same line'
recorded remotely across multiple continents in 2020 and 2021, the first album in the series aims to seek connectedness and solidarity with musicians who were kept apart geographically over this time.
it features guest contributions from vibraphonist Joel Ross, pianist shai maestro, bassists Linda May Han Oh, Ben Williams and Jasper Høiby, and drummers Jeff Ballard, Kendrick Scott, Sun-Mi Hong and Eric Harland.
'Already a big presence on the British scene as both an astonishingly quickthinking virtuoso, and an increasingly creative bandleader/composer'
'Exquisitely subtle collection of tunes... the clearest indicator to date of the stratospheric trajectory on which this super-talented quintet is indubitably heading'
'uk post-bop virtuosos alex hitchcock and ant law lead a terrific multinational band'
'some of the tenor lines are nothing short of extraordinary – phrasing that floats in from another atmosphere altogether'
'[at Love Supreme] they dazzled with a display of collective virtuosity, demonstrating that challenging acoustic jazz can hold its own, and retain the crowds'
'I really, really enjoyed this... think I hear some Mark Turner in there, I hear some Walter Smith, some Branford, some Joe Lovano, but in a way that I’m not hearing the stitching so much'
'A fantastic talent... undoubtedly one of the stars of the future'
'One to get and listen over and over... Hitchcock et al reach a pivotal point'
'The deep sonority of the tenor, combined with a spectacular mastery of phrasing as well as harmony, calls for many comparisons. The unisons are percussive and impeccably designed, highlighted by an ever-changing rhythmic and sonic environment'
'deliciously eclectic and conceptual, pushing and pulling in different directions with a wide range of styles and forms'
'excellent record... there is so much talent here that blossoms with brilliant interplay'
'His solos are loaded with ideas, flourishes with meaning and versatility. His eloquence seduces and his harmonic progressions are like siren songs'
'Authentic explosions of ideas... seeing is believing – the young British saxophonist has many arrows in his bow'
'The modern creative approach of this saxophone player authentically draws on history... you will be captivated'
'A genuinely major statement... the compositions are rich and multi-faceted, full of colour and texture and consistently unfolding and mutating'
'startlingly vivid and mature... begs to be heard'
'pulling together some of the most diverse and remarkable talent within the jazz genre... a complete and captivating listen'
'An underlying thought which is, well, rather beautiful, namely that all the musical personalities brought together are individually preserved'
radio wdr3 [de]
'A massively enjoyable, intricate and imaginative record... Hitchcock's continual ascension will already have him listed as a dream collaborator for artists on either side of the Atlantic'
'razor-sharp phrases, dynamic breaks... and breathtaking sax and piano solos'