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Hills & Valleys

Release date: 7 June, 2024
Superlocrian HILLS & VALLEYS

Superlocrian is a new, acoustic chamber-jazz septet, founded by trumpeter/composer Sam Massey, which features some of the UK’s finest musicians – Gavin Mallett and Hugh Davies on trumpet and flugelhorn, Edward Leaker on soprano and alto saxophone, Jade Gall on saxophones and flutes, Tom Green on trombone and Mike Poyser on Tuba. The sonic qualities and possibilities of a unique wind septet configuration (3 trumpets/flugelhorns, 2 woodwinds, trombone and tuba) give Superlocrian a distinctive sound that is both playful and sophisticated, lively and lyrical,” explains Massey.  

The ensemble performs a selection of original compositions, jazz standards and arrangements by renowned composers, including Callum Au and Tom Green. “’Snake’s Meadow’ was inspired by the Snake’s Head Fritillary, the county flower of Oxfordshire that used to be widespread along the Thames but now only grows in the wild in a few select spots near where I live in Oxford,” says Green. “It’s a joyful tune celebrating the arrival of spring.”

Many of the tracks on Hills & Valleys were inspired by the landscape local to the composers and band members – particularly Dartmoor National Park. ‘Whitchurch Down’ and ‘Hills And Valleys’ were written during the pandemic; the pastoral folk melodies and jazz harmonies reflect the landscape of rural Dartmoor,” says Massey. “I wrote ‘2020’ at the end of that year.The track is a musical diary to mark the passage of time with various events defined by different musical sections and improvised solos, with playful references to certain times of year and an ominous ending hinting at uncertain times ahead.”

Live dates:

27 May – Sidmouth International Jazz Festival & workshop*
5 June – SpiceJazz at Crazy Coqs, Brasserie Zédel (album launch)
7 September – Calstock Arts Centre 
8 September – Teignmouth Jazz & Blues Club

*workshop at Sidmouth International Jazz Festival supported by Devon & Torbay Music Education Hubs.

Airshaft Trust and Food Solutions South West Ltd supported the recording of Hills & Valleys.

The album was recorded, co-produced and mixed by John Prestage in February/March 2023 at Air Studios, London and mastered by Cicely Balston at Air Studios in August 2023.Hills & Valleys is released on Spark! in association with ECN Music.



Release date:
7 June, 2024

Catalogue number:

Digital, CD


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