UltraSound, the fifth release under the Banger Factory umbrella, is a further stride forward toward founder and trumpeter Mark Kavuma’s vision of bringing together seemingly disparate elements from within the bubbling London jazz scene, uniting sounds and players from across generations and creating a unique, exciting and fresh sound all of its own. Marking the start of a new partnership with saxophone player Theo Erskine strengthening the imprint’s artistic reach and sparking ever more creative ideas, UltraSound is the product of hours and days spent together during the pandemic – hours and days that turned into time spent plotting, planning, and putting in place future musical collaborations and projects when getting together in person became impossible.
The recording itself, featuring Noah Stoneman on piano, Michael Shrimpling on double bass and Shane Forbes on drums, captures the zeitgeist of a unique moment in time when musicians starved of creative, collaborative musicmaking during the pandemic met again and each track is suffused with the palpable joy yet tinged with reflection. Inspired by a shared love of Thelonious Monk’s Live At The It Club, opener ‘IT’ encapsulates the sound, the emotions, and the energy of that rediscovered togetherness better than words could express. ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ is a composition about hope. “When we got together and were planning UltraSound the hope element was very appropriate,” says Erskine. “We sped the tune up and looked at ‘the day after’ as the day after the storm. New beginnings and the end of an era. A fresh start.” ‘The Return of Johnny Bravo’ characterises a re-emergence in a whirlwind of excitement and ‘June’ describes the glinting skyline of a reopened world. Russell Hall’s ‘The Loneliest’ explores how peace is drawn from inward sources in the loneliest of times. “Monk is a big influence of mine, Theo and all the musicians on this record,” explains Kavuma. “So I thought this composition fit perfectly and encapsulates the spirit of The High Priest Of Modern Music.”
19 January 2024 – Sheffield, Crookes Social Club
17 February 2024 – London, PizzaExpress Jazz Club, Soho (album launch)
22 February 2024 – Guildford Jazz, Guildford Pavilion
23 February 2024 – Brighton, The Verdict
21 March 2024 – Cambridge Modern Jazz