Stoney Lane Records, the new Birmingham-based, musician-led label, will be presenting a series of London showcase concerts by its bands at Kings Place over the coming months, starting on May 30th. Peter Bacon, blogger at thejazzbreakfast.com, and jazz writer for the Birmingham Post, talked to co-founder of the Label Sam Slater
Stoney Lane Records began with a self-released TG Collective disc in 2012. Sam, one of the two founding guitarists in TG Collective (the other is Jamie Fekete), explained:
“At the time it was only through necessity and for our own music, but I had the idea in the back of my mind that it would be nice to create more of a working record label.
“Over the last year, knowing several brilliant local players and friends were planning on recording or planning new projects, it made sense to come together as a collective support and promotional basis for us all, which helps to shout a bit more about the great (yet sometimes under-exposed) scene and original music we’ve got bubbling away here in Birmingham.”
The label’s first high profile release in January this year was Vuelta, by the Mike Fletcher Trio - Mike on C melody saxophone, Olie Brice on double bass and Jeff Williams on drums - and the CD has received positive reviews. Jazzwise magazine referred to its “richly melodic originals” and called it “a real treat”.
The trio, which plays Fletcher’s contemporary compositions leaving plenty of room for three-way improv, is nearing the end of a series of concerts in halls around Europe following Fletcher’s year as a European Concert Halls Organisation (ECHO) Rising Star.
TG Collective started out as Trio Gitano, a three-way acoustic guitar gypsy jazz group, but with the addition of double bass, flute, percussion, cello, violin and occasional trumpet a name change was in order and the band’s repertoire has expanded to incorporate flamenco and contemporary influences. Their 2012 album Release The Penguins was called “a Gypsy jazz delight” but fRoots magazine.
The band has built a strong following by extensive live performances, from village halls around the U.K. to a tour of the Balkans in 2013.
Stoney Lane takes its name from a former West Bromwich Albion ground - Sam is a stalwart Baggies fan - and Birmingham-based musicians who will lead future releases on the label include bassist Chris Mapp, saxophonist Lluis Mather, pianist Mark Pringle and trumpeter Percy Pursglove.
LINKS: Stoney Lane Records
2014 interview with founder Sam Slater
Kings Place double bill tickets .(The first Stoney Lane Kings Place London showcase is on Saturday 30 May and features TG Collective and the Mike Fletcher Trio)