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Ruby Rushton

Sun Khosi / Chrysalis

    Ruby Rushton are back, unveiling a fresh limited 7" single for the South London based, 22a imprint. The Tenderlonious led quartet hit new heights on this one, recalling the spirit of their debut 2015 album "Two For Joy", with two brand new, afro-tinged, jazz-fusion winners.


    "Sun Khosi" is a tribute to Tender's father who spent many years in Nepal working as a Gurkha Officer. The name is taken from one of the most famous rivers in Nepal, which runs through the Himalayas. It translates to "River of Gold" and is an appropriate title for this uplifting, feel-good summertime tune. It's also Tender's first composition and recording to feature him playing the alto flute, which has a deeper, more mellow tone compared to the usual concert flute that he plays.

    The B-side "Chrysalis" composed by keys and synth bass maestro Aidan Shepherd, is inspired by the playing of pianist and British jazz legend John Taylor, who had something of an obsession with music in 3/4 time. 'Chrysalis' breaks into two distinct parts; kicking off with with Ruby Ruston's signature tight, snappy melodies and driving groove, then reversing back into the bands carefree 'Two for Joy' sound of 2015, when the bass is given a rare chance to come to the forefront by joining the flute and trumpet melody. Herbie Hancock's classic track "Butterfly" has become a staple in the bands set, so the snappy melodies and driving groove of "Chrysalis" represent the restless energy of the butterfly about to emerge from its chrysalis.

    Tenderlonious

    Tender In Lahore

      Like most of us, Tender (Ed) has faced many troubles in his life. Music has been a guiding light, leading him onto the right path. It was whilst in his darkest place, that he taught himself to play the soprano saxophone, bringing much needed focus and discipline back into his life. Much like his musical heroes, John Coltrane and Yusef Lateef, who were both inspired by eastern spiritualism and the deep tradition of Indian classical music, Tender has always been searching for something different and much deeper.

      The seeds for a young Tender to embark on the right musical path of transcendence were planted during his father's secondments to the East as a result of being a Ghurkha officer. However it was after hearing the North Indian Classical flautist Ronu Majumdar's "Raga Mangal Bhairav" that Tender knew this was a spiritual seed he had to fully develop.

      This particular seed however was ironically sowed in a grimy Peckham pub, after one too many beers - like many of our endeavours. Whilst reminiscing about previous musical journeys in Poland, we were reminded of an instrumental quartet from Lahore, Pakistan - Jaubi. We later discovered that Jaubi is an Urdu word for "whatever/whoever" and creating whatever sounds good with whoever feels good is the groups guiding principle - a vibe we could relate to. Drinks continued to flow and we further explored the idea of a trip to Lahore in Pakistan, where the band resides.

      That evening after getting home from the pub, we both told our family and friends that we were planning to go to Lahore, Pakistan and record an album with Jaubi. We were met with heavy resistance from family and government officials. Our families constantly fed us articles and WhatsApp links about why it is dangerous to travel to Pakistan due to terrorism, kidnappings, tropical diseases…the list was endless. The Pakistani embassy also showed resistance by rejecting our Visas twice. The project felt destined for failure, however we slowly persevered with the Lahore dream. We learned not to believe everything people are telling you, this was more than a musical quest now, it was about breaking down cultural misconceptions.

      Through many hours of hard work and planning, we arrived in Lahore on the 9th of April 2019, greeted with nothing but love and humbleness. Lahore is something special, full of positivity, humility, care and hope. Thankfully all a stark contrast to the negativity we heard about Pakistan before arriving. It was not long into the first day and that first studio session, where we realised this trip would be a real awakening. Nothing whatsoever was written down during the recording sessions - no sheet music, no song titles. It was sincere, all egos were left behind and hearts and souls were open and poured into the music.

      'Impressions' is a pure raga (Raga Ba Khizer), the taala (rhythmic cycle) is Ektaal (12 beat cycle). It is the raga that Tender first heard Ronu Majumdar play. This beautiful scale, thatTender would often practice back home, becomes the musical framework for rich improvisations. Joined by Zohaib Hassan Khan on the stringed instrument called sarangi - Zohaib is a 7th generation sarangi maestro and one of only 5 professional sarangi players left in Pakistan practicing this ancient art form. Kashif Ali Dhani provides the stunning backdrop on tabla, weaving in and out of complex rhythmic patterns.

      'Kirwani' is composed by Dhani and is based on a raga that resembles the harmonic minor scale in western music. Whilst 'Shalamar Gardens' provides a peaceful moment for reflection with Tender on soprano sax and Dhani on vocals.

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Ltd 10" Info: Hand stamped 10" with an insert, limited to 350 copies.

      Tenderlonious

      After The Storm

        The title track ‘After The Storm’ picks up where 2019 album ‘Hard Rain’ left off (Bandcamp’s electronic albums of 2019) - a stormy, atmospheric 4/4 groove, with flute flurries, build the track to a state of euphoria.

        The EP continues with ‘G Flex’, a tune dedicated to Tender’s mentor Sterling Styles, aka Equinox (Scientific Wax). Broken drum machine loops are brought to life by classic Tender flute and synth solos. Fans of his 2016 ‘On Flute’ EP will be feeling this one! ‘D Low’ is the 22a squad pick on this cut! Deep house vibes, with a classic London soundsystem style hook, shaking bass lines and twisted synths.

        ‘Broken Heart’s Club’ rounds things up and may sound familiar to 22a heads. Beefy broken drum machines take centre stage, making way for some more synth magic from Tender’s vast array of hardware. First time on vinyl for a track that’s been doing the rounds for a couple of years. This 12’ EP follows up Tender’s sell out “Think Twice EP” from September last year.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd 12" Info: Limited to 300 copies.

        Ruby Rushton

        Overture 1 / Yardley Suite

        Tenderlonious led jazz quartet, Ruby Rushton, return with a brand new limited 7" single, a swift response to their highly acclaimed "Ironside" album released back in April 2019. These two new tracks continue to push the band’s sound into new territory; "Overture 1" is a brand-new composition from Ruby Rushton keyboard player Aidan Shepherd. Taking inspiration from bands like Weather Report and Soft Machine, its explosive introduction leads you to a dub-like breakdown, creating an open space for Shepherd to let loose his synthesizer for some deep space, Headhunters-esque exploration. "Yardley Suite" is a song first conceived by band leader Ed ‘Tenderlonious’ Cawthorne back in 2012. Having lied dormant for several years it felt like an appropriate time to pull it back out the bag. It’s a composition inspired by Cawthorne’s solo work as an electronic producer, under his alias Tenderlonious. Always wanting to merge his various approaches, "Yardley Suite" is the perfect mix of jazz and house. With a steady four to the floor beat and snappy horn lines it's sure to work its magic on dancefloors around the globe. Having focused on improvisation and more open compositions in the past, the bands new direction is geared towards tighter, more groove-orientated arrangements. This exciting new material is yet further evidence that this is a highly prolific band at the top of their game, continually evolving, stretching out their own unique sound across the full jazz spectrum.

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        Ltd 7" Info: One off run, limited to 300 copies. No repress.

        This is the long awaited repress of Tenderlonious’ groundbreaking ‘On Flute’ EP, originally released back in 2016. This stunning six track EP demonstrates how diverse Tenderlonious’s musicianship is as he embellishes each song with his signature flute sound. ”Ghana” sets the pace of the record with up-tempo afro beats, complimented by keys, strings, a distinctive lead synth and of course a soaring flute solo. “Autumn Leaves” follows with a more UK broken-beat flavour, revealing a darker sense of atmosphere.

        Other tracks include the modern classic “Song For My Father” (as featured on Kamaal Williams DJ-Kicks compilation), an upbeat number fusing funk and disco to create the perfect dance floor filler that builds to a climax with a wild flute solo from the man himself. “In A Sentimental Mood” follows and, as the title suggests, shows the listener how this producer came by his name. Tender flute inflections and sensitive lead synths, backed by quiet whispers. The EP finishes with “Dale’s Corner”, another broken feel on this one with delayed Rhodes supported by tasteful flute lines throughout - it leaves the listener feeling uplifted and wanting more!

        This essential release on 22a recieved mass acclaim back in 2016, and support for some of the biggest tastemakers and DJ’s on the circuit, including Bonobo, Gilles Peterson, Bradley Zero, Kamaal Williams, Alexander Nut, Lefto and many more.


        22a label founder, multi-instrumentalist and producer Tenderlonious continues to evolve away from his recent jazz projects and delve further into the world of house and electronic beats.

        This is his most club orientated release to date, yet he still manages to capture the essence of his live instrumentation. Detroit techno via Woking and South London!


        FORMAT INFORMATION

        12" Info: HAND-STAMPED SLEEVE - ONLY 300 AVAILABLE - NO REPRESS

        ‘Ironside’ is Ruby Rushton’s most complete work to date and was recorded over a 2 day session at the legendary Abbey Road Studios. It sees the band continuing to push boundaries, and lead the way, with this new genre defying recording. The quartet’s fresh, high energy sound is rooted in the spiritual concepts of John Coltrane and Yusef Lateef, paying homage to The Headhunters and Weather Report heyday, whilst still adopting influences from hip hop, Afrobeat and the UK underground culture.

        ”Ironside” - meaning someone who is “courageous and possessing great physical and mental strength” sums up the Ruby Ruston journey so far. A personal, against the odds journey, that required Tenderlonious starting a label, 22a, back in 2013. Nobody much cared about jazz back in 2011 when the first Ruby Ruston album (‘Two For Joy’) was recorded, so the 22a platform was built, a home for friends and members of the family to release music from. Fast forward to 2019 and the jazz landscape is looking a whole lot healthier.

        The album’s title track embodies its meaning more than any other track on the album. A highly technical, jazzy jungle mover, held down by Tim Carnegie’s drums and Tenderlonious’ expeditious flute solo. ”The Return Of The Hero” nods most explicitly to the ever-present flute hero Yusef Lateef, the prancing dance of “Eleven Grapes” builds a locked groove perpetually upwards in spirals of dizzying frency, whilst “Triceratops The Caller” evokes alternating contributions from 4 Hero’s sampled breaks, J-Dilla’s loping beats and Lonnie Liston Smith’s cosmic keys, all of which coalesce in a perfect, joyous blend. The solemn beauty of “Prayer for Greenfell” is a respectful and dignified memorial, befitting of the magnitude of many lives stolen and “Pingwin VI” is dedicated to another hero of Tenderlonious - the Polish Jazz legend Kristof Komeda.

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Millie says: Ruby Rushton's been at the forefront of the UK jazz scene since 2015 and is storming ahead with a unique all-encompassing mixture of jazz, Afrobeat and hip hop. Ironside does not disappoint, high energy and instrumentally a masterpiece in itself.

        Tenderlonious led jazz outf it Ruby Rushton drop their second album of 2017. Following on from the success of ‘Trudi’s Songbook: Volume One’ the band are back with their highly anticipated ‘Volume Two’. Comprised of a further six cuts the listener is treated to another journey through modern day jazz!

        Stand out tracks include 'Tisbury Truckin', which is a stunning opener! Starting with an atmospheric soundscape it unexpectedly drops into a neck-snapping hip-hop groove with a punchy melodic line before effortlessly sliding into an up-tempo, afro-beat inspired rhythm with strong solos from trumpet and keys in tow. “Song For Christopher” is a heartfelt ballad, which begins with a touching flute solo and continues to take the listener on a journey through the emotions, ending in a crescendo of optimism - a fitting tribute to the late Christopher Rushton.

        ”Charlotte Emma Victoria” is another strong track and includes some tasteful sousaphone and trombone parts to add extra oomph to its bounce, accompanied by a soaring saxophone solo by band leader Edward Cawthorne (aka Tenderlonious). The album ends with a classic Herbie Hancock jazz-fusion standard, “Butterfly”, which the band handle with finesse. A fitting cover that I have no doubt would impress its original writers.

        ’Trudi’s Songbook: Volume Two’ is a fantastic album, which further solidifies Ruby Rushton’s place on the modern jazz scene. This is a must have album that would hold its own in any jazz enthusiasts record collection - make sure you check it out!



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