Already making its mark following a British Academy of Songwriters and Composers Award (BASCA) for Contemporary Jazz Composition for the written score alone, The Green Seagull by The Tommy Evans Orchestra is a mesmerising jazz suite inspired by the life of the composer’s uncle.
Recorded by this 13-strong big band, with a line-up that reads like a who’s who of the top players in the North of England, The Green Seagull was originally commissioned by Marsden Jazz Festival in 2010 and is the focus of three years hard work composing and collaborating.
As one of the most prolific and original young musicians in the UK, Evans is the founder of Submotion Orchestra, critically recognised as the world’s first and finest live group to celebrate the crossroads between jazz and dubstep. He is also the musical backbone of one of the UK’s best festival bands, Gentleman’s Dub Club. But, it is this suite that is his most cherished project to date.
The reason lies in his inspiration; Evans’ uncle David Partridge, a parish priest who invested decades building spiritual, cultural and political bridges. From Partridge’s experience of WWII to his inter-faith work including Christians praying in mosques and vice-versa, the piece conjures up Partridge’s passion, humour, eccentricity and hope. The diverse themes are musically reflected through jazz, folk, Indian and classical music displaying Partridge’s deep belief in tolerance, diversity and equality as well as his life experiences.
The tremendous breadth of influences in the music acts as a fitting vehicle to showcase some of the finest young jazz talent in the UK. The result is lush soundscapes and hypnotic grooves which create an epiphany of music that is accessible, unconventional and deeply moving.
This hugely anticipated album will be released as a double CD, the first CD featuring the main suite and the second CD containing remixes of the suite that Evans has had commissioned by some of the top names in the electronic and underground music scenes including Phaeleh, Toby ioi, Planas, SYNKRO, Eddie Ranking and LAXX.
Gaining recognition and accolades before its official release date, the suite has also won the 2012 Jazz Yorkshire Best Big Band Award for the recorded version, enjoyed remix airplay on BBC Radio One and has evoked high emotion wherever it is performed live.