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Bancroft goes Headlong into Myriad Streams


Scottish saxophonist-composer Phil Bancroft releases two new additions to his groundbreaking web platform, Myriad Streams on May 31.


The all-star quartet album Headlong, featuring The Bad Plus bassist Reid Anderson, Norwegian drummer-percussionist Thomas Strønen and the outstanding British guitarist Mike Walker, is joined by Birth and Death featuring Bancroft and tabla master Gyan Singh.


A major figure on Scotland’s burgeoning jazz scene, Bancroft has played a crucial role in bands including the John Rae Collective and the award-winning Trio AAB, Bancroft released Headlong on the Scottish label Caber in 2004. The album was acclaimed for its combination of gutsiness, lyricism and playfulness before slipping from view with Caber’s demise shortly after its release.


Twenty years on, however, it remains an impressive document of Bancroft’s writing talents and the four musicians’ empathy and collective creativity.


Birth and Death reflects Bancroft’s love of the Indian Classical tradition – he has visited India several times to perform – and it resulted from a concert Bancroft played with Gyan Singh’s brilliant fusion band, Mrigya in Delhi. The saxophonist and the tabla player then met and played as a duo in Scotland, achieving an instant understanding.


Recorded in Bancroft’s home in Glenkinchie, just outside Edinburgh, and in Quarter Note Studios in Delhi, Birth and Death is contemporary improvised music, drawing on Celtic, jazz and Indian traditions while striving for a new sound of its own.


The two albums form the second instalment of music released on Bancroft’s artist-led web platform, Myriad Streams, which Bancroft conceived as an alternative to Spotify. The intention is to offer listeners a more considered opportunity to discover and get to know a musician without thousands of other artists demanding their attention.





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