Mammal Hands are a trio of like-minded musicians: Nick Smart piano, Jesse Barrett drums and percussion, and Jordan Smart saxophones. Drawing on influences from Steve Reich to Bonobo and Pharoah Sanders to J-Dilla, alongside elements of North Indian and African music, they produce their own beautiful, inimitable music – at times wistful and melancholic and others raucous and catchy. They evoke a range of moods, from delicate and subtle to explosive and frantic, blending thoughtful compositions with spontaneity and interplay.
Matthew Halsall is a Manchester based, DJ, bandleader and trumpeter and is one of the UK’s brightest talents. A gifted trumpeter with a beautiful, expressive tone, his music draws on his love of the transcendental, spiritual and modal jazz of Alice and John Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders, as well as the glories of ’60s British jazz. His albums ‘Sending My Love‘, ‘Colour Yes‘, ‘On The Go‘, ‘Fletcher Moss Park’, ‘When The World Was One’ and ‘Into Forever’ have won him a legion of fans across the world and acclaim from the likes of Gilles Peterson, DJ Shadow, Mr Scruff and Bonobo.
Championed by the likes of Gilles Peterson, Huey Morgan, Jools Holland and Jamie Cullum, it is GoGo Penguin’s skittering break-beats, telepathic interplay and a penchant for anthemic melody that contribute to a sound that’s wholly their own. Pianist Chris Illingworth’s yearning classical influenced melodies are filtered through the dance music energy of bassist Nick Blacka and drummer Rob Turner. But there is no leader, no global set of rules. Each member receives inspiration, ideas and information from each other. Their instrumentation might be the archetypal piano trio but while the melodic, harmonic and structural ideas are influenced by both classical and jazz the rhythms are drawn from left field electronica and it’s this meeting of opposites that makes their unique acoustic-electronica sound so exciting and creates such an interesting and emotionally rich palate for the listener.