Fergus McCreadie, Forest Floor Review
Fergus McCreadie is one of Scotland’s most exciting young talents. McCreadie won the prestigious Peter Whittingham Jazz Award with his trio in 2016, has twice won the Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the year under-17s Prize and is the winner of the Guy Jones Prize, the Joe Temperley Prize from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and the Linda Trahan Memorial Prize from St Andrews University. McCreadie’s debut album, Turas, has been praised for “reflecting his engagement with the Scottish landscape and musical traditions while also showing a firm grasp of the jazz piano tradition” (Jazz in Europe). Turas won Album of the Year at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards 2019 and Best Album at the Scottish Jazz Awards 2019, following McCreadie’s Best Instrumentalist title at the 2018 awards. McCreadie is now releasing his album titled Forest Floor.
Forest Floor is McCreadie’s innovative blend of jazz and Scottish traditional music that follows his album Cairn. McCreadie explains: ”In all my music, I’m searching for an idea or a theme that the composition and performance is based on. It’s a journey and adapts to each live performance. The recording documents the stage of that journey at a moment of time. With this recording, it’s the same studio, same piano, and same musicians, but I feel the sound we have as a trio has become more developed and rounded somehow. This album has its own journey, its own destination. As we perform this more and more, the music will change, and our approach to it will adapt with it. That’s the beauty of this music. It’s all about evolution, not standing still, but listening and adapting with it. Forest Floor, both in its artwork and aesthetic, develops the themes created for Cairn.” With David Bowden on double bass and Stephen Henderson on drums, the trio performs eight selections that flow from moments of radiant pulse-wash of sounds to a tranquil, early morning stillness. The energetic and impactful “Law Hill” opens the album with a flowing melody and song form that explores different feels and intensities. McCreadie’s solo is active yet still melodic and in the pocket. “Morning Moon” is a relaxed moment for the trio to express a peaceful energy that mixes elements of American jazz with European jazz, all with an undercurrent of Ireland. “White Water” again has interesting feel changes, and the dynamics between the trio are musical and reflective of deep listening. Overall, Forest Floor is an exemplary project by a dynamic trio that listens and converses in a style of jazz that is fresh and embodies the melding of Scottish jazz with American jazz. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Fergus McCreadie: Website |
The Unfurrowed Field
April 8, 2022