Greg Foat’s music evokes a spirit of time and place. The 1960s (and early 70s) was a time when British modern jazz was breaking free from its trad jazz and mainstream fetters and discovering a whole new world of home-grown original music. London was positively buzzing with the leading protagonists of the day; Mike Westbrook, Ian Carr, Michael Garrick, Gordon Beck to name but a few. Foat rightly reveres this music and it’s echoed in his own compositions. Not a copyist by any means, his works are vibrant and alive with the zeitgeist of the 21st Century. But there’s undoubtedly recognition of a musical heritage that cannot and should not be forgotten. It changed the face of jazz forever and has since heralded the way for even more radical departures.
Greg Foat’s music is redolent of a special era when jazz was approachable and possessed a rhythmic imperative. There was also another kind of irresistible jazz, that bordered on the pop and rock music of the time propagated by the likes of Roy (Get Carter) Budd, Harry (The Sweeney) South, Brian Auger’s Trinity and Soft Machine. But the origins of this soulful, funky and electrifying jazz also hark back to those 1960s innovators in soul jazz; Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, Lou Donaldson and others.
The Greg Foat Group has been releasing albums for several years now, all spectacular affairs, from ‘Dark Is the Sun’ (2011) to ‘The Dancers At The Edge Of Time’ (2015) and all on the enlightened Jazzman label. So this latest twin release of two ten inchers, Cityscapes and Landscapes offers a rare treat because for the first time, the listener is given a fascinating insight into the development of the Greg Foat Group. The recordings presented on these two EPs represent a journey from urban to rural environments in musical form. Foat actually wrote these around 2002 at the age of 23 when he was living in Stockholm, Sweden. But crucially, they sound like they were written today.
01. Ingen Reklam (Tack)
03. View from the Hill
04. Solaris, Pts. 1&2
06. Paper Kites
The album The Greg Foat Group “Cityscapes/Landscapes” (Jazzman) is going to be released April 29, 2016.