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Delta Saxophone Quartet withe Gwilym Simcock

Label Basho Records
Release Date: 25th MAY 2015
Artist Liam Noble
Catalogue Number SRCD 48-2


  1. Major Major (Noble) 2:18
  2. Wouldn’t It Be Loverly (Lerner and Loewe) 5:47
  3. Round Midnight (Monk/Hannigan/Williams) 5:05
  4. Directions (Zawinul) 4:17
  5. Now (Noble) 1:51
  6. There Is No Greater Love (Jones/Symes) 4:48
  7. Now and Then (Overdub) (Noble) 1:51
  8. Six White Horses (Welch/Rawlings) 4:47
  9. I Wish I Played Guitar (Noble) 2:31
  10. Tenderness (Simon) 3:40
  11. Sophie (Wheeler) 6:30
  12. Body and Soul (Heyman/Sour/Eyton/Green) 4:50
  13. Salut D’Amour (Elgar) 3:02

Liam Noble returns with his first solo recording in 20 years. Liam has worked in a vast range of contexts, including as a sideman in award winning projects with Julian Siegel, Christine Tobin and Mark Lockheart and in a transatlantic ensemble with Zhenya Strigalev (which has included Eric Harland, Ambrose Akinmusire, Greg Hutchinson and Larry Grenadier). He has also collaborated in free improvisation projects such as Sleepthief (with Tom Rainey and Ingrid Laubrock), and performed in ensembles with Peter Evans, Mary Halverson, Mat Manieri and Okkyung Lee. It now feels like the right time to strike out alone again.


After studying music at Oxford University and the postgraduate course at the Guildhall, Noble became the regular pianist with Stan Sulzmann (in both duo and quartet settings) on John Taylor’s recommendation. He went on to work in the bands of Anita Wardell, Harry Beckett, Tim Whitehead and John Stevens as well as recording and touring with cult minimalist composer Moondog. During this period, he also performed with John Taylor (as part of Stan Sulzmann’s two piano quintet), Kenny Wheeler and Lol Coxhill.

Three years after leaving the Guildhall, Noble recorded the solo piano album “Close Your Eyes”, which featured free improvisations, compositions and interpretations of tunes by (amongst others) Ornette Coleman, Annette Peacock and Richard Rodgers.

In Jazz Journal, Richard Palmer referred to him as “…a writer of considerable idiomatic and emotional range …he knows the instrument’s pantheon from Tatum to Taylor…”

In 1997, he joined the Bobby Wellins Quartet, a band that combines a standard repertoire with a contemporary sense of interaction. A CD, “The Best is Yet to Come” is available on Jazzizit Records. He is also a member of the Christine Tobin Band and the Randy Brecker English Sextet, with whom he recently performed at Cheltenham Festival. A duo project with Paul Clarvis playing music from West Side Story combines well-known material with a “stream of consciousness” improvisatory angle.

In April 2002, a commission from Birmingham Jazz resulted in a song cycle based on Japanese Death Poetry featuring the contrasting voices of Kelsey Michael (vocalist with the High Llammas) and Christine Tobin, with Dave Wickins and Chris Biscoe. Noble plays keyboards and samples throughout, marking a new foray into electronica inspired by artists such as Aphex Twin and Arto Lindsay. He is also a regular member of the Julian Siegel Group and appears on Siegel’s much acclaimed recent album “ Close Up ” (mactwo).

In his new album, "In the Meantime" on Basho Records, Noble’s compositions are highly individual, quirky, sometimes humorous or intensely lyrical and demonstrate his continuing interest in combining unorthodox structural design with improvisation using an ensemble of highly contrasting players. Focusing on the multi-reed front line of Stan Sulzmann and Chris Biscoe (on the rarely heard alto clarinet), the rhythm section features Paul Clarvis and Mick Hutton. Four years of gigging have established a symbiotic relationship between written and improvised material, and an almost orchestral use of colour & space. Influenced by “downtown” New Yorkers such as Wayne Horvitz and Bill Frisell, the compositions also reflect an interest in longer forms derived from studying Stravinsky and other classical composers.

In 2004, following a Cheltenham Festival gig the previous year, Liam recorded the acclaimed “Romance Among The Fishes” on Basho Records with guitarist Phil Robson and the New York rhythm section of Drew Gress and Tom Rainey on bass and drums respectively. Cadence magazine gave a glowing review, saying:

“…his compositions….manage to pack quite a number of striking ideas into the ten titles, of which no two were alike… In this day and age of Jazz retreads, it’s refreshing to encounter a genuinely original voice.

Liam’s working relationship has continued with Tom Rainey in the free improv trio, “Sleepthief” with Ingrid Laubrock, with an album released in September 2008 on Intakt Records. The duo of Laubrock and Noble, “Let’s Call This…” came out on Babel records in 2007.

Other new and upcoming projects include “Too Young To Go Steady”, the new Tim Whitehead recording, a project with Colin Riley and Tim’s Homemade Orchestra featuring Children’s Poet Laureate Michael Rosen, a new Christine Tobin album “Secret Life Of A Girl” and a forthcoming project with Mark Lockheart’s new group.

Liam holds posts as Lecturer in Jazz at Birmingham Conservatoire and Trinity College of Music. He has published 4 volumes of transcriptions of the Bill Evans Trio, and “Jazz Piano; An In Depth Look at the Styles of the Masters”, both published by Hal Leonard.

04/06/2015 Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph

'...A box of surprises.'

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31/05/2015 Dave Gelly, The Observer 4 stars****

Liam Noble is such a terrific pianist that he can do completely unpianistic things, like imitating the rhythms and sound effects that are more appropriate to a banjo, and still keep you absolutely enthralled.

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27/05/2015 Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast

I hope it’s not 20 years before we get another solo piano treat like this from one of the most interesting – and – yes, let’s use the cliche – under-rated pianists in 21st century jazz

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27/05/2015 Adrian Pallant, AP Reviews

throughout the album’s sequence, the urge to replay and catch new detail is compelling
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13/05/2015 Bruce Lindsay, All About Jazz

'"I Wish I Played Guitar" is the sprightliest of the four (improvisations), flurries of notes cascading from Noble's piano as (one supposes) he expresses his fury, then resignation, at his lack of talent on the six-string instrument. Until the day he appears on stage with a Fender Telecaster in hand, his talent on piano and his imaginative approach to interpretation will have to suffice—they certainly make A Room Somewhere a pleasure to hear.'

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20/04/2015 Stephen Graham, Marlbank

'An excellent album that anyone interested in the art of jazz piano will want to get to know.'

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