fter leading his Quintet and Octet for over 10 years, to considerable critical acclaim, Ben Crosland formed his Quartet in 2000, in order to further develop his compositional and improvisational skills in a more intimate and challenging setting. The group combines three of the finest Northern based musicians with a player of true international standing. Melodic, engaging compositions by Crosland and Waterman sit alongside contemporary readings of choice standards in live performance. The band toured nationally in 2002, with Jazz Services support, and its debut album, 'Heartland', has received enthusiastic reviews. In Autumn 2004, the Quartet are undertaking a major Jazz Services tour, taking in gigs from Scotland to Suffolk, to promote its new CD â€˜Last Flight Outâ€™. Having worked regularly together since its formation, the Quartet has developed a strong identity, combining attacking fire with a cooler European sensibility, a sense of dynamics with a sense of fun.Ben Crosland (bass)Having studied with Jeff Clyne, Crosland became a busy freelance bass player, playing in various bands during the '80's with Northern based players including Nikki Iles, Mike Walker, Rod Mason and Pete Fairclough and working as a sideman, supporting leading UK and American players including Dick Morrissey, Ronnie Ross, Ken Peplowski and Harry Allen.In 1990, he formed his Quintet, a band that worked extensively across the North, working with a variety of guest soloists including Jean Toussaint, Peter King, Guy Barker and Gerard Presencer. The Quintet collaborated closely during the '90's with Alan Skidmore and Steve Waterman, touring and recording. Crosland formed his Octet, featuring Alan Skidmore, Mark Nightingale and Steve Waterman, in 2000, touring with Jazz Services support and recording. Crosland has recorded with Jim Mullen and is a member of John Etheridge's Trio North.Steve Waterman (trumpet/flugelhorn)Waterman is acknowledged as one of the top jazz trumpet players both in UK and on the international scene. He began his career studying at Trinity College of Music and since then he has worked regularly on the British and European Jazz Scene. Steve has his own Quartet and Quintet with which he has recorded two critically acclaimed CDs of his own compositions, he has also worked with John Surman's Brass Project, and has toured Europe playing at many of the major Jazz Festivals with the Carla Bley Big Band and recording two albums on the ECM label. He has worked regularly and recorded with a variety of artists, including Andy Sheppard, Tony Coe, Victor Mendoza and Mal Waldron.As a composer, Steve has received a number of commissions ranging from small group to big band from artists including George Haslam, Robin Jones and the Berkshire Youth Jazz Orchestra.Stuart McCallum (guitar)Stuart began playing guitar at 15. He studied with Mike Walker and has already developed a distinctive voice on his instrument in the fertile Manchester musical environment. He has toured and recorded with Manchester funk band Future Shock and the wonderful John Ellis Big Bang. He is a leader himself, having already played at London's Jazz Cafe with his own band, and is rapidly acquiring a major profile, working with Neil Yates Creed and appearing, to critical acclaim, at the 2002 Appleby Jazz Festival as a member of Don Weller's Relapse. He also works in Geoff Gascoigne's band.An exciting and original musician in his '20's, he is another excellent model from the Manchester guitar 'production line' and is destined for national attention.Dave Walsh (drums) Dave has an outstanding musical pedigree, studying at Chetham's School of Music, Manchester and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He is greatly in demand as a sideman working with many of the North's finest bands as well as leading UK soloists including Dave O'Higgins, Anthony Kerr, Julian Arguelles, Ben Castle, Nigel Hitchcock, Byron Wallen and Bobby Wellins. Dave is an inspirational drummer, displaying creativity and musicality in everything that he plays. He is a joyful musician who always plays with a smile on his face. Dave's exciting playing is sure to bring him national recognition in the near future.â€œExcellent writing and playingâ€ JOHN FORDHAM The Guardian â€œLetâ€™s hope that this band gets the breaks it deservesâ€ DAVE GELLY The Observer â€œBen is like a rockâ€ JOHN ETHERIDGE
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