The Welsh pianist / composer / improviser Geoff Eales has had a varied career, including a long stint with the BBC Big Band and working as a top studio musician for over 15 years alongside a host of musical luminaries such as Leonard Bernstein, Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith and Lalo Schifrin. His Jazz work includes solo, trio and quartet projects At Cardiff University he studied composition under Professor Alun Hoddinott and piano with Martin Jones. He was awarded a Ph.D for his large-scale work, An American Symphony, and his chamber setting of the Dylan Thomas' poem, In the Beginning for tenor, horn and piano. Other early works include a piano concerto, string quartet, brass quintet and A Sussex Rhapsody, the latter commissioned by the BBC. As well as his love of contemporary classical music, Geoff is passionate about jazz. As a member of the BBC Radio Big Band in the late 70's and early 80's, he was featured in well over 1000 broadcasts. During this period, he formed the electric rock-fusion band, Electric Eales, which recorded extensively for the BBC. Geoff left the BBC in 1983 in order to pursue a career as a studio pianist, arranger and composer. His credits include technical musical adviser for the American mini-series, Ellis Island (the last film to star Richard Burton), musical associate / arranger for the Wayne Sleep / Bonnie Langford TV series, The Hot Shoe Show, and featured pianist on the Andy Williams album, Greatest Love Classics, with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Geoff remained a top studio musician for over 15 years, working alongside a host of musical luminaries, Leonard Bernstein, Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith, Lalo Schifrin and Andrew Lloyd Webber included ; as an accompanist he was frequently featured with leading vocalists such as Shirley Bassey, Jose Carreras, Kiri Te Kanawa, Lesley Garrett and Michael Ball. As the new millennium approached, Geoff felt an inner need to return to the music that had inspired him as a youth - jazz. In 1999 he issued his first jazz CD, Mountains of Fire, to excellent reviews. A stream of critically acclaimed albums has flowed ever since : Red Letter Days (2001), Facing the Muse (2002), Synergy (2004), The Homecoming (2006), Jazz Piano Legends (2007), Epicentre (2007), Master of the Game (2009), Shifting Sands (2011), The Dancing Flute (2013), Free Flow (2013) and Invocation (2014). If Geoff's early albums were a mixture of re-interpreted jazz standards and contemporary composition, his last four recording projects are completetely self- penned, the subtle relationship between composition and improvisation always key to his musical ethos. Geoff has performed at many of the world's leading concert halls, festivals and clubs including London's Royal Festival Hall, Royal Albert Hall and Ronnie Scott's, The Blue Note Clubs of Japan, New York's Birdland, The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, Louisville's Jazz Factory and festivals in Belgrade, Zagreb, Edinburgh, Cork and Brecon. In 2011 Andy Findon commissioned Geoff to compose a solo flute work (The 11th Commandment) for his album, Density 21.5. In the same year classical saxophonist Matt London commissioned Geoff to write Dance of the Druids for his Interference Trio, the work receiving its world premiere in Manchester. In 2012 Geoff began collaborating with Andy Findon on the album The Dancing Flute. Released on Nimbus Alliance (N1 6216) in May 2013, the CD comprises 13 new works for flute and piano all written by the composer. In 2013 classical saxophonist Simon Haram commissioned Geoff to write a solo saxophone composition ( She Cries She Dances ) for John Harle's Sospiro label. The work appears on Haram's album Mono'Dia released in 2014. Currently Geoff is working on a brand new project , "Transience", involving himself and four stalwarts of the contemporary jazz scene - Brigitte Beraha (voice), Noel Langley (trumpet), Chris Laurence (bass) and Martin France (drums). An album will be recorded late October 2015 with an extensive tour of the UK planned for the Spring of 2016.
Mon 19th Oct
David Shepherd – Tribute from Jazz Steps
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