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Liverpool Jazz Festival


John Law’s Congregation

John Law - piano, keyboards, electronics
Ashley John Long - bass
Dave Hamblett - drums
James Mainwaring - saxophones, guitar, electronics


Combining intricate yet strong, highly melodic acoustic instrumental compositions accompanied by subtle, electronic ambient textures, John Law’s music combines contemporary jazz, rock and his original classical background, to produce highly visual music.

John Law, 2020 winner of the prestigious Paul Hamlyn Foundation for Artists, brings together, in his Congregation three outstanding young contemporary jazz musicians, skilled in many musical genres. Mainwaring from Mercury Prize jazz winners and European Jazz competition finalists Roller Trio, play both saxophone and guitar. He also adds occasional subtle electronic textures. Philharmonic Young Composer Ashley John Long is one of the most in-demand young bass players in the UK; alongside his varied work in jazz, from mainstream to freely improvised avant-garde playing, he is also a classical virtuoso, playing in many contemporary and baroque ensembles and is widely known as a composer across modern and classical genres. Drummer Dave Hamblett is the most in-demand and sought after jazz drummer in the UK, a subtle powerhouse behind many live British bands and recordings.


My personal highlight of this superb festival. The set opened with a modern and disturbing passage that eventually opened up seamlessly to the first song that really set the scene. This was followed by my favourite song of the festival. ‘Scandinavian Lullaby’ offered so much including ethereal sounds, strong melody, brooding vibe with fragments of Stina Nordenstam. Mainwaring’s sax was lyrical while the rhythm was so subtle. Law’s piano and keyboard was almost vocal in their execution. This was modern jazz perfection for me.

Then arrived another musical monster in ‘Configuration’ which boasted superb solos from all players including a marvellous spell of drumming from Hamblett and bass from Long in what was a highly rhythmic composition. It was this song that forced my hand in acquiring the band’s latest record release from the merch stand which I strongly recommend to serious and new lovers of modern jazz.


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