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II: Fist Full Of Notes

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II: Fist Full Of Notes
II: Fist Full Of Notes


Number 7 in MOJO magazine's Best Jazz Albums of 2015

It's been an eventful three years since the release of Indigo Kid 1, the album that catapulted guitarist, traveller and surfer Dan Messore into the public eye and established him as one of the foremost young jazz improvisers and composers in the land.

Dan's been involved in a bewildering variety of projects including the Bristol-based trio Michelson Morley with Get The Blessing saxophonist Jake McMurchie, Lacuna, a quintet with trumpeter Steve Waterman and the nu-folk group Little Arrow and has played with some of the finest musicians around. His residency at key London venue The Vortex, "View From The Tower", in which he and a choice band of young musicians explore the compositions of British jazz composers, has become an essential fixture in the capital's jazz calendar.

Sax player Iain Bellamy has been another spirit guide in Dan's career and his playing on the first album showed how far Dan had come since studying under Iain at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in 2003. For the second album, Iain introduced Dan to another protégé, the fine saxophonist Trish Clowes. The rhythm section has also evolved with powerhouse Martin France taking the drum stall and ex-Bill Bruford and Steeleye Span bassist Tim Harries forming a powerful back line. Martin and Tim also contributed greatly to the arrangements in what is definitely a band album. The third element that Dan's keen to emphasise on the new disc is his increased use of electronics and effects. In order to bring out the open landscapes that inspire him this extra depth and ambience provides contrast, a three dimensional feel and texture that evokes that spirit of place. It also adds an undertow of emotion, what Dan describes as " acknowledgement of pain" which gives these songs great power.

Dan's jazz chops are evident (as jazz writer Kevin LeGendre pointed out "It's fair to quote names like Pat Metheny andFrisell as references, but the seam of jazz Messore is mining goes further back to such as Charlie Byrd and Jim Hall"), but his playing also incorporates elements of folk music, and specifically the English folk guitar sound of Richard Thompson (for instance), and again this adds to the feeling for the countryside, nature and man's place in it that we hear in compositions such as Snow on the Presellis and Quiet Waters.

The Indigo Kid's back in town, which can only be good news for Dan's many fans and for the UK and international jazz scene as we watch this fine guitarist continue to surf the wave of success.

Dan Messore: After travelling extensively and settling in Central America for several years, Dan returned to the UK and completed a MA in jazz and composition at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Dan met Iain Ballamy whilst studying and Iain produced Messore's debut recording for Babel Records. Since then Dan's career has blossomed as a member of the up and coming band Little Arrow who's album "Wild Wishes" was nominated for the Welsh Music Prize 2013; as a regular guest with 'Michelson Morley' led by Get The Blessing saxophonist Jake McMurchie and featuring the best of Bristol's jazz scene; as a founding member of hit theatre show The Bloody Ballad with a recent run at the Edinburgh Fringe; curating the music for the festival "Unearthed In A Field"; running a residency with his organ trio 'Kindling' featuring Joe Webb (organ) and Gethin Jones (drums) and a residency at top UK jazz club The Vortex in London: 'View From The Tower' with a septet featuring the best of the UK's players, a revolving line up Gareth Lockrane, Dave Hamblett, Rory Simmons, Trish Clowes, Simon Roth, Rick Simpson, Mike Chillingworth, Tom Farmer, Steve Watreman, Dave Manington and Elliot Galvin.


  1. Name
  2. Snow On The Presellis
  3. Waiting For Paula
  4. Carpet Boys
  5. All Hands To Dance And Skylark
  6. From Here To Our Place
  7. The Healing Process
  8. Mr Randall
  9. Quiet Waters
  10. The Bay
  11. Sketches In The Fabric
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