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For the best part of a decade, the quartet of British-born guitarist Tam de Villiers has been striving for musical authenticity, compositional originality and honest group interplay. With 'Panacea', his first album for Whirlwind Recordings, de Villiers expands upon the quartet's body of work following the critically acclaimed albums, 'Alba Lux' and 'Motion Unfolding'.

Avoiding pastiche of the past and present, and deftly side-stepping the fleeting musical trends of the moment, the aim of de Villers' music is to explore a personal take on the human experience, defying genres and period. On 'Panacea' he continues to develop musical relationships by working closely with this regular team of musicians, amongst the best of the French scene new generation in Karl Jannuska (drums), David Prez (tenor saxophone), and Frederic Chiffoleau (double bass). They are joined by Hungarian singer Gabor Winand, whose baritone voice and unique approach to scat improvisation bring an exceptional lyricism to four tracks of the album.

Resolutely idiosyncratic, the music of Tam de Villiers surprises, and astonishes the listener with a melting pot of influences seamlessly combined into an original voice. What starts out as a jazz piece, leads us into a contrapuntal baroque fantasie, then veers off into abrasive progressive rock, skimming past rockabilly twangs before plunging into a trance inducing minimalist motif. Yet despite the apparent eclecticism, there is a carefully crafted archetypal balance underpinning the form here that brings a sense of classical coherence to the notes, both written and improvised.

Personnel: Tam de Villiers (guitar), David Prez (tenor saxophone), Frederic Chiffoleau (electric and double bass), Karl Jannuska (drums), Gabor Winand (voice - 2, 4, 7, 10)


  1. Name
  2. Panopticon
  3. Morse Code Fantasie
  4. Platos Cave
  5. As Above, So Below
  6. Totem Tona
  7. Tona Totem
  8. Freedom
  9. Soup
  10. Wolf (in Sheeps Clothing)
  11. Panacea
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