From the blog

Migration – Press Release

Oriole – Migration                 

“The soundtrack to a story of joy and longing born from an irresistible impulse to travel but never to arrive?”

Migration is Oriole’s second album, a sensory banquet of soaring melodies, colourful South American folklore, lively dances and emotional ballads of longing. Music that creates a rich, emotionally disquieting world that is at once familiar and dreamlike. A world of freedom, of movement, of dusty roads and travelling musicians in shaded market squares whose journey will never end. These are songs of magical realism mingling elements of fantasy, myth, desire and wanderlust in renderings that blur traditional distinctions between what is serious or trivial, melancholic or joyous. 

“The magical realist does not try to copy the surrounding reality or to wound it but to seize the mystery that breathes behind things.”
Luis Leal, Magical Realism in Spanish American Literature

Oriole’s composer and guitarist Jonny Phillips was described by The Guardian as A big new composing presence and Time Out as the brilliant F-IRE collective guitarist on the release of the first Oriole album Song for the Sleeping in 2005. He has travelled widely blending the musical, folkloric and dance traditions of North Brazil, West Africa, Southern Europe and beyond. These Influences have been as important as the folkloric music of his own region and the church music of his composer parents. Here both the migrations of the composer and the band members have resulted in the creation of new musical hybrids; the physical and artistic travels being inseparable.

Oriole received enthusiastic reviews last year for live performances at venues such as The Purcell RoomSouth Bank Centre in London. Migration’s release will be accompanied by a 15-date nationwide tour that will include Cheltenham Jazz Festival as Jerwood rising stars. 

The album features an award-winning international line-up including drummer Sebastian Rochford, saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, cellist Ben Davis, bassist Anders Christiansen, vocalist Julia Biel, percussionist Adriano Adawali Itauna and clarinettist Idris Rahman. All top instrumentalists in their respective fields.

Jonny was born in 1971 at the end of deserted moorland in the north of England. His first instrument was the violin; when he was 15 he took up guitar. Critics have hailed his beguiling, cinematic songs as “gentle beautiful music that is surprisingly affecting”. Jonny is also a guitarist and composer for Julia Biel and plays guitarist for The Soothsayers. 

He is a member of the F-IRE Collective.

The Musicians

Ingrid Laubrock – Tenor saxophone

Ingrid has her own quintet and co-founded Monica Vasconcellos? Nois. In 2005 she was nominated for the rising star category of the B.B.C. Jazz Awards. She received the Fellowship in Jazz Composition from The Arts Foundation in 2006.

Ben Davis – Cello

Ben is Britain’s top improvising cellist. He played on the recent C.M.N. funded F-IRE tour. He also plays for Julia Biel, Django Bates and Norma Winston.

Jonny Phillips – Acoustic Guitar

Bandleader for Oriole, composer for Julia Biel and guitarist for Soothsayers. (See biog) 

Ruth Goller – Electric Bass

Plays for Giorgio Serci, Sherpa Boy and Beat Tree.

Sebastian Rochford – Drums

Winner of the best band at the BBC Jazz Awards, Nominated for the 2005 Mercury Award and plays drums for Acoustic Ladyland, Yoko Ono and has his own band Polar Bear.

Adriano Adawali Itauna – Percussion/vibraphone/vocals.

From Sao Paolo Brazil plays for Antonio Forcioni, Monica Vasconcelos and Modest.

Fernando De Marco – Electric bass, cavaquinho.

Born in Brazil, Fernando has been touring Brazil and Denmark with Joyce’s sax player Teco Cardoso and Danish pianist Thomas Clausen.

Anders Christensen – Electric bass.

Born in Denmark, Anders played in Paul Motions electric bebop band for the last ten years and is now touring the world with The Ravonettes.

Julia Biel – Vocals

Julia won the Perrier Jazz Award; she is a member of the F-IRE collective and releases her own albums on Rokit Records.

‘Watch out for this stunning vocalist…’ JAZZWISE

Okou – Vocals

From the Ivory Coast, sings backing vocals for Mick Jagger, Kassiah Jones and is featured vocalist with the Four Corners Quintet alongside Mark Murphy.

Guilliermo Rozenthuler– Vocals

Guilliermo now performs in the UK with his own tango quintet after more than a decade performing the length and breadth of South America.  He also performs in Gilad Atzmon’s group.

Track notes.

1) FORMS IN DUST                                                                                                                             7:54

This is a minor tonality theme with a major coda. The rhythm is a waltz style derived from Venezuelan music often having an emphasis on the 3rd and 1st beats of the bar. The waltz migrated from Europe in colonial times and was integrated with African rhythms. 

It features very moving and dark soloing from Ingrid; spot the laughing. 

2) FIRST FLIGHT                                                                                                                                 7:09                                      

A 6:8 meter theme that develops slowly featuring the massive sound of Adriano’s Calabash (bought from Brixton market), 

Sebastian and Adriano had an immediate and intuitive connection that brought the music to life. Sebastian took risks hitting the wall with his sticks to get some sharp sounds. 

3) BATE CALADO intro                                                                                                                    1:45    

This was entirely improvised in the studio; a cello pedal tone and Adriano’s atmospheric percussion underpin the gentle acoustic guitar playing.

4) BATE CALADO                                                                                                                                           4:13    

Meaning “slowly beating drum”, or “heartbeat” in Brazilian Portuguese. The style of this tune is Baiao, an African-influenced style from Bahia in the north of Brazil. The vocals of Julia, Okou, Guilliermo and Adriano were the idea of Brazilian bass player Fernando De Marco. 

5) MIGRATION TO THE ORANGE TREES                                                                                           5:39    

The title derives from the composer’s periodic desire to migrate to Andalusia in southern Spain; A desire for new experiences, warm evenings, good food and the areas, folkloric traditions. Local traditions brought by the Gypsies and the North African Moors (themselves searching for better lands) are still very much alive. Adriano’s castanet pattern derives from the Flamenco-style Bularias. The origins of this 12 beat style of dance and music come from Jerez De Frontera, which is also famous for its sherry and orange trees.
Anders can be heard singing along with his bass solo. 

6) WE’RE ALL ANGELS                                                                                                                     4:50

The title is a statement of the belief that everyone has the potential to be a saint, an angel or a revolutionary. The style is Samba-Choro. It features the “bliss lovely clarinet of Idris Rahman” (B.B.C. Music)and Fernando De Marco on Cavaquinho. Orchestra Mahatma are now also performing this tune.                                                       

7) SUNSHINE CONTINUOUS                                                                                                   5:41

This is a catchy tune in a Mozambique (Cuban dance) style. 

8) TWO SMILES                                                                                                                                            2:36

This is simple, happy gospel music about immediate connection. Influences are pianist Abdullah Ibrahim and South African songs.                                  

9) HYMN                                                                                                                                             5:26

The African-gospel style melody is stated over an Afoxe (north Brazilian style derived from West African music) and then over a 12:8 meter African groove. The two saxophonists Ingrid and Idris interact with power.    

10) LAST FLIGHT                                                                                                                                          4:23

This is perhaps the saddest song on the CD written on the theme of death and loss. There is always a last journey, a last day, a last word and a last flight.

11) AMEN                                                                                                                                            2:03

Amen literally means, ?so be it? and has connotations of truth and acceptance.  The American Indians were so good at accepting their reality that even when captured and tortured by the Americans they frequently never uttered a sound.         

This was written as a duet for Ben and Ingrid. It’s close in style to a Bach prelude. The harmony is more contemporary, however.

 How to attract an Oriole

Orioles love citrus fruit. Cut an orange or grapefruit in half and hang it from a tree branch with a piece of string.