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Acoustic Triangle

Malcolm Creese - double bass
Tim Garland - saxophones, bass clarinet, flute
Gwilym Simcock - piano, french horn
Ben Hancox, Hannah Dawson, Charlotte Scott & Emma Parker - violins
Robin Ashwell - viola
Cara Berridge - cello

An album of virtuosic un-amplified music - celebrating the common ground between improvised jazz and contemporary classical traditions.

(Clickfor mp3 samples)

Sanctuary For A Living Memory (Tim Garland)
1. The Power Of Now
2. For Whom
3. Old Timer  
4. Ringing The Changes  
5. All Seasons  
6. Fundero (Gwilym Simcock)  
Red Sky (Gwilym Simcock)
7. The Calm; Darkening  
8. Overhead 1 - The Eye  
9. Overhead 2 - Passing  
Singing Stones (Tim Garland)
10. Awakening  
11. Gathering  
12. Approaching  
13. Arriving  
14. The Moon For Her (Tim Garland)

Total Time: approx 75 mins

Recorded by Bob Whitney at Yewfield, Cumbria - March 2008
Mixed by Andrew Tulloch, Malcolm Creese, Tim Garland and Gwilym Simcock
Mastered by Andrew Tulloch
Produced by Malcolm Creese Co-produced by Tim Garland
Photo by John McCarthy
Design by Yoshiki Bann

ABCD 5024
© 2008 Audio-B Ltd

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Yorkshire Post 23rd July 2008

Here's a collaboration between one of Britain's classiest trios and a sextet of string players for an often quite beautiful programme in which elements of composed and improvised music find an attractive balance. Acoustic Triangle - pianist Gwilym Simcock, bassist Malcolm Creese and saxophonist Tim Garland - have written the music, which includes three suites. The trio play beautifully and the strings are integrated into the performances. The music is contemplative in mood, though there's plenty of passion in it. It's a rewarding listen. AV

The Times June 21, 2008

Speakeasies, bars and juke joints, yes, but only occasionally does jazz tiptoe into the church.

Acoustic Triangle - the redoubtable trio of Malcolm Creese, bass, Tim Garland, reeds, and Gwilym Simcock, piano - explore a fertile terrain where jazz improvisation merges into modern classical music. On their latest tour the group, plus six string players, are visiting the great cathedrals of England playing music designed to take advantage of the luminous acoustics. Propelled by spiky strings or Creese's sinuous bass, their compositions are full of melody and drama, convincingly merging notated scores with the explorations of first-rate improvisers. Even the godless will be charmed.

John Bungey

All About Jazz: October 26, 2008

Britain's Acoustic Triangle has always operated with the distinct premise of playing only in environments acoustically suited for completely acoustic performances. Recording with the same devotion to making the room a fourth member of the group, with no post-production processing, the trio has gradually shifted further away from overt jazz references, with Resonance (Audio-B, 2005) moving even closer to a place where formal composition and improvisation join. More than its earlier releases, 3 Dimensions is chamber jazz where the trio's classical upbringing weighs as heavily - perhaps even more so - as the jazz vernacular.

Woodwind multi-instrumentalist Tim Garland has always led a double life, comfortable in the more actively improvisational world on Changing Seasons (Sirocco, 2004) while sliding into a classical environs on the orchestral The Mystery (Audio-B, 2007), though the latter's inclusion of solo space hinted at 3 Dimension's direction. Here, with Acoustic Triangle fleshed out to a nonet with The Sacconi Strings' four violins, viola and cello, the three suites and two single tunes are inherently based on fixed form, but solo space still abounds for Garland - whose mellifluous and lyrically serpentine voice is recognizable, whether on saxophone, bass clarinet or flute - and pianist Gwilym Simcock, whose remarkable improvisational skills are belied both by his young age and relatively recent discovery of jazz, after spending the better part of his first twenty years occupied the classical sphere.

True to its founding premise, this expanded Acoustic Triangle's tour made even greater use of the English cathedrals it played in, with its nine members spread throughout the halls rather than linear across a stage, effectively placing the audience in the midst of a warm, natural soundscape. Despite the greater challenge of reproducing this surrounding, three dimensional audioscape on a stereo recording, bassist/producer Malcolm Creese has, with mixing assistance from Garland, Simcock and Andrew Tulloch, created an aural landscape as full and enveloping as its performances.

3 Dimensions represents another first for Acoustic Triangle - all the writing is original, from Garland and Simock, though the pianist's tango-esque "Fundero" and saxophonist's poignant "The Moon For Her" have both been heard before. Still, in this string-laden context, both tunes take on greater significance. Garland's two new suites - the five-part "Sanctuary for Living Memory" and four-part "Singing Stones" - combine a broad cross-section of classical references, ranging from jaggedly contemporary to romantically impressionistic, with open passages where Garland, Simcock and Creese are featured. Simcock's three-part "Red Sky" demonstrates equal breadth, its first movement a combination of angular flute lines soaring over flittering pizzicati and Simcock's own heralding French horn.

Despite its self-imposed touring limitations, Acoustic Triangle's gradually growing discography faithfully captures an organic philosophy that's increasingly appealing in a world where sonic overload is an undesirable fact of life. Whether cerebrally challenging or emotionally accessible, 3 Dimensions captures Acoustic Triangle at a pivotal point, where two worlds no longer exist separately. Instead, classical form and improvisational freedom coalesce into a beautiful sound world of considered invention and unfettered spontaneity.

John Kelman

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