Arnie Somogyi bass
Arnie Somogyi is one of the UK's leading jazz bass players and innovative new bandleaders. Starting out on the violin at 5, bass guitar at 14 and later the double bass, Arnie began playing with Portishead's Adrian Utley during a BA Hons course in English at Bristol University before moving onto The Guildhall in London to study music exclusively.
Arnie is a much-sought after musician, composer, bandleader and a jazz educator at Birmingham Conservatoire. He's played with many of the world's top jazz musicians from Steve Grossman, James Moody, Bobby Hutcherson, Annie Ross and Claire Martin, to Art Farmer, Joey Calderazzo and Bud Shank. He has featured on over 30 albums with leading talents including Urban Species, Galliano, Omar, Chris Botti and The Verve's Richard Ashcroft. He's also performed on film soundtracks including "The Talented Mr Ripley", and presented two BBC Radio 4 ‘road-movie-for-radio' documentaries about Eastern Europe. As one of the "all-stars" he performs regularly at Ronnie Scott's, one of the world's leading jazz venues. Arnie is also a partner in music production outfit, VoodooKazoo.
His first album as leader and composer in 2000, "Cold Cherry Soup", received widespread critical acclaim and was chosen as BBC Music Magazine's Jazz Pick of the Month. He created and led the acclaimed Hungary Jazz Festival in Soho in May 2002, starring some of the UK's and Hungary's finest jazz artists. Arnie was also the motivating force behind IMPROVOKATION, a ground-breaking Anglo-Hungarian 10-piece ensemble of leading jazz and folk musicians. The debut tour in 2004, backed by Arts Council East, included Cheltenham International Jazz Festival, Appleby Jazz Festival & Ronnie Scott's.
Ambulance is his latest project as bandleader - a highly original five-piece band of young and ambitious musicians, launched at Ronnie Scott's in 2005. The band was chosen for the first-ever jazz-residency at the prestigious Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh in Spring 2006, where they created an entirely original set of new music for their debut album ‘Accident and Insurgency', released on Linn Records (AKD 306). The band's subsequent performances at Ronnie Scott's in September 2006 and UK tour in 2007 with legendary guest trumpeter Eddie Henderson won extensive plaudits across the national press.
Eddie Henderson trumpet and flugelhorn
Eddie Henderson is one of the world's truly legendary jazz trumpeters.
Born in New York City and the son of a Cotton Club dancer, Eddie grew up surrounded by some of the world's greatest jazz musicians, including Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis. He began playing the trumpet at the age of 10 and studied music theory at the San Francisco Conservatory from the age of 14, before later completing a degree in medicine at Berkeley.
It was Miles Davis who convinced Eddie to become a professional jazz musician and after gigs with Miles and John Handy, Eddie joined the legendary Herbie Hancock Sextet (who also recorded as the Mwandishi Band) in 1968. This highly experimental and successful band delved deeply into fusion and free jazz for three years.
Eddie continued in the fusion style during the seventies, making albums for Capricorn and Blue Note and joining
Art Blakey's band for a while. He jammed around the Bay Area with great musicians such as Joe Henderson and Pharoah Sanders.
In the early nineties he moved back to New York where his career took off again with a series of exceptional albums for Steeple Chase and Milestone, while also working as a psychiatrist. So as well as a great musician, he is also a qualified doctor - just what every Ambulance needs! Eddie is now a much sought after performer on the international jazz circuit and plays regularly with leading musicians and bands in the US, Europe and Asia. Most importantly, he has also played with Ambulance as a featured guest on UK tours in 2006 and 2007 - a powerful combination that received considerable acclaim.
Tim Lapthorn piano
Described as ‘brilliant' by Humphrey Lyttelton and ‘electrifying' by Jazz Review,
Tim Lapthorn is developing into one of Britain's most exceptional young pianists. His enigmatic and melodic, yet ‘loose-cannon' style, is distinctive, expressive, different and ambitious.
Born in Newmarket in 1976 and raised in Cambridge, Tim initially studied French and philosophy at Leeds University before deciding to follow his musical ambitions and completing a postgraduate jazz diploma at the Guildhall School of Music in 2000 where he studied under Simon Purcell, Nikki Iles and Pete Churchill.
Since graduating Tim has lived and worked in London as a performer, composer and teacher. He has worked with many leading musicians and groups including Guy Barker, Acoustic Ladyland, Bob Martin, Frank Griffith Nonet and Jim Mullen. Tim recently featured on Ian Shaw's collection of Joni Mitchell songs "Drawn to All Things" and works regularly as pianist, composer and arranger with singer Polly Gibbons. He recently recorded, in Italy, on her first jazz album produced by jazz producer Makoto Kimata (Chet Baker, Benny Golson, Freddie Hubbard) to be released in March in Japan and the Far East.
Tim has released three original CDs with his band, the Tim Lapthorn Trio. Of ‘Natural Language', The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD said: 'Lapthorn's beautiful debut set is a marvelous first statement ****'. ‘Seventh Sense' received similarly glowing reviews including Mojo ****, and was rated as one of the top ten international releases of 2007 by critics in Jazzwise magazine and Jazz Review. The CD was also one of the 25 favourite releases of 2007 by Japanese record giant 'Disc-union'. His next project will include exclusively solo material.
Dave Smith drums
Dave Smith is one of the finest young drummers on the British jazz scene. Drawing on a wide range of influences, from West African percussion to classic jazz drumming, his explosive style and musical sensitivity give him the versatility to play in many musical environments.
Born in Norwich, Dave began drums and percussion at the age of nine, receiving weekly lessons from Angus Honeyman. He also played for the Norwich Students Jazz Orchestra under Dave Amis, and performed with Johnny Dankworth at the Royal Albert Hall.
At 16, Dave won a music scholarship to study at Wells Cathedral School where he received top percussion tuition from Jane Obradavic and Jan Faulkner with drum kit lessons from Andrew Tween. He then moved on to The Guildhall School of Music and Drama to specialise in jazz drumming in 1999, including masterclasses from Dave Liebman, John Patitucci, Billy Cobham and Geoff Keezer.
After graduating from the Guildhall, Dave has worked with leading jazz musicians such as Peter King, Liam Noble, Julien Siegel, Chris Biscoe, Bobby Wellins and Stan Sulzmann, and is playing regularly in LOOP Collective from the Outhouse, Jim Hart's Gemini, MA and the Rory Simmons quartet.
Dave's involvement with West African music began in The Gambia in 2002 when he attended an ECCO International cultural course. Since then he has made return trips to study Sabar drumming from the Wolof culture. He recently lead a collaboration with Outhouse and five ECCO-Wolof drummers, funded by the Arts council of England, the BBC Fame Academy Bursary and Pearl drums. Dave was the 2006 winner of the BBC Fame Academy educational bursary, helping him to fund recording projects, collaborative projects, research trips and drum studies.
Paul Booth saxophones
Paul Booth is one of the most exciting and in demand musicians on the scene today. Although a very prominent figure on the jazz scene, with one album released on the Jazzizit label and his new release ‘No Looking Back' on the Basho label, his versatility has seen him play in many musical genres.
Paul studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London from the age of 16 and graduated with honours at the age 20. In his early years he won many awards including the prestigious Clifford Brown/Stan Getz fellowship held in Miami, ‘The Best Modern Jazz Player' category in the televised ‘Young Jazz Player of the Year' competition and many more.
Paul is currently in the Steve Winwood band has performed worldwide with the likes of Riverdance (for over two years), Eric Clapton, Matt Bianco, Basia, Alex Wilson, Roberto Pla, Snowboy, Jane Monheit, Ray Gelato.
He is a regular at Ronnie Scott's jazz club in London with both his own band and other musicians and has toured several times under his own name with the
backing of Jazz Services and Jazz Action. Paul has been involved with bands such as Sax Appeal, Tim Garland's Northern Underground Orchestra, The New Couriers, Mike Garrick Big Band, and the Laurence Cottle Quartet/Big Band.
Rob Townsend saxophones, woodwind & laptop
Rob Townsend's musical versatility is exceptional - ranging from saxophone maestro, through talented woodwind virtuoso, to a master of innovative new ideas in digital sound. Joining Ambulance during their residency at Snape Maltings in Aldeburgh, Rob not only brought his talents with saxophones and variety of woodwind instruments into the band's repertoire, but also added a new digital dimension, bringing fresh new sampling and sound manipulation technologies to the Ambulance mix.
A graduate of Middlesex University with a 1st class Honours in Jazz, Rob has performed with a broad range of leading musicians including Django Bates, Sam Rivers, Iain Ballamy, Mark Lockheart, Laurence Cottle, Bill Bruford, James Taylor and many more.
He's also toured with the Leeds-based Phoenix Dance company and the South Indian dance company Sankalpam and has played on film and TV scores for Oscar-winning composer Stephen Warbeck.
Rob is a senior lecturer in Jazz at Middlesex University and also teaches on summer schools in the UK and abroad.
Alongside his teaching role, Rob plays with Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett - both on tour and featuring on 6 CDs and 2 DVDs - and is a partner in the music production outfit VoodooKazoo, writing music for Film, TV and next generation computer games for clients including ITV, Channel five, Talkback Thames, Triffic Films and Codemasters.
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Throughout the lyrical, elegantly played music is consistently engaging.more >>The Scotsman
Their music revealed an engaging freshness and sense of invention.more >>Metro
The music they make evokes landscape and is strong on colour.more >>BBC Website
Umber-toned experiences that are as sumptuous as the finest chocolate melting in your mouth.more >>Atlantic Audio Society
Meditative, elegant music, sophisticated in its color palettemore >>The Jazz Rag
this stimulating album...deserves your attention.more >>The Birmingham Post
Plaudits continue for Arnie Somogyi's Ambulance as they complete their UK tour.more >>The Guardian
Over two intense sets, the six musicians make an overwhelming case for jazz that is visceral, intellectual and disciplined, while wowing an audience of musicians, fans, hacks and punters.more >>The Guardian
Elegant writing hitched to imaginative improvising.more >>The List
Bristling with inventive manipulations of instrumental sonority and timbre, surprising chordal developments and effective shifts in tempo.more >>The Herald
A clear sense of direction, strong melodies and focused improvising.more >>The Northern Echo
Enjoyable and stimulating...more >>Jazzwise
That unlikely mix of gentle attentiveness between musicians, a caring, unfussy, love of detail and a capacity to laugh and robustly stretch out makes this a joyous recording indeed.more >>The Scotsman
Intelligent and probing contemporary jazz...more >>BBC Music Magazine
The result is a dynamic set that's full of surprises, tumbling chord and tempo changes, atmospheric effects and quicksilver improvised solo runs.more >>Independent On Sunday
The collective effect is sometimes marvellous.more >>The Times
Varied, thoughtful and consistently engaging.more >>Straight No Chaser
Eleven original compositions of such measure, mystique and eccentricity that it's incredibly hard not to keep rushing back for another dose.more >>www.muszeroldal.hu
The open musicality of Henderson, of more mature years than the rest of the ensemble, has a positive effect on the playing of the band.more >>George FM - New Zealand
Delightful, challenging music.more >>Vortex Jazz Website
This is a highly entertaining and thoroughly absorbing set.more >>