The English Quartet features some very exciting UK based jazz musicians who's playing I admire very much: Frank Harrison on piano, Laurence Cottle on electric bass and Chris Nickolls on drums.
Over the past year I have had the pleasure to perform in concert with them in several venues and I loved the energy and sound that came out in my compositions and the standards we played.
Frank is a very busy pianist known particularly as a band member of Gilad Atzmon Orient House Ensemble. He can feel equally at home playing ballads with great sensitivity and touch and more energetic up tempo tunes.
Laurence is one of Europe's most sought after electric bass players and is busy performing and recording for both pop and jazz artists; I love the warmth and fullness of his sound on the instrument and having a phenomenal understanding and experience of the jazz tradition he can make anything sound beautiful and right.
Chris is one of the young talented drummers based in London; his influences are clearly from drummers such as Brian Blade and Roy Haynes and I love the 'wooden sound' he gets out of his kit. He can swing and groove hard and gives a lot of energy to the overall sound of the band.
In the year 2010 the quartet successfully completed large tour around the Uk sponsored by Jazz Services.
Together the quartet has performed at various festivals and clubs which include: Brecon Jazz Festival, Oxford Jazz Festival, Lichfield Jazz Festival, Pizza Express Dean Street, Queens Elizabeth Hall Rush Hour Jazz, The Spin Jazz Club - Oxford, Birmingham Commuter jazz at the Symphony Hall, National Theatre, The Crypt jazz Club, Southampton-Derby-Newcastle-Swansea-Cambridge-St Ives Jazz Clubs and many more venues...
This new recording plus the numerous concerts around the country in 2010 were well received by jazz critics:
'...Anyone who has experienced a glissando of language on the streets of Italy will understand the utter exuberance with which Italian-born Starace attacks and runs with the language of music'. Paul Medley - The Oxford Times
'...The declamatory fierceness of his alto often calls Sonny Criss or Jackie McLean to mind'. Chris Parker - Londonjazz.blogspot.com
'..Tutto è molto preciso, intenso, in alcuni momenti affascinante, con il leader che sa come muoversi sulla ritmica con assoli che ne svelano l'assoluta padronanza dello strumento e una tecnica invidiabile dotata di un fraseggio rapido, lucido, tagliente. Ogni sua nota colpisce nel segno, ma non solo, rivela anche capacità di leadership notevoli e grande senso organizzativo'.
Alessandro Carabelli - Jazzitalia.net