Samuel Eagles 'Spirit'

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Last Show: Monday 12 th February 2018

PizzaExpress Jazz Club (Soho)

Increasingly incandescent across the London Jazz, funk and world music scenes, alto saxophonist and composer Samuel Eagles will perform original compositions from his latest release ‘Ask, Seek, Knock’.  Textual combinations and strong, melodious riffs will be heard in the steadfast improvisations teeming with character, energy and originality.   

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“A work, then, that pulses with meaning, taking the active listener deeper and higher…”

The London Evening Standard ★★★★ UK

The firm stature of contemporary jazz and improvisation in the musical spectrum is as much due to an onward passing of the baton by today’s prominent influencers as it is the ongoing legacy of the historic greats such as Charlie Parker, Ornette Coleman and John Coltrane. So when renowned saxophonist Mornington Lockett saw the potential in encouraging the early glimmers of talent in London-based Samuel Eagles, it indeed kindled something very special.

A formative grounding in classical piano (from international pianist, répétiteur and teacher Gillian Ford), along with a fascination for the recordings of Kenny Garrett, were pivotal in bringing Samuel Eagles to the alto saxophone; and the academic opportunities of big bands and other ensembles led initially to a position in an amateur ten-piece funk/fusion band. All the while, the young hopeful was being mentored by Mornington Lockett, who would regularly invite him to sit in on his own gigs. Notably, Samuel gained a place in the Royal Academy of Music’s Junior Jazz band, directed by respected educator Nick Smart – and whilst there, he was further inspired by classes from artists such as John Paricelli and Perfect Houseplants, enhanced by the first thrill of performing at the famed London venues of Ronnie Scott’s and Pizza Express Jazz Club. So the pathways of Eagles’ musical career had begun to be mapped out, soon to be ratified by the award of a BMus (Hons) in Jazz Performance from Trinity College of Music. There, he was tutored by Grammy Award-winning, US-born saxophonist and former Jazz Messenger, Jean Toussaint, as well as studying under other jazz luminaries including Russell van den Berg, Jason Yarde, Mark Lockheart and Simon Purcell.

Now, surrounding himself with some of British jazz’s present-day torch bearers – Sam Leak (piano), Ralph Wyld (vibes), Duncan Eagles (tenor sax), Max Luthert (double bass) and Dave Hamblett (drums) – the saxophonist has set out with exciting new sextet project Spirit, whose debut album of original material – Ask Seek Knock – is due for release on the Whirlwind label in June 2017, with longtime supporter Jean Toussaint guesting. This groove-laden recording – inspired by Eagles’ explorations of spirituality, sacrifice and beliefs – is being supported with a UK live tour. And so the journey continues.

Samuel Eagles – a contemporary musician indubitably shaping his future with a resolute artistic direction.


Band Lineup

Samuel Eagles (alto saxophone)

Duncan Eagles (tenor saxophone)

Ralph Wyld (vibraphone)

Sam Leak (piano)

Max Luthert (double bass)

David Hamblett (drums)