Greg Lyons
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Greg Lyons

Singapore, Singapore, Singapore

Singapore, Singapore, Singapore
Band Jazz Latin

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"Greg Lyons Monday 13 July 2009"

Tenor/soprano player Greg Lyons has been something of a nomad since rising to prominence in the 1980s (when he played with the likes of Roberto Pla's Latin Jazz Ensemble, the London School of Samba and even, on occasion, with Loose Tubes), spending substantial periods of time in Spain, the USA, Germany, Malaysia and Singapore.

His visit to London (he's here to record an album with what he describes as a 'dream band' – French pianist Pierre de Bethmann, guitarist John Parricelli, bassist Dudley Phillips, drummer Nic France – and this gig was their first public performance) therefore had considerable rarity value, and attracted a respectably sized audience of admirers.

Lyons plays a tight but informal brand of fusion, in which catchy heads, jaunty but funky, give rise to soloing round the band in the conventional jazz manner; sensibly, he began proceedings with a perky, punchy theme, 'Elbow Room', with which the band punctuated solos from Parricelli (typically spiky, pleasingly terse), de Bethmann (more florid, but equally powerful) and Lyons himself (vibrant and eloquent), then slowly cast his stylistic net wider, drawing in everything from a celebratory blues ('Blues for Obama') and hints of folk ('Built to Last', on which Lyons played skirling soprano) to outright driving jazz-rock ('Get Real', arguably the evening's standout piece, the band having gelled and relaxed).

Said relaxation is not easily attained by a band unused to each other (and carefully reading the music, to boot), but – as the second set proved – it is the key to success, France and Phillips (on both electric and acoustic instruments) locking into a steady groove over which three vigorous (and intriguingly varied) soloists were able to blow a series of exhilarating breaks. On this showing, the band's forthcoming album should be something of a treat. - http://www.vortexjazz.co.uk/gig-reviews/2009/july/greg-lyons.html


"Comment on fanpage"

Confessional in brooding candour, flying free in a melodic menagerie and sailing in intense improvisation, this latest album of yours. A hint of the avant-garde but never a slave to its extremities, this is an exquisite balance of a jazz album honoring the holy trinity of melody, rhythm and harmony. And yes, that seductively hard-edge tone too, ... Read morewhich is distinctly the Greg Lyons sound. I must have heard Built To Last in many malleable iterations over the years in your many gigs and this workhorse’s final assertion may not end yet but it is hypnotic. A master class in jazz composition, arrangement and improvisation, and sentient melody. I look forward to reviewing it in its official capacity in my music column Up & Down Beats. Holy shit, I've already written the first paragraph! - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Greg-Lyons/139169842999?ref=sgm#/pages/Greg-Lyons/139169842999


Discography

Face First (1996 Universal)
Island To Island (2003)
Smoke Signals (2009)

Photos

Bio

Greg Lyons is a British saxophonist, composer and arranger.

Currently based out of Singapore, he is becoming known to an ever-increasing network of listeners for a commitment to making original music of an eclectic nature combining elements of his whole musical evolution - which includes representations of jazz, classical, funk, rock, pop, Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, avant-garde, folk and lots more.

This idea of "organic" composition/performance creates music that defies genre or classification but that communicates at many levels. It is tied together by the insistence of groove and also by the ethos of jazz which puts the ultimate control in the spontaneity of the moment.

The CDs he has released feature mostly his smaller groups but he has written for and led groups of up to 19 members, and continues to lead his 10-piece group Omniform in their monthly residency at Blu Jaz Cafe in Singapore. He has just completed production of the CD Smoke Signals, recorded in London in July 2009 featuring his Europe-based quintet.

It is also a mission of his to teach what he has learned to young musicians so that they might find the true essence of their expression in music and grow with it their whole lives. He is a committed educator with extensive experience of under and post-graduate teaching and curriculum development.

Over the past decade he has operated mostly out of South East Asia. He has led bands involving most of the major jazz figures of the region, and appeared with many top Asian artists though he continues to record and tour in Europe.