Thelonius
Gig Seeker Pro

Thelonius

Bristol, England, United Kingdom

Bristol, England, United Kingdom
Hip Hop Jazz

Calendar

This band hasn't logged any future gigs

This band hasn't logged any past gigs

Music

Press


It's that pesky Bristol scene again. 2012 has already seen some fine albums emanating from the English city—Busnoys' By Tapering Torchlight (Tall Guy Records) and Andy Hague's Cross My Palm (Ooh-Err Records) are just two examples. Now along comes Reminisce, from the five-piece Thelonius, to further enhance the city's reputation for quality music.

Guitarist Tim Baker, bassist Dan Darbon and drummer Richard Evans formed Thelonius—only one O, it should be noted—in December 2011. Pianist Tom McMahon-Hore and reeds player Imogen Walker joined in the months that followed. The musicians' inspirations are wide-ranging, including drummer Questlove, hip-hop producer J Dilla, Robert Glasper, Miles Davis, British folk band Bellowhead and, unsurprisingly, Thelonious Monk.

This is the band's first release and a very egalitarian recording it is. There's no obvious leader or star soloist in Thelonius, but each player makes a distinctive contribution and the four original tunes are all credited as whole-band compositions. Baker adds fat and funky chords to the intro of "M'Njun" and underpins the unutterably cheerful "Voodoo Monkey" with a looser, more soulful set. Evans—an ex-covers band drummer who only discovered hip-hop at the age of 47—has a slinky, hip, style that reflects some of the hard-hitting grooves of his own inspiration, The Roots' Questlove. McMahon-Hore and Darbon both skillfully combine melody and rhythm, working with Evans to anchor every single tune.

The one cover track, "Stakes Is High > T. R. O. Y. (They Reminisce Over You)," is the band's tribute to J Dilla—who co-produced De La Soul's "Stakes Is High"—and Pete Rock, who produced "T. R. O. Y. (They Reminisce Over You)" and performed it with CL Smooth. Thelonius' arrangement, looser and a little more upbeat than the originals, does justice to both tunes.

Thelonius' most fascinating and attention-grabbing tune is the wonderful "Spanish Joint." It starts and ends with a piano and oboe duet from McMahon-Hore and Walker which is given a scratchy, eerie, sound as if being played on a 78RPM shellac disc. The duet's melancholy beauty is heightened by the song's Middle Eastern-flavored mid-section, which mixes Baker's fiery guitar, McMahon-Hore's fluid piano phrases and more of Walker's ethereal oboe.

Lest this should all seem too good to be true, there is a complaint to be made. Reminisce is just under 19 minutes long, an EP rather than LP. At a point in history when far too many artists attempt to stretch a few decent ideas out to 70 or 75 minutes, Thelonius stands guilty of doing the opposite. There are many, many possibilities hinted at here; this is a set of tunes that tantalizes and teases. Of course, being tantalized and teased isn't a bad thing. It's often a really good thing. So, not a complaint at all, really; just a request that next time it all lasts a bit longer.

Track Listing: M'Njun; Stakes Is High > T. R. O. Y. (They Reminisce Over You); Spanish Joint; The Lizard; Voodoo Monkey.

Personnel: Imogen Walker: oboe, saxophone; Tom McMahon-Hore: piano, electric piano; Tim Baker: guitars; Dan Darbon: electric bass; Richard Evans: drums, percussion. - All About Jazz


An hour of top tunes from BURNING SHAPES, ROB MARR, THE B OF THE BANG, DE’BORAH, THE BLUE SCREEN OF DEATH, THEATRE ROYAL, ADAM LEAVER, RICHARD KAPP & THE GOWNS, PINEY GIR, BIG WAVE, DARKE HORSE, JOYCE THE LIBRARIAN, STEEL TREES, YOUNG BELIEVERS, MR BEN SIR, EMILE BERNARD and THELONIUS, handpicked by Tom Robinson from the BBC Introducing Uploader. - BBC 6


Who here loves hip hop? And what about Jazz?

Well, if you answered yes to both questions this post may be just for you.

Thelonius from the U.K. have released a new EP titled, Reminisce with classic hip hop beats infused with the jazz touch. You won’t be disappointed. So pour yourself a glass of wine or a 40 and enjoy this easy listen for free. - iheartdilla


‘Reminisce’ opens with the self-confessed 'difficult birth' of ‘M'Njun’, which features a bit of a sporadic piano solo in the middle before closing on an altogether more melodic piece. ‘Spanish Joint’ has an Eastern-European feel to it even though it apparently started off with a beat from New Orleans Street Beats! The oboe is what carries this song ebbing when the beat picks up and then coming into its own when the rest of the instruments drop out.

It has been said that ‘The Lizard’ came about in a soundcheck and then when it was performed live the piano part was added. This is one of the more chilled tracks on the EP and wouldn't sound out of place in a trendy coffee house. There is a sax solo feature by Imogen and it is this along with the piano that drives the piece.

Finally, ‘Voodoo Monkey’; I'm curious as to how they come up with the names for their tracks! Anyway, ‘Voodoo Monkey’ features a nice break down in here from Rich on the drums and the high piano melody counteracts the infectious guitar riff running throughout. Said track was apparently their first collaboration yet features last on the EP.

All in all, Thelonius’ sound is one dripping in chilled jazz and funk mixed with a coffee house aesthetic and yet having their roots firmly placed in classic hip-hop. They are obviously a group of talented musicians who enjoy performing original tracks influenced from a variety of sources and styles.

www.facebook.com/Theloniusband - Live Music Scene


Jazz certainly seems to be in the air on this week’s Fresh Faves and it continues here with this frenetic instrumental outing. Opening with an ominous call to arms delivered on what sounds like a beat-up dive bar piano, the track soon builds into raucous jazz rock fusion. There’s some impressive finger work as each of the musicians take their turn to flex their skills and generally throw your ears around like auditory rag dolls, before gently placing them back down, safe and sound in the outro. Based in Bristol, Thelonius are a five-piece who take their influences from across Jazz, Hip Hop and Classical music. Spanish Joint is featured on their debut EP ‘Reminisce’ and you can get your hands on it, plus find details of upcoming shows on their website. - Fresh on the Net


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos

Bio

Thelonius was formed at the end of 2011 and has gigged extensively in the south west of England during 2012.

Born out of a love for hip-hop and jazz, the six piece is fast earning a reputation for one of the most innovative bands in the south-west.

Thelonius' music is built around a solid, neck breaking rhythm section of Dan Darbon (Bass) and Richard Evans (Drums) and the instrumental dexterity of Toni Palmer (piano), Tim Baker (guitar), Hannah Johns (violin) and Tom Haskins (sax).

The band has just completed recording it debut EP which will be released on 26th July 2012. It comprises a mix of orginals and covers of De La Soul and Pete Rock classics.

Originals bear the influences of hip-hop, jazz, classical and world music, creating a stew that is hard to resist.