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BEN CROSLAND (H 64-69) PLAYS ‘SOLWAY STORIES’, FRIDAY 10TH MARCH (POSTPONED)

The concert has been postponed. Another date to be announced soon.

Solway Stories is a collection of twelve original compositions by bassist and composer Ben Crosland. The music was inspired by his 1988 visit with his mother to the beautiful area of South West Scotland, bordering the Solway Firth. “We were captivated by the gorgeous landscape and engaging place names – Beeswing, Carsethorn, Islesteps and Powfoot,” explains Crosland. “I decided to write a set of pieces inspired by our trip and wrote those names down on a sheet of paper which I duly filed away.”

In November 2018 a chance viewing of Richard Thompson performing his song ‘Beeswing’ on YouTube reawakened the memory of the trip and Crosland set about the compositional project imagined all those years before. Crosland has revisited Solway Firth and his research into its rich history has shaped many of the compositions in Solway Stories.

“I still vividly recall that original journey north, crossing the border and driving through the lovely countryside. That will always be the starting point,” concludes Crosland. “This is a very personal record. Naturally, it is dedicated to my mum who, right to the end of her days, at almost 102 years of age, still relished going out for a ‘spin in the motor’.”

Solway Stories has been featured regularly on Jazz FM over the course of the last twelve  months. It was album of the week on Dinner Jazz with Mark Walker during the week of 17th May 2021 and has also been featured by Mark several times since. It has also been featured by Helen Mayhew on True Brit and by Chris Philips on The Blueprint.

Tracks from the album have been featured on BBC Radio 3’s Jazz Record Requests, BBC Scotland Jazz Nights, Jazz London Live and The Jazz Mine on Dublin City FM

Solway Stories is currently being toured by The Ben Crosland Quintet, an all star band featuring Steve Waterman Trumpet/Flugelhorn, Chris Allard Guitar, Steve Lodder Piano/Keyboards and Caroline Boaden Drums.

Ben Crosland has been leading bands for over 30 years. He has recorded a series of critically acclaimed albums, released on his independent Jazz Cat label, with the cream of UK jazz musicians including Alan Skidmore, Dave O’Higgins, Jim Mullen, Mark Nightingale, Steve Waterman, John Etheridge, Martin Shaw, Steve Lodder and Barnaby Dickinson.

Book tickets here.

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REVIEWS OF SOLWAY STORIES

‘Bass guitarist and composer Ben Crosland has fond memories of the countryside around the Solway Firth, and they inspired him to write these 12 musical vignettes. They have his typically light touch, the written parts and improvised solos deftly woven so that you scarcely notice the join. The pieces range from gently melodic to driving and intense, with particularly impressive solos by trumpeter Steve Waterman and Steve Lodder on keyboards. The album came out in May, and its sunny tunefulness sounds even more appealing in the dark days of winter.’

Dave Gelly, The Observer  

‘The writing is rich in memorable melodies and the playing no less resonant and inventive…A delightful album’. Robert Shore, Jazzwise. 4 stars.

‘A suite of pieces…that makes a touching tribute to his late mother’. Garry Booth, BBC Music Magazine. 4 stars.

‘With this particular assemblage of first – rate musicians, Crosland has produced yet another winning album’. Roger Farbey, Jazz Journal 4 stars.

‘A set of carefully crafted and highly melodic compositions that are suitably enhanced by the playing of five excellent musicians’. Ian Mann, The Jazz Mann. 4 stars.

‘This is one of those records that has its own language, its own narrative and its own beauty. Quietly understated but deeply compelling, this is undoubtedly one of my favourite records this year’. Chris Baber, Jazz Views.

‘This is a celebration of the wide open spaces, it is optimistic, warm, broad brush stroke music…it is cool in a way that allows the tunes to develop…a lovely album’. Lance Liddle, Bebop Spoken Here.