Pianist Rick Simpson's impeccable technique and restless imagination have earned him a place at the forefront of contemporary UK music. He's equally at home exploring the tradition or pushing fearlessly against the boundaries, and now his unique creative voice is back in the spotlight with a typically idiosyncratic project: a re-framing of Radiohead's Kid A album, featuring ten original arrangements of the source material played by an all-star band of like-minded musical mavericks.
Whirlwind recording artist Tori Freestone joins James Allsop to form the twin-saxophone frontline, and Simpson is joined in the rhythm section by the universally respected veteran Dave Whitford on bass and upcoming young hotshot Will Glaser on drums.
The project was created to mark the 20th anniversary of the original album's release, as part of a series of sell-out shows curated by Simpson at London's Vortex club featuring non-jazz records rearranged with an improvisational focus. The original show was such a success, drawing in listeners from beyond the club's regular audience, that Simpson re-assembled the band in the studio and recorded the entire album in a single afternoon session "I think the time pressure contributed to the performances. It's really punchy and to the point, but a lot happens - it captures the energy so well". There's a wealth of detail to discover, and surprises at every turn.
This record takes the listener on a journey through an ever-changing landscape of powerfully emotive moods and textures, while still preserving the concise, focused energy and emotional directness of the original.