Espen Eriksen Trio & Andy Sheppard, Norway – Great Britain
Andy Sheppard – tenor saxophone
Espen Eriksen – piano and compositions
Lars Tormod Jenset – double bass
Andreas Bye – drums
Masters of melody from Norway first teamed up with the British saxophone star in 2016 for two concerts in London and it was clear from the very first note that this was a perfect match. Their first record together, Perfectly Unhappy, was released in 2018. Andy Sheppard says he knew from the first time he heard the trio that he would fit right in. His playing highlights Eriksen’s beautiful melodies and adds a unique voice to the solo parts.
After 15 years, six albums and regular touring on four continents, Espen Eriksen Trio is firmly established on the international jazz scene. Founded by the Norwegian pianist Espen Eriksen, who has a wide ranging musical background varying from church organ to work with pop bands, the trio’s music relies on highly melodic and lyrical instrumentals and a “less is more” approach and is often credited for its unique voice within today’s jazz scene by the international press.
Andy Sheppard is one of Europe’s leading saxophonists and one of a very few British musicians to have made a significant impact on the international jazz scene, playing and writing for settings from solo to big band and chamber orchestra. He has composed over 350 works that incorporate a strong and characteristic sense of lyricism alongside a very personal use of rhythms from Asia, Africa and South America. He has been described as a serial collaborator, playing recording and developing new music with artists as varied as Brazilian percussionist Nana Vasconcelos, Indian violinist L.Shankar, English folk musician Kathryn Tickell, contemporary classical composer-performers John Harle and Joanna MacGregor, singer songwriter John Martyn, and a myriad of leading jazz figures, including the rare hat-trick of three of the seminal composers in contemporary Jazz – Carla Bley, George Russell and the late Gil Evans.
The last couple of years, the quartet has sold out venues throughout Europe, including two concerts at the London Jazz Festival which were broadcasted on BBC Radio. Sheppard is also
featured on three tracks on the new live album, In The Mountains released in April 2022. The album has made critics look for their finest superlatives and draw comparisons with Keith Jarrett and Jan Garbarek’s legendary “Belonging” quartet.
“…an album of classy, inventive jazz improvisation that’s pretty near perfect”‘ – Stuart Nicholson, Jazzwise 4* review of ‘In The Mountains’.