It received a standing ovation at its debut performance at the 2008 Manchester Jazz Festival for broadcast by BBC Radio’s ‘Jazz On 3’ slot.
Now, the phenomenal ‘Ropes’ by Mike Walker finally makes it to disc.
Commissioned by the festival, this exquisitely-drawn suite features the guesting 22-piece Psappha Strings orchestra alongside a jazz quintet especially selected for the studio recording by the acclaimed Impossible Gentlemen guitarist.
Walker’s second solo album, it’s a warm and embracing chamber work that tugs rather than pulls us to its sinewy charms. Of its premise, Mike told London Jazz News last year that a ‘tricky little sea shanty’ formed the basis for the three movements and album’s title.
“I thought about the rope involved in sailing the old 18th-century ships. That got me thinking about how rope can be used in various ways. It can tow us home, pull us out of a hole or tie us up in knots.
“So it’s about line. How it’s used and over-used – how we choose or don’t choose and the implications those decisions can have.”
The Salford-born Walker has played and recorded with jazz legends including George Russell, Peter Erskine, Steve Swallow, Norma Winstone, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor and performed with Dave Holland, Tal Farlow, Vince Mendoza, Anthony Braxton, Bill Frisell, Mike Gibbs, and many others.