Sam Jesson – Drums
George Crowley – Saxophone
Tom Farmer – Bass
The Magpie Trio comprise of fiery tenorist George Crowley, in-demand Empirical bassist Tom Farmer and fast-rising drummer Sam Jesson,
United by their love for the tradition of legendary jazz trios from Ahmed Jamal to Sonny Rollins, Oscar Peterson to Dewey Redman, the trio wind their way through many gems of the jazz canon – some lesser known than others – sometimes deconstructing and breathing new life, sometimes paying homage to classic arrangements, with a devoted focus on making music that feels honest and joyous.
The band’s origins also lie with Jesson’s work as a promoter, co-ordinating The Magpie Sessions at The Post Bar in Tottenham, a series of events in which musicians were invited to explore the work of a specific jazz musician or composer during the course of an evening.
“We called them the Magpie Sessions because magpies are scavengers, and we were scavenging music from the likes of Thelonious Monk, Duke Ellington, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard and, Lee Konitz” explains Jesson. This concept of “creative scavenging” was to find its way into his own trio.
The trio specialise in arrangements of tunes associated with pianist Ahmad Jamal and his trio. It may seem strange for a piano-less trio to take this material as a starting point for their music making, but as Jesson explains;
“The use of vamps and ostinatos, as well as the space in the solos, were unusual for the time, and still sound so good. It seemed natural to take this really classy, groovy approach and see if we could make it work in a sax trio.”
“Devoted young originals including drummer Sam Jesson and saxophonist George Crowley ….. simultaneously cherished where jazz has been, and relished where it might be headed” John Fordham – The Guardian.
“Contemporary & spontaneous interpretations of old material, with the trio approaching their sources in a spirit of genuine affection, but still determined to leave their own stamp on the music.” JazzMann
“a free-wheeling, polyrhythmic tour de force, and to these ears an absolute delight.” JazzMann
“the drummer’s newly-formed trio with powerful saxophonist George Crowley, and Empirical’s fine double bassist Tom Farmer, will be a step-change in this enthusiastic and enterprising young musician’s creative life that’s been a long time coming. “ – John Fordham – London Jazz News
“ An unplugged sax, double bass and drums trio might seem austere, but not when it’s young drummer Sam Jesson’s band. Jesson’s Magpie Trio (the name implies creative scavengers) explore the legacy of the great Ahmad Jamal on this debut tour; saxist George Crowley and Empirical bassist Tom Farmer complete the picture.” – John Fordham – Guardian
Website – https://samjesson.co.uk/