Stan Sulzmann – Tenor Saxophone, Nikki Iles – Piano
It is 20 years since Stan Sulzmann and Nikki Iles recorded their first (and only) album together. Since then these two outstanding musicians have become stalwarts of the British jazz scene.
They have composed original, critically acclaimed music for various ensembles both live and on record and played with some of the biggest names in the jazz world including John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Vince Mendoza and Anthony Braxton.
Alongside their busy performing schedules they teach at some of the country’s most prestigious conservatoires and both hold permanent positions at The Royal Academy of Music. But for all of the original cutting-edge music that these two instrumentalists have played it is a shared love of song that brings them together for this new album. Stardust is a collection of standard tunes that are very dear to Stan and Nikki as well as featuring an original composition from each.
So why an album of standards? When asked this question Stan replied “I just love to play these tunes” – as good a reason as any to record this duo CD that oozes with class. Beautifully recorded in the concert hall at the Royal Academy of Music this is a really intimate sounding record and a rare opportunity to listen to these two incredible instrumentalists up-close and personal.
The album begins with an original from Stan – Nikki’s Corner is dedicated to his great friend and musical collaborator Iles. The pair then play classics including Albert Hague’s Young and Foolish, Jonny Green’s Body and Soul and You’ll Never Get To Heaven by Burt Bacharach. Nikki’s original Under The Canopy is inspired by a great David Attenborough documentary and retains the importance of focus on melody.
Both Stan and Nikki have contributed short liner notes to the tunes explaining why they were included on the album. “This intimate recording is a rare chance to hear two of the UK’s most respected jazz musicians playing tunes they love. Jellymould is proud to be releasing this beautiful record.” – Dom Sales, Jellymould Jazz
Stardust is released on Jellymould Jazz, a London record label dedicated to promoting jazz artists based in the UK. These include; Paragon, Tommy Andrews, Hannes Riepler, Tim Thornton and Jenni Molly. 2016 will see a number of second albums from Jellymould artists in which the label has directly invested, cementing the label’s dedication to supporting its artists. These include albums from Kristian Borring, Hannes Rielpler and Sam Leak.