Nikki Iles – piano
Norma Winstone – vocals
Mike Walker – guitar
Mark Lockheart – saxes
Steve Watts – double bass
James Maddren – drums
1. A Breath Away (Ralph Towner/Norma Winstone) 7.39
2. Under The Canopy (Nikki Iles/Norma Winstone) 6.34
3. I Do It For Your Love (Paul Simon) 6.07
4. ‘O’ (John Taylor) 7.53
5. Westerly (Nikki Iles/Norma Winstone) 6.53
6. Tideway (Nikki Iles/Norma Winstone) 8.51
7. The Glide (Ralph Towner/Norma Winstone) 6.53
8. Two Grey Rooms (Joni Mitchell) 6.08
9. High Lands (Nikki Iles) 5.57
10. City Of Dallas (Steve Swallow) 5.22
14/05/2015 London Jazz News
This is quietly energetic, joyous music. The Printmakers have given us a print that will last…. Read Full Article
09/05/2015 Adrian Pallant
This, unquestionably, is chamber jazz whose elegance has to be heard to be believed, such is the shared empathy and depth of musical experience on show, all realised in a musical landscape that feels as magical as it is peerless…. Read Full Article
07/05/2015 John Fordham, The Guardian 4 stars****
Westerly’s blend of cool American and Latin styles with evocations of rural England often reveals an intensity pulsing beneath its vaporous melodies…A fine album ….Read Full Article
06/05/2015 Peter Bacon, The Jazz Breakfast
A life-enriching album for sure….Read Full Article
25/04/2015 Stephen Graham, Marlbank
Pastoral, reflective, somehow wise….Read Full Article
21/04/2015 Steve Berry
“Westerly is an exquisite and elegant album, a myriad of finely crafted details in both words and music, counterbalanced with dazzling improvisations of great wit and imagination.
Nikki Iles and Norma Winstone have gathered around them a team of sublime and empathic musicians who are perfectly able to realise their shared concept, honing this set of pieces over several years of live performances.
That live ‘edge’ is captured beautifully in this recording which was made in an idyllic Lake District location, chosen by Nikki with her characteristic sense of space and place, something I always feel is central to her own playing and her music.”
The Printmakers is a collaboration between some of the finest talents in British Jazz. Led by pianist Nikki Iles and pioneering ECM recording artist, Norma Winstone, this is an ensemble with a vast emotional range, with exceptional contributions from Mark Lockheart, Mike Walker, Steve Watts and James Maddren. This long-awaited debut recording, Westerly, is a multi-faceted album where Iles’ originals – both rugged and reflective – are found alongside innovative treatments of contemporary standard songs. The name of this band is very much a metaphor for the process in printmaking, where each new print can reveal a subtle, sometimes suprising, take on the original.
Recorded live, in the beautiful surroundings of Hawkshead in the Lake District, Westerly captures the intimate and ever-changing environment in which it was made. This notion of ‘place’ weaves itself throughout the entire album with the evocative Tideway being named after Norma Winstone’s coastal house in Deal and the title track (one of Iles’ best loved compositions) originally written to set the scene of writer Mary Webb’s birthplace in rural Shropshire. In the spirit of printmaking however, Norma Winstone’s lyrics have recast this tune as an American Western tale – including some authentic banjo playing from Steve Watts.
In addition to Iles and Winstone’s intriguing originals, the remaining pieces emphasise some longstanding working relationships. Two tracks find Norma Winstone penning lyrics for Ralph Towner compositions (the great guitarist who recorded with Norma, John Taylor and Kenny Wheeler in 1979), whilst ‘O’ acknowledges the influence John Taylor has had on every member of this ensemble. The final piece, The City Of Dallas (a humorous note on which to conclude), was written by Steve Swallow, with whom Norma Winstone and guitarist Mike Walker both have long working associations.
Brought together by their collective love of song and a powerful spirit of collaboration, The Printmakers set out to cross many musical boundaries. With themes of obsession, murder, migration, home and first love, Westerly presents a brilliant unity of concept and sound, delivered with honesty and stunning clarity.