The trio in Leeds, October 2013 © Andy Newcombe (open print size)

Corey Mwamba, Dave Kane and Joshua Blackmore improvise collectively to create an open, living music.

They got together in Stratford-upon-Avon on a dark and stormy night in November 2008, and from there have undertaken a Jazz Services national tour; performed at Manchester Jazz Festival; and supported jazz saxophone legend David Murray.

The music is a free-wheeling, spontaneous mixture of styles. This trio has developed a process entirely focussed on creating highly expressive live music that's full of grooves and sounds composed, but is not; and playing compositions that don't sound composed at all, but are.

How it all works is not always clear; but the process is always fascinating to hear, and the results can be truly moving.

Their newest studio recording is called don't overthink it, which has garnered favourable attention in Jazzwise (4 stars), on All About Jazz and in a critics' chart on The Wire's website.

Press

You can either print out the webpage (formatted to 5-6 pages); or download a concise version of the information on the webpage as ODT or PDF.


Quotes

Over two improvised sets they sustained that beguiling sense of music that is being conjured before your eyes, and ears, that only the best group playing evokes – fans of the Wayne Shorter Quartet will know what I mean. And their attention to the smallest details can make you fall in love with sound all over again.

Bristol Jazz Log, December 2013

They confound any preconceptions of what freely improvised music might sound like... Sometimes there was bit of an African lilt, at others a funky acoustic vibe, at still others swirling textures and moods and then a burst of racing swing.

Jazzy Blog Man, December 2013

The music [...] resists easy categorisation. Though 100 per cent improvised, it manages to avoid sounding like either free jazz or improv.

Jazzwise Magazine, June 2013

Combining high-wire spontaneity with deft composition, this is state-of-the-art improv from the new generation of UK jazz talent

Time Out London, January 2009

Reviews

don't overthink it

don't overthink it feels like three old friends with a lot to talk about, enjoying each other's company and relishing the chance to catch up. You can practically hear the smiles on their faces.

Jazzwise Magazine, June 2013

This is the sound of three minds working together in a utopian zone way beyond the individual ego - and producing something quite beautiful in the process. (4 stars out of 5)

Jazzwise Magazine, May 2013

The intuitive understanding shared by all three musicians is paramount in creating this very attractive musical world. [...] engaging and evocative music

All About Jazz, March 2013

Embrace {bootleg}

Their music featured climaxes and crescendos intricately weaved, leading the audience through the show by blending the quiet and peaceful with the loud and chaotic, whilst still retaining a level of order and cohesion that can only come from a strong artistic vision. [...] this is definitely a band worth seeing.

FD2D Magazine, April 2012

everybody's reading

The music was so varied that the collection of sources was clearly diverse. The music was like a film score going from loud and rich as if more than three people were performing to soft, like a nursery rhyme. This left the audience absorbed in the music[...]

Amy Caroline, October 2011

Manchester Jazz Festival

The trio merged effortlessly from sparse and minimalist to chaotic but organised, making sure the audience never knew what direction they would go in next.

Mancunian Matters, July 2011

Corey Mwamba is turning out to be something of a force of nature, a incredible vibes player with a thirst for experimentation that means we've no idea what to expect, except that it'll be well worth seeing. Dave Kane and Troyka's Josh Blackmore are about as a good a rhythm section as you could ask for working in contemporary jazz today.

efpi records, July 2011

schmazz

... impressive stuff, lyrical and swinging.

Russell Corbett for Bebop Spoken Here, June 2010

Corey Mwamba ... How does he do it? Dave Kane truly inspires us with his technique and emotive instrumental language... Joshua Blackmore intelligently listening as much as providing a rich backing just providing the right sense of rhythmic tension.... Come back again but do a longer set, please.

Sarah Razvi for Bebop Spoken Here, June 2010

In the Vortex

On {In The Vortex}, two feet firmly in the jazz avant-garde sound, but not a quality that encompasses the trio in its totality.. the trio primarily focuses on group improvisation, the quality of the conversation, rather than the language it's spoken in. [...] expect ominous vibes, lurking bass, and the bone rattle of drums.

Bird Is The Worm, May 2012

Free jazz remains the ultimate underground music. In The Vortex, a recording of a performance given by vibraphonist Corey Mwamba, bassist Dave Kane, and drummer Joshua Blackmore at The Vortex in January this year, is a valuable document. The two-CD set [...] is recommended for Mwamba's instinctive originality on vibes: he is an elemental driving force on an instrument that is often used for fey or novelty effect. Kane contributes orchestrally varied sounds on string bass, and Blackmore veers between delicate hues and full-blown ferocity. The spontaneity of group improvisation gives it a wonderful freshness - the excitement of discovery is palpable - and due attention is paid to dynamics (like the quiet delicacy at the beginning of Breathe In). Trumpeter Alex Bonney joins for three of the four pieces on the second disc, and adds his own special brand of desiccated eloquence. (4 stars out of 5)

Manchester Evening News, September 2010

'Spontaneous, free-wheeling' was the programme description of the music on offer from vibes player Corey Mwamba, bassist Dave Kane and drummer Josh Blackmore, and it fitted their performance perfectly.

Their approach was basically to set up a rhythm, or even just a repeated motif, and see where it led them as a trio, reacting spontaneously to fresh ideas as they arose.

In inexperienced or unadventurous hands, this can lead either to blind alleys where players slowly become aware they have nowhere meaningful to go, or to hectic blizzards of sound without shape or purpose; such was the mutual sensitivity of this trio, however, that their pieces all had satisfying shapes, their exploratory beginnings coalescing into driving rhythms, or slowly building to exhilarating climaxes with all the apparent inevitability of a pre-composed piece.

Vibes are heard relatively seldom in free contexts, which is perhaps surprising given their textural and dynamic versatility; Mwamba, alive to every musical possibility thrown his way by his bandmates, was constantly selecting the precisely appropriate tone and timbre for the particular moment, either by changing gong-type (covered) mallets for xylophone-style (unwrapped) mallets, or by occasionally playing his instrument with his bare hands or a violin bow, drawing from its keys an astonishing variety of sounds, from mbira-like 'muffled' notes to ringing, sonorous, sustained tones or cascades of single notes, occasionally ending pieces with a subtle reverberating effect produced by a volume control.

Kane, as those familiar with his work alongside Matthew Bourne and Paul Dunmall, or leading his own trio, will already know, is one of the most inventive and vigorously propulsive bassists on the current UK scene, equally at home with freely improvised and more structured music; Blackmore, as is obvious when he is providing the engine power for Curios, is superb at producing emphatic but subtle rhythms that energise a band, and this he did all night, providing the vibrant but supple underpinning for the flights of Kane and Mwamba.

Joined from time to time by trumpeter Alex Bonney, who slotted his alternately strident and flaring sound perfectly into the rich mix, Mwamba/Kane/Blackmore provided nearly two hours of absorbing, intriguing and at times downright exhilarating music.

Chris Parker, January 2010

Vortex Jazz Club review

This group prioritises the practice of in-performance listening to create a tangible sense of synergy despite the absence of a preordained structure. The music was entirely improvised, born from the thoughts and feelings of the players at that precise moment in time... There was an undeniable sense of the sublime in this creation and experience. Though the music has not been named and the group has no recording the sensations visited on the audience will be carried for much time to come.

Joseph Kassman-Tod, January 2009

Listen carefully.

Recordings

You can buy an album at Bandcamp. Buying an album enables the trio to travel to perform, and record more performances. Many thanks to those who support our music.

All music is released under a Creative Commons licence.


don't overthink it | £5+

The trio's first studio album, recorded at the acoustically beautiful Embrace Arts in Leicester.

coreymwamba.bandcamp.com/album/dont-overthink-it


Vortex III {dirty} | £3+

A rough, living recording: the first set of five-year anniversary gig at the Vortex.

cm-dk-jb.bandcamp.com/album/vortex-iii-dirty


solace | £3+

A warming set recorded at Seven Arts in Leeds.

cm-dk-jb.bandcamp.com/album/solace


cuts | £3+

is a recording from a great (but sadly defunct) London venue, The Hackney Cut.

cm-dk-jb.bandcamp.com/album/cuts


Embrace {bootleg} | £1+

is a rough recording of the first half of a performance in the lovely Embrace Arts concert hall in Leicester. It's from March 2012.

cm-dk-jb.bandcamp.com/album/embrace-bootleg


everybody's reading | £3+

marks the first time the trio has knowingly played a composed work; the piece was commissioned by the Everybody's Reading Festival in Leicester in 2011. The recording is not complete.

cm-dk-jb.bandcamp.com/album/everybodys-reading


schmazz | £3+

is from the great jazz night in Newcastle and is from June 2010.

schmazz by Corey Mwamba | Dave Kane | Joshua Blackmore


7ArtSpace | £3+

is from the eponymous venue in Leeds and is from February 2010.

cm-dk-jb.bandcamp.com/album/7artspace


In the Vortex | £3+

features the glorious trumpeter Alex Bonney, and is from a performance in London in January 2010.

cm-dk-jb.bandcamp.com/album/in-the-vortex


hear us listen | £3+

was recorded in Derby in March, 2009.

cm-dk-jb.bandcamp.com/album/hear-us-listen

Video

Here is a collection of videos from You Tube.

Upcoming dates

Would YOU like to hear us?

Have you thought of hosting your own gig? Putting on a concert is easier than you might think, if you plan it correctly.

It doesn't need a big venue - it can even be done in your own home. If you and some like-minded people club together the trio can be quite affordable - please get in touch.

Performance requirements

We play acoustic music. In most places, that means without amplification which in turn means no or minimal sound-check.

Our only necessity is a plug socket for the bass amp.

In places where amplification is required, here's a rough set-up guide:

Vibes

Bass

Drums

We can comfortably set up in 30-45 minutes. Car parking and loading should be at no cost to us. In any case, contact us with a description of the acoustics and resources (microphones, PA system, etc.) of your venue - these things are much easier to sort out with a conversation.

this is a picture of the trio, positioned as we would like. © Andy Newcombe The nearer we are to each other and the audience, the better! But we need at least 18m2 (just under 22yd2) of floor space to play since we all have large instruments.

If you want to use special lighting, it should be subtle, but not so dark that no one can see. Soft colour washes are fine.

Want to capture the moment?

Please ask first if you want to document the performance through photographs, video, or audio recording. We normally say yes, so don't be afraid to come up to us beforehand! And let us have a copy. It's just polite.

Bit of food and water?

Yes please. Water, juice and hot drinks in plentiful (and free) supply would be good. Maybe a few free drinks at a bar. If you do arrange food we'd be very grateful. Dave's a vegetarian. Corey is allergic to eggs, but will eat cakes at his own risk.

Contact us

Please use the form below; or send an e-mail to trio{at}coreymwamba{dot}co{dot}uk if you need any information, want to say hello or would like to book the group. We're also on Jazz Services, Facebook and Soundcloud.

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Corey Mwamba | Dave Kane | Joshua Blackmore

(left to right) Joshua Blackmore, Dave Kane and Corey Mwamba. ©Deborah Jordan

Corey Mwamba, Dave Kane and Joshua Blackmore improvise collectively to create an open, living music. Their newest studio recording is don't overthink it.