Forward-looking sax/vibes-led quartet Empirical are set to unveil their fifth album, Connection, in radical fashion as they create a pop-up Jazz Lounge at Old Street Station on the London Underground for six days, from 22 to 27 February 2016. Connection, set for release in March, will also be the band’s first album for US label Cuneiform and was recorded after a week of free gigs developing the music at London’s iconic Foyles book shop in January 2015. Jazzwise is pleased to exclusively present the first of three videos from the band recorded live at these performances of the material.
Bringing their music live and direct to commuters, listeners will be invited into the Jazz Lounge for lunchtime and evening commuter free-entry live sets while the group will also play a mid-week early bird 8am set for bleary-eyed office workers. In addition they’ll be inviting school and community groups from Hackney and Islington to sign up to free-of-charge jazz workshops to demonstrate the principles of improvisation. Having won a MOBO in 2010 for Best Jazz Act, Empirical have established themselves through a sharply defined sound revolving around vibist Lewis Wright’s probing chords and melodies, saxophonist Nathaniel Facey’s cutting alto lines and the propulsive interaction of bassist Tom Farmer and drummer Shaney Forbes.
Watch exclusive footage of the band premiering 'Card Clash’ live at Foyles:
Bassist Tom Farmer decribes the inspiration behind this new tune: "This one is of my composition 'Card Clash', inspired, as you might think, by the London Underground. We are frequently warned by the ominous TFL voice to 'avoid card clash' as if it brings on the end of the world! But I tried to imagine what actually was happening when two cards clash. It's highly improvised and very different each time we play. We will be performing new versions of this song, which seems appropriate as we'll be in Old Street Underground station!"
– – Mike Flynn