Rob Barron / 'Pure Imagination' Video
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Rob Barron is a mainstay of the London jazz and studio scene. Constantly in demand, he is a first call pianist highly regarded for his improvisational flair, innate musicality and a deft touch that reveal influences inspired by Blue Note greats Cedar Walton, Wynton Kelly and Sonny Clark.

His love for the piano came at an early age and quickly developed into a prodigious talent for musical expression, anchored by a deep respect for musical history and culture. Graduating from Leeds College of Music with a BA Hons in Jazz Studies, Rob received the prestigious College Award for Outstanding Performance and went on to gain his Master’s Degree in Music Performance at The Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Rob has flourished in the rich environment of the London jazz scene, entertaining audiences by performing with visiting American jazz musicians Phil Woods, Grant Stewart, Patti Austin, Al Jarreau, Marlena Shaw and John Marshall to name a few. He has also toured the UK with outstanding saxophonist Dave O’Higgins, who is also an Ubuntu Music artist.

Featuring on many movie soundtracks, most prominently Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby, Rob’s session work includes such names as The BBC Big Band, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Jamie Cullum, Claire Martin, Liane Carroll and Rachel Portman. He has appeared on more than thirty albums.

Concerning his latest project, Rob explains, ‘From This Moment On’ struck me as the perfect name for this album. As well as being the title of the Cole Porter song featured on the record, I felt the optimistic narrative of the lyrics (‘From this moment on, No more blue songs/ We’ll be riding high/ Every care is gone…’) is a positive and hopeful sentiment during this period of crisis in the world. It brings a sense of looking forward to a brighter future.

Rob continues, describing the music on the album, From This Moment On: “This album was born in a small practice room at Steinway Hall, London. It was early January 2017 and I had gone there to sketch out my own arrangement of Anthony Newly’s ballad, ‘Pure Imagination’. Instinctively I felt that a medium tempo groove would suit the fresh take that I wanted, and the song started to come together with a lively warmth on the Steinway. I knew I had started the journey of this album on that cold distant day.

“Re-imagining songs that really speak to me has always been a passion of mine. Each song has a truth to it, a soul or centre; it is a source of tremendous pleasure to find innovative and fresh ways that this truth can be expressed to the listener. Often an idea for how a song might work in a different way will occur spontaneously; it might be a change in tempo, a re-harmonisation or different meter. The original melody is always the defining feature of any song - it is this the audience wants to hear - this universal reference providing familiar context to fresh musical expression.

“After I completed my arrangement of ‘Pure Imagination’ I knew I had a strong start I was happy with. Pushing the creative process too fast is limiting and so I was careful to allow the other tracks to develop organically, giving each one space to breathe and grow before moving onto the next. Each song was drafted several times until I was satisfied that each chord voicing was perfectly formed to match the sound in my head. Integral to this process was playing through the various drafts of each arrangement with Jeremy and Josh and refining it until not only was I happy that it was a great arrangement, but that it was an arrangement that allowed the nuances and skill of each player to really shine. I am indebted to their patience, professionalism and brilliant playing. We certainly have great musical empathy together and I am thrilled to have them on this recording.

“I am inspired and influenced by such a wide range of music, especially that master of arranging in different styles - the great, late Cedar Walton. Other strong influences that inform my work are the composers Johnny Mandel, Billy Strayhorn and Frédéric Chopin.

“I’m excited to present two original compositions in this album, each an exploration of different sides of my personality.”

“On this album I feel I have created a work that reflects who I am as an artist today. In a departure from my debut album, this recording centres on the piano. Now is the time to produce a classic trio recording. All of the elements have aligned harmoniously, and I felt energised by the musical bond within the trio, the arrangements and the space I am in as a player. I am delighted to be joined by Jeremy Brown and Josh Morrison on this album, two musicians who I have great affinity with and whose playing I thoroughly respect and admire. Our musical relationship continues to go from strength to strength.”
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