BONSAI: Bonsai Club (UBU0031)
Chosen in the ‘Shape of Jazz to Come in 2018’ in Jazzwise, Bonsai (formerly known as Jam Experiment) are an award-winning band that are based in London, UK. Formed in 2014, they have appeared on BBC Radio 3 and Jazz FM numerous times and played at leading jazz festivals and venues across the UK including London Jazz Festival, Love Supreme Festival, Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and Ronnie Scott’s.
Bonsai's sound is dynamic jazz fusion balanced with intricate compositions and adventurous improvisations negotiated through mutual admiration for each other. The band has no leader or rather, each member is the leader; through this process they've challenged their own musical boundaries. Given that the Ingham brothers have been playing together for nearly 20 years, when the unusual frontline of trombone/violin/vocals is met with the ferociously “high- octane” rhythm section, the ensemble has an electric synergy that results in “pure musical gold”.
The line-up includes the winner of Rising Star in the 2017 British Jazz Awards, trombonist Rory Ingham, his brother Dominic Ingham on violin/vocals, Toby Comeau on piano/keyboard, Joe Lee on bass, and Jonny Mansfield (Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize winner) on drums.
As the band explains, “’Bonsai Club’ is an album of compositions by Bonsai. This is a group where everyone is the leader, and the music is written to be played by each other, with each other. The long-standing relationships between Jonny, brothers Rory and Dom, and childhood best friends Toby and Joe mean that Bonsai are able to work cohesively and freely as a collective, resulting in total synergy. For this record Bonsai have explored breaking down boundaries between genres, whilst developing a sound that is driven by a myriad of ingredients: expressive vocals, a plethora of synths, and groove fuelled improvisations.”