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Fresh from winning Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year in 2015 and the 2017 Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, emerging saxophonist Helena Kay releases her debut album, Moon Palace, on Ubuntu Music.

Moon Palace takes its title from a Paul Auster novel of the same name. It features a selection of Kay’s original compositions which evoke the various places and experiences that inspired them, from the leafy streets of Muswell Hill, north London (‘Strawberry Terrace’) to the jazz Mecca that is Greenwich Village, Manhattan (‘Perry Street’). “I wrote Perry Street after my first visit to New York, and named the tune after the street I stayed on for the two weeks I was in the city. I heard a lot of amazing music while I was there; it's an incredibly inspiring place to be,” says Kay. “I love the Larry Goldings/Peter Bernstein/Bill Stewart Trio: some of the tunes they play encapsulate a gritty, American (to my ears!) sound, and I wanted to capture that attitude in my own tune ‘Perry Street’.”

Moon Palace also reflects Kay's love of the jazz tradition with her quirky arrangement of Charlie Parker's ‘Kim’ and her moving solo rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's beautiful ballad ‘Stardust’.

Kay leads KIM Trio with David Ingamells on drums and Ferg Ireland on double bass. “I met David Ingamells at Guildhall: he was in fourth year when I was in first year. I love his swinging and playful playing, especially in a trio setting,” explains Kay. “Dave introduced me to Ferg. He is a virtuoso on the bass; every time I play with him he pushes me to play better. Dave and Ferg make a great team.”

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