Release date: 19 April 2019
Credits and About
Elliot Galvin Piano
Tom McCredie Double Bass
Corrie Dick Drums
All music by Elliot Galvin
Produced by Jorg Mohaupt
Recorded at Artone Studio
Recorded by Rinus Hooning and Martijn Schouten
Mastered by Rinus Hooning
Modern Times is the third album from the British creative spirit Elliot Galvin. If his previous trio album, The Influencing Machine was a more involved and produced album, then Modern Times completely redresses the balance. This is an album so immediate and instantaneous, it takes the same time to listen to as it did to make. Primarily produced for vinyl, each side was recorded in one complete sitting, with no break in between tracks, recorded direct to vinyl. As Elliot explains: ‘I had been making music with a lot of electronic instruments and becoming a bit disengaged with making acoustic music. Then I saw a solo piano concert by Jason Moran when I was in Montreux and I was so inspired. It reminded me why I loved making jazz and acoustic music. It was so immediate and human. I wanted to make a record like this. I remember a chat I had a while back with a friend of mine Jorg who mentioned he was putting together this studio where you could record direct to vinyl and it seemed like the perfect way to capture a totally acoustic record”.
Recorded in a purpose built studio in Haarlem, Netherlands on top of the largest vinyl pressing plant in Europe, this process pre-dates even traditional recording techniques onto tape – there are no fixes, no mixing, nor mastering. What you hear is what was played. It’s deeply honest and the most accurate representation of how these three musicians sound as a group. For a musician as innovative, creative and spirited as Elliot Galvin, it is refreshing and liberating. A reminder that music making, in a digital age, does not have to succumb to modern ways of warping and manipulating sound. To approach this album though, with music of such inventiveness and modernism makes the whole experience even more powerful. As Elliot continues: ‘I think it captures our musical soul. It kind of reminded me of how some native Americans used to believe having their pictures taken would steal their soul, and in a way I think we did this to our own shared musical soul by recording in this way. There are things you learn making an album like this, about yourself and each other. You are presenting ‘you’, there’s nowhere to hide, making music with people you trust deeply is very important and it’s even more important when making music like this. Me, Tom and Corrie have built up a really deep musical relationship over the years of playing together, and I think this is very present on this record’.
The album is called Modern Times for a number of reasons. ‘Modern’ comes from the Latin, meaning right now. Which is exactly what we captured on this record and how it was made, in that moment in time. ‘It’s also a reference to the times we live in’, as Elliot says, ‘We live in the time of recorded music, and in a time when it is sometimes overproduced and treated as a disposable commodity it felt like an act of rebellion to go back to a very traditional way of making music. Not making a series of single tracks, but a whole album to sit down and listen to. Reminding ourselves that it’s magic, capturing a sound, a moment forever. Finally it’s a slight nod to the Charlie Chaplin film of the same name. That film was a reaction to a changing, industrialised, modern world, and in a way this album is a reaction to the changing computerised, digital world we live in today. Making something analogue as a quiet form of protest”.
Modern Times is yet another confirmation of a musician who is able to play with real adventurousness and inventiveness. He has created a unique identity as one of the foremost European pianists and improvisors. He challenges himself, never allowing himself to sit on hi laurels, inspires the musicians who play with him and pushes the boundaries of what we’ve come to know as contemporary Jazz. It’s unpredictable, inventive, but above all, it’s brilliant.
Elliot Galvin is growing a formidable reputation: with Modern Times taking flight, a wave of international acclaim and plaudits for The Influencing Machine (including being named by Downbeat and Jazzwise as one of the best albums of 2018) and growing international audiences. He also has a solo piano album planned and recorded, Live in Paris at Fondation Louis Vuitton, due in early 2020. His output is prolific yet remains of the highest quality. There’s no stopping his endlessly creative spirit and his carving out of a career of deep foundation and longevity.
"Incredible trio...an immense talent. This trio sound incredible together. They've got a great sense of modernity about them, but also a great sense of tradition...I ab-so-lute-ly love it!"
Jamie Cullum, BBC Radio 2