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Mosaic | Subterranea

Cat No: EDN1077 (CD) | Barcode: 5065001530913 (CD)
LC Code: 28731 | Format:  CD & Download


US & GERMANY: 25th Nov 2016

RALPH WYLD vibraphone
JAMES COPUS trumpet & flugelhorn
SAM RAPLEY clarinet & bass clarinet
SCOTT CHAPMAN drums & percussion

Subterranea is the debut album from six piece ensemble Mosaic, led by 2015 Kenny Wheeler Jazz Prize winner and British vibraphonist Ralph Wyld. A musician of real depth and creativity, Ralph Wyld has been described by Jazzwise Magazine as ‘one to look out for’ and has been praised by the FT for this ‘rhythmic accuracy and panache’. Produced by fellow vibraphonist Jim Hart, Subterranea not only marks Ralph’s arrival onto the UK scene but also anticipates what will inevitably be the start of a glowing career as a vibraphonist and composer.

Subterranea is a mature and considered album that sources its inspiration from the likes of Kenny Wheeler, Gil Evans and Dave Holland as well as contemporary classicists Steve Reich & Steve Martland. The writing is expansive and bold, intertwined with intense improvisation supplemented by the rich colours possible with this range of instrumentation.

Like a subterranean river the music on this CD ebbs and flows through passages and into caverns, slowly revealing, on repeated listens, hidden gems, novel arrangements and structures, the contemporary jazz and chamber themes supported by the rhythmic undertow of cello and bass.

A debut album is always a personal achievement for any musician but for Ralph Wyld, Subterranea rewards the years of study that culminated in him winning the prestigious Kenny Wheeler Music Prize. Kenny Wheeler remains a unique influence on Wyld’s compositions and the prize holds a particular resonance for him.

As Ralph explains: Winning the Kenny Wheeler Prize, having been so inspired by his music, was a real honour, and the opportunity it gives me to release this record on Edition is incredibly exciting, not least because the label features so many artists I admire and look up to. Subterranea has allowed me to bring together some of my favourite musicians, and breathe life into the music’.

Subterranea is a bold statement of vision and maturity by a young musician full of energy, creativity and musicality. An album that will ignite a vibrant career. A name to watch.

Track by track:

White Horses –  Influenced by the music of Steve Martland and Steve Reich, the opening and closing chords are a response to Reich’s City Life, and the more rhythmic sections reflect Martland’s Horses of Instruction. The latter is also where the title derives from, albeit adapted to present an image of waves breaking.

Kaira Konko – Takes its name from a scout lodge in Soma, The Gambia that places an emphasis on community and refuge.  This piece aims to capture the contrast between the harsh reality of life in parts of Africa, and the sanctuary that is Kaira Konko (which translates as ‘Hill of Peace’).

Subterranea – Conjuring images of underground rivers and caves., this piece won the 2015 Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition small band category.

Cryptogram – A musical cryptogram: the pitches used in both the melodic line and chords are derived from my name. This idea was passed on to me by composer Patrick Nunn who has recently completed a series of cryptograms himself.

Reprise – Uses material from several of the other pieces and draws them together into a unified finale.


Recorded by Oli Jacobs and Alex Bonney at Real World Studios on 31st March – 2nd April 2016.
Mixed by Alex Bonney at Coda Cola Studios in Hoxton in May 2016.
Mastered by Chris Lewis in June 2016.

All music Ralph Wyld
Produced by Jim Hart

Tour Dates:

3rd Oct 16 – Royal Festival Hall Foyer, London – BBC Radio 3 broadcast
18th Nov 16 – Cadogan Hall, London
21st June 17: Jazz at the Lescar, Sheffield

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