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Time flies…

Wow, how time flies when you’re having fun! We’ve been so busy at Mongrel Records that we’ve (somewhat shamefully) neglected this website.

Anyway, in the meantime, both ‘Blue Room’ and ‘Unconventional’ have been released successfully, with quick sales, particularly upon touring the records. There are a few CD copies of both albums available via our ‘Releases’ page. Meanwhile, here’s a few quotes people have had to say about the records:

 

Unconventional

“It’s all too rare to hear music as simultaneously fresh and mature as this by musicians of any age bracket… This record reminds me why I got into Jazz in the first place.” – Duncan Heining, JazzUK (2012)

“On the evidence of his brief career thus far Wheeler has the potential to become a significant figure on the UK jazz scene as player, composer, bandleader and all round mover and shaker…Expect to hear a lot more of J J Wheeler and his talented young contemporaries. Wheeler, in particular, seems to have the ability, intelligence and drive to become a significant figure in the music.” – The JazzMann (13/03/12)

“Using my criteria: ‘Would I listen to this more than once?’ the answer is a definate ‘Yes’.” – Sandy Brown Jazz Publication (March 2012)

“Rising stars – Specialists in cartwheeling hard-bop and driving, time-changing modernism.”Coventry Telegraph

 

 

Blue Room

“The Duo’s treatment of their chosen material is innovative and fascinating and it’s clear this partnership also has enormous future potential…It’s hypnotic and compelling.” – The JazzMann (22/01/12)

“The absence of a bass, means the pair have to rethink their usual roles, and Steve, who is used to playing solo, has no trouble keeping the low end filled out, while JJ can explore a more decorative role on the drums…I really like Tromans’s approach, not only in this duo but also with a bigger band, of radically reworking standards. By choosing to play exceedingly familiar tunes he provides his audience with some context and some vital “hand holds” so that they feel more comfortable to go with him and his fellow musicians into the outer reaches where perhaps a safety harness might be appropriate. Often that familiar theme or melody is not even quite stated, but it’s always lurking there beneath the fresh notes and harmonies; it’s still at the back of Steve’s mind.”Peter Bacon, the JazzBreakfast (09/01/12)

“This is a rewarding album… When the two musicians start motoring, they really work well together. Blues in J is an eight minute tour de force with Steve initially providing the rhythm with a solid, continuous motif that varies as it progresses, whilst against it, JJ really shows what he can create with his drum kit.”Sandy Brown Jazz Publication (01/12/11)

“JJ Wheeler has a seemingly easy method of shifting the strong beat emphasis to organically change the whole metric feel of entire passage without ever leaving you lost; a magical quality for a drummer to have…Steve has a wonderful, imaginative feel so the pair work really well together…It is a very, very good listen…It works very well. The two players compliment each other nicely. Lovely playing, really involved drumming.”Mike Sims, Radio Cardiff (04/12/11)

Steve Tromans/JJ Wheeler Duo Live session for Radio Cardiff

You can hear us play some music from the album (and some NOT!) live in session as well as a short interview about the project and the album here!

Second Release Announced! JJ Wheeler Quintet – “Unconventional”

Word has quietly been spreading for a while now, so we might as well tell y’all…our second release is going to be JJ Wheeler Quintet’s debut album, Unconventional.

Having spent the last two years playing club dates & festivals around the UK (including a successful UK Tour in Spring 2011 and Cheltenham & Swanage Jazz Festivals), the Quintet have finally entered the studio to document just some of the original writing from the young drummer/bandleader. Highlights include the crowd-favourite arrangement of Radiohead’s Everything In Its Right Place as well as the epic set-closer telling the story of legendary Birmingham figure, Cider Mickey.

In July 2011 the JJ Wheeler Quintet were featured as part of the BBC Proms series, recording a live broadcast for BBC Radio 3 from the Royal Albert Hall, London, and have also gained critical acclaim in both musician and media circles.

In follow-up to the album-release, the group will be undertaking two tours in 2012 (March & Sept) as well as various one-off club & festival dates. Venues booked so far include the towns/cities of London, Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Swansea, Manchester, Leeds, Shrewsbury etc, so watch this space for more details!

You can hear clips from the album here or pre-order at the special price of £8 (inc delivery!) here.

 

“One of the UK’s hottest Jazz acts.” – Metro Newspaper

“One to watch out for” – JazzWise Magazine

“The young drummer’s band reminds me of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers” – Jez Nelson, BBC Radio 3

“But what makes the group outstanding is the musicians’ excellent use of dynamics, the essential light and shade of top-quality performance.” – John Watson, Express & Star

“I enjoyed it a lot. Great performance!” – Dave Holland

“Really beautiful. Great tunes. Not much more I can say!” – Jeff Ballard

Steve Tromans & JJ Wheeler Duo Residency @ Stray’s Jazz

Steve Tromans/JJ Wheeler Duo are proud to announce that they have secured a monthly residency in partnership with Stray’s Jazz Club in Newark, Notts. Having heard great things about this Coffee House/Tapas Bar-come-Jazz Club, we’re excited to be undertaking the opportunity of a regular gig which will help this relatively new project develop immeasurably.
Visitors to the club will have the chance to watch a project in progression as both JJ and Steve increase their common language, as well as taking their own musical paths both in practice (performance) and academia (MA and PhD students at Royal Academy of Music and Middlesex University) between gigs.
The Duo also have several other gigs both confirmed and in the pipeline for late 2011 and throughout 2012 (see ‘Gigs’ page), but these are the first five dates for the residency at Stray’s (first Saturday of every month);
3rd December
7th January
4th February
3rd March
7th April
For more about Stray’s, check out their website!www.straysjazz.co.uk

Artistic Partner Announced!

Here at Mongrel Records we’re very excited to announce our ‘Artistic Partner’…(drum roll); Monica Murgu!

Having featured Monica’s exquisite piece, Worlds In A Distance on the cover of our debut record, Blue Room from Steve Tromans/JJ Wheeler Duo, we were astounded by the rest of Mona’s work (which we found on here website here). Hence we asked if we could team up with her to feature her artwork on future Mongrel Records releases… look out for the next release featuring her work (tba very soon!).

Monica is a young design student from Romania, whose work uses and often manipulates her own photographic images to create artwork that is both contemporary yet often in touch with reality. She blends the lines between reality and fantasy in a way that mesmerizes us and we think you’ll love her work too.

Check it out on;

http://www.monicamurgu.ro/

First Release from Mongrel Records Announced!

So…as promised we have news of our first release on Mongrel Records.

We are very pleased to announce that the first record for you delight will be by Steve Tromans/JJ Wheeler Duo. The pair met by chance after both being booked for a function gig, yet immediately struck up a dialogue that both excited and intrigued the musicians. After another such performance, the opportunity was  too great to be missed and thus the project is born.

Amazingly, this recording documents the very first time the pair played together in this context, entering the room with no preconceptions other than to create new music out of the seeds of Standard repertoire.

Track Listing:

1. Central Park West (Coltrane)

2. Giant Steps (Coltrane)

3. Ida Lupino (C. Bley)

4. Just Friends; Bemsha Swing (Klemmer/Lewis; Monk)

5. Blue Room (Rodgers & Hart)

6. A Foggy Day (Gershwin)

7. Blues in J (Tromans/Wheeler)

Piano: Steve Tromans

Drums & Cymbals: JJ Wheeler

Excerpts from the album can be heard on our Releases page or more on Soundcloud (click here).

You can pre-order the record for the special price of £8 by clicking here. And, because we’re feeling generous, we’ll waive the postage costs (normally £1) on ALL pre-orders. Can’t say fairer than that!