Greg Foat: “Symphonie Pacifique”

England’s jazz pianist Greg Foat has to be the hardest working musician in the genre today. In the last 9 years he has released 13 full length albums. Each of them is unique in its own way, demonstrating that Foat is not afraid to try out new styles. For instance, Girl and Robot with Flowers is a beautiful mix of jazz with electronic styles. The Jazzman label originally released it in 2012 and then recently issued it again this last March. Since Covid was then in full swing, we were unable to get our hands on it before it sold out across Europe.

Galaxies like Grains of Sand and Nightshade are collaborations with Warren Hampshire. Both are sonically rich. Both pay homage to one of jazz’s more familiar genres: Library Music. What is truly novel about these releases is how they effortlessly fuse jazz with ambient music. A genre that has become increasingly popular among jazz musicians. If you haven’t heard Alabaster de Plumes’ To Cy & Lee we highly recommend you do so. It will touch parts of your soul you never knew you had. De Plume’s release is now available in the shop and Athens of the North’s reissue of Galaxies arrives shortly.

Last year, the Greg Foat Group put out two bangers back-to-back. The first, The Mage, is a nod to the spiritual side of jazz. The opening track “Of My Hands” could easily be the soundtrack on any creed’s day of worship. The Dreaming Jewels boils the rare groove side of jazz down its very essence. Fender Rhodes piano and drum breaks all day – perfect addition to a b-boy set or when you’re in the mood for something like 70s Donald Byrd. Both titles will also be arriving in our bins again shortly. For more on the latter release, check out our other blurb:

Symphonie Pacifique is everything above and more! It is, in our opinion, Foat’s most mature work yet. And a double LP to boot! It is Electronic, Library, Ambient, Spiritual, Groovie, Soul Stirring and much more. All this in one package, rather than individual albums working around a central theme, creates the strongest of musical synergies. It suddenly moves you in different directions while at the same time remaining familiar. It’s the culmination of his brilliant music and a good place to start to explore (or explore again) his catalogue. The first batch has already come and gone but reinforcements are on their way. Oh yeah, did we mention it’s on Strut too!