Sleeping Giants’ by Unfurl

Formed by violinist/bandleader Olivia Moore, Unfurl is a Manchester-based col­lect­ive that draws upon con­tem­por­ary jazz and Indian clas­sic­al music, par­tially inspired by Moore’s stud­ies with revered Hindus­tani viol­in­ist Kala Ram­nath. While the work of John McLaugh­lin and Mahav­ish­nu Orches­tra are a clear touch­stone for this type of Into-jazz fusion, the pieces on ‘Sleep­ing Giants’ tend towards a brood­ing, tex­tur­al qual­ity as opposed to dis­plays of intense vir­tu­os­ity. This sub­tlety of approach gives every piece room to breathe, allow­ing the skill and nuance of every musi­cian ample space….. With record­ing having star­ted in 2015 and com­pleted remotely under lock­down, Sleep­ing Giants is an unhur­ried and son­ic­ally gen­er­ous work, rooted as much in Eng­lish nat­ur­al folk­lore as in Indian clas­sic­al tra­di­tion, giving it a quiet sublimity.

— Charlie Cawood at Songlines Magazine ****

Owl’ by The Owl Ensemble

Essen­tially, a string quar­tet with a jazz pulse, Owl Ensemble exude the exquis­ite mel­an­cho­lia that comes so nat­ur­ally with plan­gent cellos and viol­ins. Theirs is music of great clar­ity and space. On I See You, they point both for­wards – to the gently rip­pling wave­forms of min­im­al­ism – and back­wards: to some­thing that can only be described as enchant­ing bush music. But though Owl’s cre­at­ive driv­ing force, violinist/composer Olivia Moore can scrape and swing, as on the Stuff Smith-like inter­lude on the ram­bling Shall We Dance, her forte is art-house lyricism.….….….Sweet rather than severe, The Owl Ensemble tran­scend from the taste­ful to the sublime.

— Mike Butler, M.E.N.