Sandy Brown Jazz

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Jazz As Art

The Miguel Gorodi Nonet

from the album Apophenia


When you listen to music, you sometimes conjure images in your mind. Our Jazz As Art series invites you to listen to a piece of jazz and as it plays, scroll down the page and see which of the pieces of art I have chosen comes closest to the pictures in your mind. Hopefully, this will introduce you to recordings and art works you might not have spent time with before.


Miguel Gorodi


Like the cover of Miguel Gorodi's debut album Apophenia, the trumpeter's music is of many colours. I have heard him play in the London City Big Band, in duet with drummer David Ingamells and alongside vocalist Ian Shaw. On each occasion I have found his playing spellbinding.

Miguel Gorodi is partly English, partly Hungarian and was born in Spain. His father also plays trumpet and graduated from the Royal Academy whilst Miguel’s mother plays piano and violin. Miguel graduated from the Guildhall School of Music in 2012, and with saxophonist Sam Braysher continued as a Fellow at the college where they established their own piano-less Quartet and organised Alumni Ensembles and weekly Jam nights for students. Miguel also took time out to focus on composing and developing his own identity. He is half of the Gorodi/Ingamells duet – a trumpet/drums line-up that plays avant-garde, improvised music (which features David Ingamells on drums). He has continued a freelancing career as a sideman and featured soloist, performing in Spain, France, Miguel Gorodi Nonet ApopheniaBelgium, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Norway, Hungary, Ireland, Russia, and across the UK. He currently leads and writes for the Miguel Gorodi Nonet, is a member of the Barry Green Sextet, SEED Ensemble, the London City Big Band and the Dixie Ticklers, as well as regularly playing for the London Jazz Orchestra.

Apophenia (a word defined as 'the tendency to mistakenly perceive connections and meaning between unrelated things', is an absorbing album. Miguel Gorodi says: "Through my music I've tried to communicate my experiences with OCD and depression, my thoughts on how to create meaning and purpose in life, and my concerns about the limitations our psychology and biology may have on determining what is meaningful to us". For the listener the result is an engaging experience.

This album is not just a showcase for Miguel Gorodi as a trumpet player, although his instrumental and improvisational talent sparkles through his solos. Rather this is an album that belongs to the whole band and in particular to Miguel’s arrangements which I find imaginative, appealing and inclusive. There is plenty of room here for each musician to contribute and although I could pick out particular solos for you, they really only form part of a whole. Note the line-up for this band which includes vibraphone and tuba.


Miguel Gorodi (trumpet, flugelhorn); Gareth Lockrane (flutes); Michael Chillingworth (alto sax, clarinet); George Crowley (tenor sax, bass clarinet); Kieran McLeod (trombone); Ray Hearne (tuba); Ralph Wylde (vibraphone); Conor Chaplin (double bass); Dave Hamblett (drums).


The album opens like a swarm of bees with La Nausée (the title is taken from Jean-Paul Sartre's novel), and here we do get an early introduction to Miguel’s playing as well as from others.  As an opening track it is a great choice as it draws in the listener with a Miguel Gorodi Nonetpromise for what is to come. Time Sigmund is based on a repeated theme with fine solos from bass, flute and saxophone. The eight minutes given to this track work perfectly in allowing time to expand and improvise on a theme. Search is delicately introduced by Ralph Wyld’s vibraphone and again the track moves on to gradually include the others.

Amygdala (a roughly almond-shaped mass of grey matter inside each cerebral hemisphere, involved with the experiencing of emotions), has a short introductory track that leads the album into a different direction with freer explorations from trumpet and saxophone setting the scene for the main track with its mixture of discord and melody. Front line chord statements set the scene for Fifths and although Miguel’s trumpet solo is a centrepiece, the textures brought by saxophone solo and other instrumental breaks are what adds flavour. Two Trees has a trombone solo from Kieran McLeod with bass and drums that I particularly enjoy. The album closes with the cryptic Not Nicest Memo. Flute and bass, and later vibraphone and bass, work really well together; Miguel soars with a breath-taking solo, but in the end, as the track swings to a close, we are left where we began – that this work belongs to all the musicians here.


Most of the tracks are available to hear online and I have found it difficult to choose which to play for this month's Jazz As Art feature. In the end, I have gone for track 6, Soma. Soma (the body as distinct from the soul, mind, or psyche) features conversation between Miguel’s trumpet and Kieran McLeod’s trombone with Dave Hamblett’s drums driving the pace, but you will hear how the whole ensemble builds the picture.

The Nonet are on tour with the album in June at the Whisky Jar, Manchester (17th) and Parr Jazz, Liverpool (18th). Further dates are coming in October and November in Poole, Bristol, Leeds, Bruton and Brighton.

Click here for Miguel's website. Click here for album details. Click here for our profile of Miguel.


Here are the pictures I have chosen to go with the music. Play the track, scroll down slowly and spend time with the pictures and see what you think - you might want to go back to some pictures to fit them to what is going on with the music.






Susan Falk


Susan Falk painting







Evan Maxon


Evan Maxon painting






Sammy Gorin


Sammy Gorin painting








Frency Rebirth Brass Band






Arshile Gorky


Arshile Gorky painting






Angela Batchelor



Angela Batchelor painting






Wendy Lovoy


Wendy Lovoy painting





Dorothea Tanning


Dorothea Tanning painting









Jay Gonzales


Jay Gonzales Two Birds





Soma Pradhan


Soma Pradhan Elephant





Sonia Delaunay


Sonia Delaunay painting







Victoria Topping


Victoria Topping painting





Georgi Dimitrov



Georgi Dimitrov painting






Mike Daneshi


Mike Daneshi painting







Andrew Alan Johnson



Andrew Alan Johnson painting






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Other pages you might find of interest :

More Jazz As Art
Video Juke Box
Tracks Unwrapped
Name That Tune

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