YOU can take the boy out of Sheffield...
Alex Hutton may be a globe-trotting, London-based jazz pianist but his art – not to mention family – keep him coming back up the M1.
And there’s an influence from both on Legentis, his third Alex Hutton Trio album.
A new direction from Alex, the record takes inspirational fuel from both the previous album, with its added instrumentation and guest ‘colours’, and his dad, who has passed on since its completion.
“It’s important not to have too much colour though as the trio has to stay the focus,” says Alex. “The idea came out of listening to John Williams and Elmer Bernstein movie soundtracks and attempting to bring that amount of emotion, awe and dramatism, but condense it for a piano trio. So it’s very cinematic and some of it deliberately anthemic.
“I play a lot of straight ahead jazz and still love the more mainstream gigs but with my own music I like to bring in influences more relevant to me and I think this resonates more with the audience. The single most important factor is the emotion that comes up. And this might mean playing simply when its required”
Hence, this spotless collection has “emotionally charged” themes but with balance and zest and continues to honour the influence Alex’s dad had on his musical journey.
“His playing inspired me originally. He would have a section of party pieces that he would play, in a kind of early jazz stride style.
“There was a romantic / impressionistic side to his playing too. He had an ear for good melody, telling me which (in his opinion) were good and which were not so good. When I first started to improvise he would come in and say I was spoiling a good tune!”
Previous album Songs From The Seven Hills dealt more with Alex’s Sheffield roots and he is now looking to arrange the music for brass band.
“When we were growing up we only had one cassette in the car: Harry Mortimer’s brass band arrangements. That is a sound that is with me at the moment.”
Alex is looking to honour his dad with a Beauchief gig, alongside his brother, in October to coincide with his dad’s birthday, playing the tunes he liked.