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Empirical

Empirical
Brit-jazz boy wonders Empirical impress their post-bop era principles in a 21st century context with an astounding maturity. Oh yeah, and they look good too.
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Biography

Empirical's smart post-bop style has drawn admiring notices on both sides of the Atlantic. Their debut recording went on to be voted Jazzwise magazine's album of the year, and Mojo magazine's jazz album of the year. Expertly incorporating elements of classical, African and Cuban musical forms into its original, sophisticated, fresh-sounding jazz, Empirical make a point of not being centred around a specific front line or leader; it is very much a complete band, each member contributing equally, adding their own facets to the overall sound.

In May 2008, Empirical collected the Ensemble of the Year prize at the annual Parliamentary Jazz Awards, held at the House of Commons, and organised by the All Party Parliamentary Jazz Appreciation Group. This award was just the latest in a succession of accolades the band has picked up in its short lifetime: Empirical's award-winning assault on the jazz scene began at the North Sea Jazz Festival in July 2007 when they won the inaugural EBU/European Jazz Competition; this was followed later that year by the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award.

Empirical returned triumphant from their appearance at the iconic Newport Jazz Festival (Rhode Island, USA) last summer. During his introduction, Jason Olaine, vice president of programming for The Festival Network, acknowledged that it was no mean feat to receive a standing ovation at New York Jazz Festival, as Empirical did when they opened for The Bad Plus in June 2008; needless to say, their performance at Newport garnered another standing ovation. As well as their victorious return to the North Sea Jazz Festival, and their US sojourn, Empirical also performed at several other international jazz gatherings last year, including Canada's Vancouver, Victoria, Toronto and Montreal jazz festivals, receiving stand ovations at each.


Management

http://www.raestar.com

Discography

Tabula Rasa (2CD)
Tabula Rasa (2CD) (2013)

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Cerebral jazzers Empirical's ambitious double album features London’s Benyounes String Quartet

Elements Of Truth
Elements Of Truth (2011)

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Empirical, MOBO winners 2010, return with their third album ‘Elements Of Truth'

Out 'n' In
Out 'n' In (2009)

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Out 'n' In is an insightful and gripping tribute to the late Eric Dolphy, featuring Julian Siegel

Videography

Reviews | all reviews >>

Tabula Rasa in Evening Standard
4 Stars

"the freewheeling interplay between the soloists and the Benyounes Quartet's lively riffs is exhilarating"
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Tabula Rasa in Time Out
“Supremely mature and coherent”
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Tabula Rasa in Irish Times
3 Stars

"moments of real excitement, with knotty M-Base-inspired rhythms... inventive"
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Tabula Rasa in The Observer
"fascinating patterns in sound... beautifully played"
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Tabula Rasa in BBC Music Magazine
"from the bleakly contemplative to the gloriously full-on... luxurious"
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Tabula Rasa in Financial Times
4 Stars

"strong moods, tight-knit rhythms and third stream experimentation... impressively justifying a double CD release"
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Tabula Rasa in The Guardian
3 Stars

“Empirical's skill and ingenuity keep on growing”
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Tabula Rasa in Culture Capital
"This album is a work of art... two discs and zero filler... fantastic"
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Tabula Rasa in Jazzwise
4 Stars

"an urgent rhythmic punch with an otherworldly sonic... gripping throughout"
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Jazz UK review Empirical - 'Elements Of Truth'
"Excellent, edgy work...adds whole new dimensions in terms of concern with texture and colour"
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The Jazz Mann review Empirical - 'Elements Of Truth'
4 Stars

"demanding but ultimately invigorating music"
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The Music Critic review Empirical - 'Elements Of Truth'
"Empirical...improvisational...inspirational"
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Empirical Elements Of Truth makes Album Of the Week - The Independent
“a mixture of the tranquil, the riotous and the other-worldly…casts all the right spells”
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London Jazz review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
"Another elegant, polished but sparky album from one of UK jazz's most sophisticated bands"
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Metro review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
"consistently brilliant...sent them straight to the top of most jazz fans' best new band list"
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Daily Telegraph review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
4 Stars

"the best opening I've heard in years...terrific"
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BBC Music Direct review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
4 Stars

"The recorded sound is tight and detailed...sparkliest of atmospheres glide along like Teflon-coated snakes"
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The Independent on Sunday review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
"You really want to see them do it live...you're hooked"
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The Guardian review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
4 Stars

“fascinating and fearless…their most eclectic venture to date”
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Financial Times review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
4 Stars

'Empirical's mix of structure and freedom is nourished by the atmospheric modernism'
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Jazz Journal review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
"music deserving of the highest praise...this is my record of the year."
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Jazzwise review Empirical Elements Of Truth
4 Stars

"their most adventurous statement to date"
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All About Jazz review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
"Elements Of Truth rises confidently, if not wholly successfully...Empirical's music makes for a cracking disc."
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allgigs.co.uk Review 'Elements of Truth' - Empirical
"The playing is first rate"
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BBC Music review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
"Empirical are crashing irresistibly through the decades. Next stop, 21st century."
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Record Collector review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
4 Stars

"the same high degree of musicality and invention as they continue to probe the frontiers of jazz"
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UNCUT Magazine Review Empirical - Elements Of Truth
3 Stars

"Difficult Jazz that is pretty and positively terrifying"
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MOJO Review Empirical - 'Elements Of Truth'
4 Stars

"Fiercely imaginative...challenging and stimulating as anything on the international scene... a vividly involving, dramatic listen"
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Out 'N' In in Time Out
"Few can match the maturity and coherence of this young band's incredibly lucid vision of what an acoustic jazz band should sound like today"
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Out 'N' In in Cadence
'intriguing in the way they exploit the rhythmic freedom of sax and vibes together.....very stylish and strong'
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Out 'n' In on Flyglobalmusic.com
'you’d be a fool to miss this band live if they are anywhere near you'
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Out 'n' In in Jazz Review
"One of the finest CDs I have had the privilege of reviewing"
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Out 'n' In in Jazz Chicago
"One of the best young jazz combos in England"
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Out 'n' In in Jazzism
4½ Stars

"Post bop with a remarkable energetic style"
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Out 'n' In in Music Maker
"Like the genie in the lamp, this [album] releases the spirit of Dolphy. Listen to Empirical and make three wishes."
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Out 'n' In in Audiophile Audition
4 Stars

"an ambitious and imaginative outpouring that is a compelling, creative and excellently constructed"
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Out 'n' In in California Chronicle
2009's Best Jazz Albums: "This album is tight, imaginative and heartfelt"
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Out 'n' In in ThisIsBooksMusic.com
"Explosive? This is the future of jazz now."
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Out 'n' In in Jazz Times
"Out ‘n' In is driven by a desire to further avant garde art and to keep it relatable to contemporary audiences."
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Out 'n' In in Buffalo News
3½ Stars

"picks up in places where Dolphy left off."
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Empirical - Out 'N' In in Northern Echo
"a wonderful combination of control and looseness"
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Out 'n' In in Echoes
3 Stars

"Empirical have managed to tackle one of the most advanced minds in the jazz canon and grow organically from it is emphatic testimony to a daring and maturity that can only bode well for the future."
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Out 'n' In in All About Jazz
"a momentous album, great in itself and promising even greater things to come."
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Out 'n' In in The Observer
"Empirical catch the distinctive flavour of [Dolphy's] work beautifully"
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Out 'n' In in Jazz Mann
4 Stars

"an excelllent record...there is clearly much more to come from these excellent musicians"
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Out 'n' In in Vortex Jazz
"overall, this is an intense, poised but always approachable album. Recommended"
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Out 'n' In in Jazz Journal
"Empirical come out strongly, with some genuinely thoughtful and innovative charts and comme il faut playing"
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Empirical in Coventry Telegraph
"Their style remains distinctive, but they have the courage to make a complete shift of emphasis in terms of their compositional direction. They succeed with a boundless finesse."
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Out 'n' In in Independent on Sunday
"an impressively out-there sound"
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Out 'n' In in The Times
3 Stars

"gorgeous"
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Out 'n' In in the Financial Times
3 Stars

"a fresh faced knockout"
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Out 'n' In CD of the Week in Evening Standard
4 Stars

"intelligent, spacey music with absorbing solos"
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Out 'n' In in The Guardian
4 Stars

"full of sparky variety...excellent"
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Out 'n' In is Music Choice in BBC Music Mag
5 Stars

"expertly sequenced with a fine sensibility for the music...as close to taking the band home as it gets"
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Empirical in Jazz Breakfast
"one of the most skilled bands in the country."
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Out 'n' In in The Scotsman
4 Stars

"a spirited tribute to Eric Dolphy...[Empirical] rise to the challenge in engaged and inventive fashionm"
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Out 'n' In in Jazzwise Magazine
4 Stars

"graceful...dramatic and subtle...a daring maturity that can only bode well for the future"
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Empirical in Birmingham Jazz
"Great stuff!"
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Out 'n' In in Record Collector
4 Stars

"imaginative renderings of two classic Dolphy numbers, [but] what's really striking are the nine original tunes"
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Out 'n' In in City Life
4 Stars

"The group's own identity remains elusive on what sounds like a great, lost album by Eric Dolphy. "
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Out 'n' In in Birmingham Post
"Hear how music can be rooted in the tradition of 45 years ago and still sound like the sound of tomorrow."
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Out 'n' In in Daily Telegraph
3 Stars

"the coolest of Britian's young jazz bands"
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Out 'n' In in Mojo
4 Stars

[Empirical] continue to astonish with their spirit and skill"
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