The following is a selection of reviews and other press that we have received for our releases and/or live shows:
What really marked this gig as something special was its sheer generosity. The ideas and moods came thick and fast, each one so brilliantly vivid that you wanted it to go on, even while enjoying the leap to something new. This band’s achievement is already astonishing, but they’ll surely go further
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 21st February 2012
On its current tour’s stopover at Ronnie Scott’s it proved that last year’s startling debut there was no fluke. Over the last 12 months, the band has generated enough home-grown material to keep audiences on the edge of their seats across two long sets; it attacks its music with even more infectious zip
John Fordham, The Guardian, 23rd February 2012
Their rich ensemble sound, delivered with the disciplined power of a fervent brass band, is this orchestra’s real signature. And also the true definition of Northern Soul
Jack Massarik, Evening Standard, 21st February 2012
Beats & Pieces have managed to inject a vim and vigour to the big band construct, and they can truly claim to be a successor to Loose Tubes. You couldn’t help come away with the thought that big is most definitely back
Stephen Graham, Jazzwise, 21st February 2012
If there’s a more exciting band playing on the planet at the moment then I’ve yet to hear them
Mike Chadwick, Jazz FM Cutting Edge, 9th October 2010
Beats & Pieces shook Ronnie’s to its low rafters… Few bands play work of this complexity with such passionate conviction. Movers and shakers such as [Colin] Towns, Matthew Herbert, Darcy James Argue and [Ben] Cottrell demonstrate that large ensembles remain a vital force in contemporary jazz
John L Walters, The Guardian, 5th August 2011
Beats & Pieces dazzled with a glorious, full-bloodied set demonstrating all that’s good about big band jazz. The big band tradition is alive and well and living in Manchester
Selwyn Harris, Jazzwise, 5th August 2011
John Fordham, The Guardian, 24th January 2011
Clive Davis, The Times, 21st January 2011
Part heavy groove mob, part sophisticated modern jazz troupe, Beats & Pieces is to the big band tradition what Polar Bear is to the saxophone led quartet
London Jazz Festival 2010 (link)
what nobody ever asked for but that everyone actually wanted… like Glen Miller doing the score for Shaft, or Bootsy Collins leading the orchestra at a USO dance
…[sounds] rather like Miles Davis doing battle with Danny Elfman on top of the Empire State Building… [The band] love it. The audience love it too
…if ever there was a big band that sounded perfect for the 21st [century] young person, Beats & Pieces is it
The Arts Council commented on its withdrawal of funding from NYJO that NYJO needed to be “an organization with young people that really represent where jazz is today”. If the Arts Council sincerely wishes to remain consistent with that aim, then it could do a lot worse than put some money into this group of talented and highly enterprising young musicians who play music that is genuinely new and exciting!
Beats & Pieces is no polite youth jazz orchestra and this EP is an invigorating and often surprising listen… packed as it is with youthful exuberance, fiery playing and a high degree of technical skill.
I’ll admit, I’m an old romantic (which takes less grooming time than a new one). So, when I first heard the Beats and Pieces Big Band, my mind drifted to a future where I could say, ‘me? Oh, yeah, I’ve been into them since the beginning’. It’s hard to place the music that they create. Attempting to describe is a challenge in itself. Let’s just say, though, this is a beast.
EP featured in Mike Chadwick’s Cutting Edge chart in Jazzwise, March 2010
A group of young lads from Manchester making an incredible, incredible noise…
Mike Chadwick, Cutting Edge show on Jazz FM 7th February 2010
From its explosive opening bars until its final lingering hum, the Beats & Pieces Big Band’s first EP is nothing less than a bombardment of the senses… the cream of Manchester’s emerging jazz talent.
Mike Butler, Manchester Evening News 11th December 2009