107CD - Charlotte Keeffe - Right Here, Right Now - CD plus download

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Solo, Duo, Quartet and Ensemble Music from Charlotte Keeffe


This first release from the dynamic trumpet player features Charlotte Keeffe in a number of configurations recorded mainly live over the last three years. The four Quartet recordings on the disk find Charlotte in her group with guitar, bass and drums – the music is melodic, soaring, incisive jazz. By contrast, the tracks with the venerable London Improvisers Orchestra find Charlotte in a conduction mode, spontaneously creating structures and textures from this very large group of players. The solo and duo tracks on the record highlight Charlotte’s love of live electronic transformation of her sound. Taken as a whole this collection sets out a varied musical stall for this exciting young player / composer.

In Charlotte's words: Right Here, Right Now is an exciting collaboration of over 60 improvising musicians and artists from all over the world! Including British stalwart improvising musicians Steve Beresford, Caroline Kraabel, John Edwards and vocalists Maggie Nicols and Phil Minton amongst the improvised textures of the large ensemble pieces (London Improvisers Orchestra).

It’s been captured visually by sensational artist Gina Southgate, who created the artwork on the front and disc covers especially for this Discus Music release.

It’s always been a necessity for me to make music, but it feels like only recently that I’m truly allowing myself to just play, just be, in the right here, right now…

When I’m improvising freely I feel the most connected to everything, the most creative, the most musical. I feel the most freedom.

Right Here, Right Now is also the title of my first conduction with the London Improvisers Orchestra in 2019. Noizemaschin!! is an excerpt from my first freely improvised solo performance in 2017 at a concert series also called Noizemaschin!!

I’d love people to be inspired by the rawness of this music/album, its moments, its liveness…

Right Here, Right Now is an invitation for people to explore a creative freedom of their own.

Right Here, Right Now is for all.  



Charlotte Keeffe Quartet

Charlotte Keeffe - trumpet and flugelhorn

Moss Freed - guitar

Ben Handysides - drums,

Ashley John Long - double bass


Duo with

Diego Sampieri – guitar


The London Improvisers Orchestra 

Knut Aufermann - electronics, Stephan Barrett - bells, Douglas Benford - melodica, harmonium, Steve Beresford - piano, electronics, John Bisset - guitar, Phoebe Bognár - flute, Adam Bohman - objects/voice, Dee Byrne - alto saxophone, Daniel Cano-Amaro - trumpet, Andrew Ciccone - electronics, Martin Clarke - alto saxophone, Phil Durrant - e-bowed dulcimer, mandola, John Edwards - double bass, Susanna Ferrar - violin, Jacques Foschia - clarinet, Dave Fowler - percussion, Dawid Frydryk - trumpet, Ng Chor Guan - theremin, Martin Hackett - electronics, Mark Hilton - double bass, Charlotte Hug - viola/voice, Linda Jankowska - violin, Robert Jarvis - trombone, Ivor Kallin - viola/voice, Emil Karlsen - percussion, Charlotte Keeffe - trumpet and trumpet mouthpiece, Gero Kempf - double bass, Caroline Kraabel - alto saxophone, David Leahy - double bass,  Edward Lucas - trombone, Sue Lynch - tenor saxophone, clarinet, Marcello Magliocchi - drums, Jonny Martin - trumpet and flugelhorn, Pascal Marzan - microtonal 10-string guitar, Neil Metcalfe - flute, Phil Minton - voice, trumpet,  Olivia Moore - violin, Maggie Nicols - voice, Adrian Northover - alto and soprano saxophone, Simon Petermann - trombone, Dave Powell - tuba, Cath Roberts - baritone saxophone, Lukax Santana - percussion, Emily Suzanne Shapiro - clarinet, bass clarinet, Sebastian Sterkowicz - bass clarinet, Bryan Styles - percussion, Trevor Taylor - gong/vibraphone, João Pedro Viegas - bass clarinet, Martin Vishnick - guitar,  Philip Wachsmann - violin, Jackie Walduck - vibraphone, Sarah Washington - electronics, Jerry Wigens - mandolin, Pei Ann Yeoh - violin, Thodoris Ziarkas - lyra 


Trumpeter Charlotte Keeffe is a passionate musician operating in the contexts of improvisation, experimental music and jazz in the UK. So far you can know her from her collaboration with the Mopomoso Workshop Group, the London Improvisers Orchestra and Martin Archer’s  Anthropology Ensemble.    Recently she made noteworthy contributions to another project of Martin Archer, the ‘Hi-Res Heart’ album. This performance makes her debut album a logical and hoped-for next step. The nine works on ‘Right here, right now’ give a nice overview of her activity. The CD counts two solo improvisations and one duo improvisation with Diego Sampieri on guitar. Three live recordings of her quartet with Moss Freed (guitar), Ben Handysides (drums) and Ashley John Long (double bass) is presented. Also, the CD offers two improvisations with the London Improvisers Orchestra. In both solo improvisations ‘The Melody’s In The Post’, ‘Noizemaschin!!’ practises live electronic treatment. In
‘Noizemaschin’ she plays with reverb, and ‘The Melody’s In The Post’ embed her playing in a surreal environment. The duo improvisation ‘Om’ with Sampieri is an impressive melodic and ethereal improvisation demonstration fine interplay between the two. Very captivating. The three improvisations by her quartet give an impression of what her quartet is about. Melody-based improvisations that sound very fresh and engaging, with fine playing by Freed on electric guitar.  The London Improvisers Orchestra is a large ensemble focused on free and conducted improvisation. On ‘To Steve Beresford’ and the title track, Keeffe is listed for ‘conduction’, meaning directing and conducting the ensemble. In the case of the title track, this results in a spaced-out improvisation going through different sections. ‘Mysterious
Breath/This One’s For The Beas’ has muted trumpet playing by Keeffe in a sound exploration with the involvement of many musicians, plus an important role for electronics, more than in the other two improvisations from this impressive collective. The album offers a varied collection of adventurous improvisations in different constellations. Underlining that Keeffe is a multi-sided, very inventive and inspired musician. - Dorf Mulder VITAL WEEKLY



Beautiful and captivating – bestofjazz.org   



Over the past couple of years we’ve been listing dozens of discs from the UK-based Discus label, which is run by Martin Archer. The label has recently passed the 100 mark of releases and what amazes me is the consistency and diversity of all of the discs that myself and Darren B have reviewed. The other thing that amazes me is how well everything is recorded and how many little known British musicians that they’ve introduced us to. Which brings us to Ms. Charlotte Keeffe, trumpeter, flugelhornist and composer. I hadn’t heard of Ms. Keeffe before the past year when she appeared on two Martin Archer CD’s as well as a quartet led by Alex Ward (rel on Relative Pitch). This disc ranges from solos to duo to a quartet and the London Improvers Orchestra. It turns out that this disc is Charlotte Keeffe’s first release as a leader and it includes her first freely improvised trumpet solo and her first conduction. Several pieces feature Ms. Keeffe’s quartet with Moss Freed on guitar, Ashley John Long (Dunmall collaborator) on double bass and Ben Handysides on drums. The quartet kicks things off with “1200 Photographs”, a tightly played, impressive piece with organically written (skeletal) and free sections well integrated. The second piece is an improvised duo for trumpet and electric guitar (Diego Sampieri), it is spacious, eerie and carefully played. Plus it sounds like a continuation (vibe-wise) from the first piece. “Mysterious Breath” is the first of three pieces featuring the massive London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO), who play regular gigs in London and have many discs out on the Emanem label. The LIO members can range anywhere from 15 to 40 musicians. Ms. Keeffe is a member of the 40+ piece orchestra on “Mysterious Breath”, which sounds like someone is directing the massive ensemble. “Sweet Corn” features the quartet live and it is an impressive, tight, quick, flash of exciting ensemble playing. The second piece for LIO, “To Steve Beresford’ is intense, focused improv at its best. Mr. Beresford takes a wonderful, humorous, in between categories piano solo midway which is another highlight. “Noizemaschin!!” is for solo, improvised trumpet with some effects. It is nice to hear some strong close-mic’d trumpet weirdness from an under-recognized talent. “A Horse Named Galaxy” is played by Ms. Keeffe’s quartet and it has a melody which one could hum or whistle yet there is nothing cheesy about it, showing a much different side to Ms. Keeffe’s writing. The final piece, the title track, is a longer excursion for the LIO with Ms. Keeffe conducting. This piece buzzes, floats, creating a dream-like vibe which organically shifts through different connected sections. Like everything we’ve heard on Discus, this is a winner which sounds great on many levels. - Bruce Lee Gallanter, DMG



I looked forward to the compilation of Charlotte Keeffe’s own music with a quartet including guitar, double bass and drums recorded live at the Cockpit Theatre Jazz in the Round in 2019, a large ensemble, the mighty London Improvisers’ Orchestra on three tracks- quite magnificent- bees are suggested as the title implies on the tremulous first piece; the second, ‘To Steve Beresford’ a ‘conduction’ i.e. spontaneously created structures and textures, the sudden silence on 3:30 is stunning, as ‘bass’ sounds such as tuba make way for rippling piano, almost breaking into honky-tonk (!), and woodwinds, an intriguing, teasing piece with growling brass having the final say; the flutes and trumpet doing a marvellous dance, on the third, in Stravinsky territory perhaps, with a spoken mantra at the end; and one duo free improvisation with guitar (‘OM’) - ethereal harmonics and sensitive playing by Keeffe that marks her out as a top contemporary jazz musician- and a 5 minute live free improvisation. ‘Right Here, Right Now’ is the title of the Discus 107 CD. The quartet recordings are snappy, well-structured and played, four minute pieces with dreamy, lingering trumpet notes with repeated motif followed by mazy runs, mercurial guitars and flailing, swishing drums, rocking out on the second. The influence of John McLaughlin seems obvious on guitarist Moss Freed- a whole album of this please! – Phil Jackson, ACID DRAGON



Right Here, Right Now collects together pieces by trumpet / flugelhorn player Charlotte Keeffe in various different formations – solo with electronics; in a duo with Diego Sampieri (guitar); in the Charlotte Keeffe quartet with Moss Freed (guitar), Ben Handysides (drums) and Ashley John Long (double bass). We also hear Keeffe’s work composing for the London Improvisers Orchestra on three adventurous and frequently unpredictable, playful pieces.


The result is a collection that draws out an immediacy of playing and an adaptable, varied tone. The pieces she conducted for the London Improvisers Orchestra veer from intricate, scratchy electronics, howling bells and ominous voices (‘Mysterious Breath / This One’s For The Bees…’) to the joyfully chaotic, cataclysmically euphoric nod to Orchestra stalwart and Flying Lizard par excellence Steve Beresford (‘To Steve Beresford’).


Quartet pieces like ‘Sweet, Corn’ are full of enticing energy, the interplay of the rhythm section and Keeffe’s wild, urgent playing reaching several crescendos before pivoting toward hook-y melodies and finally into squalling, beautiful noise. A more contemplative tone can be heard on the pretty ‘A Horse Named Melody’, even as Handysides’ drumming seems hellbent on upending the piece toward messier territory. Whether in her quartet or in a duo with Sampieri, you can hear a perfect unity between Keeffe and guitarists, leading to some genuinely breathtaking, intertwined melodic runs on the gentle, captivating ‘OM’ in particular.


Another dimension to Keeffe’s all-encompassing approach can be heard on the two solo pieces. Here we find Keefe subjecting her trumpet and flugelhorn to a series of electronic processes, showcasing yet another side to her playing completely. ‘The Melody’s In The Post’ (inspired by a melody by Alicia Gardener-Trejo) finds her horns fading in and out over a bed of restless, itchy static that sounds like an after-hours Radiophonic Workshop for an astral jazz documentary that sadly never was. Something similar occurs on ‘Noizemaschin!!’, taken from Keeffe’s first live improvised solo set in 2017. Somewhat more restrained in its processing than ‘The Melody’s In The Post’, ‘Noizemaschin!!’ instead relies on washes of reverb and stuttering, chattering, inchoate passages interspersed with rapid note clusters, leading to a ghostly, atmospheric otherworldliness. - Mat Smith  https://furtherdot.com/