International Chair in Jazz
Born in 1966, Tim is also known for his innovative bass clarinet playing and for his prolific output as composer, blurring the boundaries between modern jazz and classical concert music.
He first entered the jazz scene playing alongside Ronnie Scott in a ‘two tenor’ quintet, before quickly establishing himself as a leader, drawing on influences from around the world including classical and flamenco. As a performer, he has worked widely both in Britain and internationally, with particular highlights being a continuing collaboration with Chick Corea and his four-year association with Bill Bruford.
As composer, Tim has fulfilled commissions from the LSO, Northern Sinfonia, BBC Concert Orchestra and Westminster Abbey Choir, as well as several small and large jazz-based ensembles. In 2013 he premiered his suite Songs to The North Sky for jazz trio and orchestra, written for his Lighthouse trio and the Northern Sinfonia, later performed by Lighthouse and the London Sinfonia.
As a bandleader, Tim first achieved recognition with the jazz/folk crossover group Lammas (which included Don Paterson and Christine Tobin) before establishing his own groups, including the Dean Street Underground Orchestra, Storms/Nocturnes, Acoustic Triangle and his award-winning Lighthouse.
Tim was voted Musician of the Year by the 2006 Cross-Parliamentary Jazz Society, and in 2009 won a Grammy for his part in creating The New Crystal Silence which celebrated Chick Corea and Gary Burton’s famous partnership.
In 2013 it was announced that Tim would perform as part of Chick Corea’s band The Vigil, débuting at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club before embarking on a world tour.
Current and Future Research
- Songs To The North Sky, took two years to create, a work for string orchestra and saxophone with both classical and jazz percussion. Five instrumental “Songs” are followed by distinct variation movements, where the development radically transforms the material. This is a response to the oft heard sentiment that listeners not used to jazz improvisation find themselves disorientated when the music shoots off at unexpected tangents. By making the development sections into distinct entities, the research has been to see if the appreciation of variation and develpment by the listener, has been affected on account of their expectations of what they’re hearing, being steered differently. This is a work that whilst remaining highly melodic, challenges the notion that a string ensemble should neccessarily be merely backing for the soloists, as it can generate material independently of soloists in a through composed manner.
- BOOK – a book of saxophone solo’s with piano accompaniment is being created. The original compositions are mainly from past recordings. Crucially, the improvised solo sections are entirely notated in the book, and have been fashioned to maintain the approach of improvised music. This is in response to the demand by classical saxophone players who wish to play new repertoire with some jazz input, but who do not improvise themselves, currently there is little or no repertoire for young proffessionas like this.