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by Jakob Baekgaard
One of the great things about tributes is that they allow one to revisit and appreciate the influence of artists that deserve more exposure. This is definitely the case with the British group Empirical's tribute to reed player and composer, Eric Dolphy. Out 'n' In was released in 2009 and is still a text book example of how tributes should be done. Instead of playing an album of cover tunes, the group has internalized the influence of Dolphy and created ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
This is a young and intensely hip quartet who received a MOBO (Music of Black Origin) award in 2010 for Best Jazz Act in the UK, yet Connection is the musicians inaugural effort for USA-based Cuneiform Records. Similarities to the output of fellow countrymen, saxophonist Django Bates and Led Bib may be in order, primarily due to Empirical's creative and energized aspects, along with others who seem to be trumpeting the new era of jazz by generating high-impact, and cleverly ...read more
by Chris May
EmpiricalElements Of TruthNaim Jazz2011 Empirical's second album, Out 'n' In (Naim, 2009), is a hard act to follow. The salute to reed player Eric Dolphy deservedly won the band Best Jazz Act in the 2010 MOBO Awards. Elements Of Truth rises confidently, if not wholly successfully, to the challenge set by its predecessor, and more about that in a moment. But first, the back story. The MOBO award ...read more
by Frederick Bernas
Empirical burst onto the international music scene at the 2007 North Sea Jazz Festival, beating four other bands to win the inaugural European Jazz Competition. Two days later, with perfect timing, its self-titled debut album hit the shops. British saxophonist Courtney Pine had been keeping a keen eye on the quintet's progress and produced the CD, which is released on his own Destin-E records.
It's a startlingly mature set for such a young group, undoubtedly as a result of time ...read more