Saxophonist Alex Hitchcock is an immediately distinctive improviser and a leading voice on his instrument in the UK. An Ivor Novello-nominated composer, his innovative collaborations have confirmed his growing international reputation as an instigator and catalyst for captivating musical encounters that 'continually push the envelope a little further' (Jazzmania BE).
As a prolific and multi-award winning bandleader, his writing is inspired by the uniquely creative and diverse voices of the musicians he works with - always with human connection and communication as their guiding principle. His compositions, primarily influenced by black American music, unite a powerful instrumental command with an originality and clarity of musical vision that has been described as ‘exquisitely subtle’ (All About Jazz) and ‘startlingly vivid and mature’(Marlbank).
‘Dream Band’ is his series recording his favourite musicians in new combinations, playing music written especially for them. The resulting albums are full of surprises, terrain shifts, harmonic nuance and emotional depth, underpinned by a freshness of approach and fearless interplay. The first volume (2021), recorded over three days in a London studio with three different groups, spotlights amongst others Cherise Adams-Burnett, Midori Jaeger, Chris Cheek, Jason Brown and Deschanel Gordon. The second (2022), captured over three sold-out nights at the iconic Vortex jazz club, features Kit Downes, Mark Kavuma, Liselotte Östblom, Rob Luft and Orlando le Fleming.
‘I felt lucky to be surrounded by so many distinctive and contrasting voices, and wanted to capture that variety in an album, creating space for the musicians to express themselves and shape my music. In 2021 when people weren’t able to play and create as much I tried to go the other way, taking a maximalist approach to make something adventurous and broad in scope. Partly, it was a kind of ‘curating’ – I imagined what different combinations of my favourite musicians would sound like and wrote music for that.’
His new collaboration series with guitarist Ant Law, ‘Same Moon in the Same World,’ is a call for solidarity and connection translated into music. The series takes its name from a line in Haruki Murakami’s 1999 novel Sputnik Sweetheart: 'we’re both looking at the same moon in the same world. We’re connected to reality by the same line.’ Recorded remotely across multiple continents in 2020 and 2021 in response to a time of unprecedented isolation and atomisation, the first album in the series features guest contributions from vibraphonist Joel Ross, pianist Shai Maestro, bassists Linda May Han Oh, Ben Williams and Jasper Høiby, and drummers Jeff Ballard, Kendrick Scott, Sun-Mi Hong and Eric Harland.