Since their formation in 1996 Partisans has been thrilling audiences the world over with their ferociously energetic performances of tightly knit themes and the great freedom coming from their years of playing together. Partisans are real band – known for bridging the gap between New York swing, European improv and UK jam– where the combination of each member’s influences feeds a genuine creative spark generating huge excitement and energy. Co- led by two of the preeminent musicians of their generation, Phil Robson (guitars) and Julian Siegel (tenor sax & bass clarinet), the quartet line-up is completed by Thaddeus Kelly (bass) and Gene Calderazzo (drums). They are widely acknowledged as the godfathers of the new wave of British post-jazz and improv, and have outlived many of the bands that have come since their formation. BBC Radio 3 asserts they are “one of the most exciting all star experimental groups in jazz today”.
Partisans cook up a trademark shot of gritty be-bop mashed with hard bop, early electric Miles (one of their main influences), ballads with sustained delicacy, rock riffs mixed with P-Funk grooves and with fresh departures into electronica. The richly lyrical and strongly melodic compositions written by Robson and Siegel provide the framework and starting point, underpinned by the rock solid, freewheeling and supercharged rhythm section of Kelly and Calderazzo.
With years of touring around the globe and a cult following in their native UK, where they have played every conceivable venue from backwater pubs to the largest concert halls and festivals, Partisans have released four albums to date: their self-titled debut (1997, EFZ), Sourpuss (2000, Babel), Max (2005, Babel) and By Proxy (2009, Babel). They have also collaborated with many icons of modern music, most notably Steve Swallow and Wayne Krantz, the former who exclaims “Partisans present some of the most refreshing music I’ve heard in a long while, uncompromising, very well written and very well played.” September 2014 sees Partisans release their fifth studio album Swamp on the Whirlwind Recordings imprint. This new album is deeply rooted in the Partisan trademark vibe and sound, but completely blows open their already eclectic and unpredictable palette, taking their music to new heights as a result of their near 20 years together.
Phil Robson - Guitar
UK-based guitarist Phil Robson is a seminal figure in contemporary British music. Along with Partisans he is the leader of the Immeasurable Code Quintet feat. Mark Turner, and regular sideman with Christine Tobin (Best Vocalist BBC Jazz Awards 2008). His other bands have included Six Strings & the Beat, Phil Robson trio (with Billy Hart & James Genus), Phil Robson Quartet with Dave Whitford and featuring David Liebman & Jeff Williams. Phil tours the UK with Dave Liebman and has also performed with the Barbra Streisand quartet most recently on BBC TV. Phil was awarded Jazz Musician of the Year in the UK 2009 Parliamentary Jazz Awards and has recorded three albums under his own name on Babel including a commission for Six Strings & the Beat. www.philrobson.net