After being voted Guardian/Wire British Jazz Awards "Most Promising Newcomer" in 1991, Jonathan Gee enjoyed a highly successful ten-year collaboration with bassist Steve Rose and drummer Winston Clifford. He has also worked with many of the country's leading jazz musicians, including Steve Williamson, Iain Ballamy, Orphy Robinson, Ed Jones, Claire Martin, Tim Whitehead, Christine Tobin and poet Lemn Sissay. In Europe he has appeared with US musicians David Murray, Benny Golson, Art Farmer, Mark Murphy, Harry Allen, James Spaulding, Sonny Fortune and Ted Curson. Jonathan has formed many musical ties abroad - in Italy he has toured and recorded with Danilo Gallo and Alessandro Minetto and with Joseph Lepore and Enzo Zirillia, as well as saxophonist Tommaso Starace, whilst in France he has worked with the Didier Conchon/Ramon Layzelles Quintet. In Finland his trio has been resident annually at the Helsinki Jazz Festival and he has also enjoyed a long-term collaboration with trumpeter/producer Mika Myllari - their Northern Star People project album, View from the Pocket, ASC CD110, was launched at the 2008 London Jazz Festival. In the UK, along with Tony Kofi, Ben Hazleton and Winston Clifford, Jonathan co-founded the Monk Liberation Front, dedicated to the work of pianist/composer Thelonious Monk. The band has appeared twice at the London Jazz Festival performing Monk's complete works in day-long sessions. Jonathan joined the Tony Kofi Quartet for its award-winning 2005 tribute to Thelonious Monk, All Is Know. Jonathan is also a singer specialising in The Great American Songbook.
"We are in heavyweight territory (with Lepore and Waits) and Gee doesn't disappoint, giving his always forceful playing a really knotty, Monkish flavour at times, and responding strongly to the heightened rhythmic drive Waits brings to the band. Aside from one Thelonious Monk composition, all are original Gee tunes, and they share a feeling of being complex puzzles, tightly wound and in need of unrvelling and exploring, which is exactly what the three musicians do. Tortadilla is an example of a more reflective piece which explores rich harmonies while steadily ratcheting up the tension, and developing into a slow groove. More typical of the urgent material on the album is the opener, Beyond." Properganda Magazine
"Beyond flows freely, allowing all three players to point the way. Dragonfly is a sprightly theme with variations. Black Ball focuses on the weight of the Waits drums... explores areas which at times seem uncharted - suggesting a 'stream of conciousness' path." Les Tomkins, Jazz Rag.
Northern Star People
"Myllari is a terrific trumpeter who responds to Gee's busy lines with equally virtuosic improvisations... The tunes make up a potted history of electro-jazz: the squidgy 1980s tones of Blue; the sneaky groove of Red Ball; 147's tunefully modified drum and bass. Nice." John L. Walters, The Guardian.
"...astonishing... This is Jazz Fusion for the 21st century with staggeringly complex drum and sound programming featuring very Eddie Henderson Kudu-period style trumpet and very angular analogue-sounding keyboards. The fact that there is so much going on in the production doesnt detract, in fact it adds to the wow factor." Snowboy, Blues and Soul
ASC CD131 Dragonfly (£10) Jonathan Gee Trio
Jonathan Gee piano | Joseph Lepore double bass | Nasheet Waits drums