Matthew Bourne Reviews// BBC Music// The Wire + more (Posted By Harry)

Matthew Bourne

Matthew BourneMatthew Bourne Reviews

Montauk Variations
The Leaf Label
Release 06.02.12

BBC Music
Martin Longley

“Usually, the Wiltshire keyboardist Matthew Bourne is heard in a combo context, habitually making music of a more violently improvisatory nature, hunkered down with elements ripped out of dance music, rock and abstract electronica. That’s just the kind of sound that might be identified with The Leaf Label, but with his debut recording for them, Bourne has confounded expectations.

Montauk Variations is primarily a collection of completely solo acoustic piano pieces, sometimes augmented by strings. Bourne is known in jazz circles, but this project also emits an aura of modern classical composition. Often a dense sprayer of notes, the pianist is found here in a sparse, spacious state, lyrical and romantic. It’s all inward, to the max. Several pieces are personal dedications, and the mood is mainly solemn. Bourne’s manic side is kept in check. There are 16 Variations, many of them quite brief, and Charlie Chaplin’s Smile arrives right at the close…(Read More)

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The Wire
The Wire_MBreview

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The Skinny Review: 4 Stars

“There’s much to admire about Matthew Bourne – the good grace with which he takes being regularly confused with the ballet choreographer of the same name, for instance, or his maverick inter-genre curiosity (in addition to these solo piano/cello pieces, Bourne’s “Scott Walker + Meshuggah” outfit Bilbao Syndrome promise a full-length in 2012). Then there’s his sharp sense of humour, demonstrated by sleeve notes which follow a paragraph of self-analysis pondering the inspirational qualities of “personal unquietness, solitude and heartbreak” with the summation that “this idea was bullshit.”

But the bulk of praise should be levelled at his boundless talent, both technical and compositional; his improvisational skills are already renowned in jazz circles, and these pieces sound precise and consummate without exception. Whether mellow and romantic (Juliet) or tumultuously erratic (Étude Psychotique), Bourne’s work is ceaselessly inventive and always absorbing, with a wistful cover of Chaplin’s Smile at the close to seal the deal.” (The Skinny)

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Dalston Sound
Tim Owen

“The versatility of Leeds-based pianist/composer Matthew Bourne has worked against him in the past, but it seems he’s out to put his mark on 2012.In the past Bourne’s projects have ranged from the avant-funk of the Electric Dr. M collaboration with trioVD guitarist Chris Sharkey, to art-house improv on a stage full of upright pianos reclaimed from the wrecker’s yard, so anything he does is worth investigation. What follows is just a brief summary of some the projects he currently has on the go…(Read More)

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The Leeds Guide

Matthew Bourne and The Leaf Label are a very good match. Matthew Bourne is a graduate of and part-time professor at Leeds College of Music with a PhD in Performance from the University of Leeds. He creates piano-led music which veers between classical composition and avant-garde jazz and already won the Perrier Jazz Award in 2001 (aged 23), and a BBC Jazz Award for Innovation the next year…(Read More)

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Fluid Radio

“The Leaf Label recently released five rather wonderful videos of pianist Matthew Bourne performing pieces from his upcoming Montauk Variations album (out February 6). The clips were filmed just before Christmas at Leeds College of Music, and give a sense of Bourne’s remarkable technique.

The pieces include Bourne’s version of Charlie Chaplin’s ‘Smile’ and a brand new composition, ‘Unloved’, unavailable elsewhere.

Bourne will also be performing a live show at London’s Cafe OTO on February 15th. Leaf alumni Icarus have been confirmed as support for the gig.” (Fluid Radio)

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Wharfdale Observer

“A pianist who was largely-self taught is releasing his first solo studio album in February. Matthew Bourne, who lives in Bramhope, only began playing the piano when he was 15, but he has built an impressive career out of his love for music. Matthew, 34, first rose to prominence in 2001 when he won a Perrier Jazz Award, following that with the Innovation accolade at the BBC Radio Jazz Awards in 2002. Since then he’s worked with a multitude of different projects, including The Electric Dr M, Bourne/Davis/Kane, Bilbao Syndrome, Nostalgia 77, Trio Grande, and the Broadway Project.
In March he will head to China as part of a residency programme organised by The British Council and PRS For Music Foundation. In the meantime he is looking forward to the release of his album Montauk Variations, which he has dedicated to his teacher at school George Sidebottom…(Read More)

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