About the quartet’s first CD ‘Riprap’ (2009) and performances.
“The Riprap collective can take you back and forth across the porous borderland between music and poetry, contemporary poets inspiring new grooves whilst the music give the poets back their voice with a clean new music in it. Listening to Riprap is to discover that things are more than they are, and they give more than they have.” – Malcolm Guite (Poet)
“Featuring the increasingly in-demand pianist David Gordon, Kevin Flanagan’s current project pits the words of beat poet Gary Snyder against thoughtfully-crafted ensemble playing of the highest order…. a must see” – Tim Haillay (Chairman, Brighton Jazz Club)
“Having listened to the CD, I was full of hope and anticipation that these guys could deliver live what they had managed to recreate in the studio. I have to say the concert was absolutely amazing, the quality of the musicianship and the reading of Snyder’s poetry created a wonderful atmosphere. One of the best groups on the circuit, watch this space.” – Pasco-Q Kevlin (Theatre Manager, Lakeside Theatre, University of Essex.)
“Haunting and atmospheric settings of Gary Snyder’s evocative poetry from sax player/composer Kevin Flanagan’s new band. Acoustic jazz of the highest order where the musicians solo beautifully and sit in grooves like they’ve found a new place to live.” Sue Edwards, Bookings manager, Royal Festival Hall.
Kevin Flanagan (soprano and tenor saxophones)
Kevin comes from Lowell, Mass. USA. After dropping out of high school, he co-founded the group Antares, an improv and jazz-based cooperative which toured New England and the UK in the mid-70’s to early 80’s. During this period he was also involved in blues and popular music, both performing and recording. He settled in the UK in the mid-80’s and worked on the London jazz and pop scene, playing and recording with Ben E. King, B.B.King, Paul Weller, and members of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, The Sex Pistols and Portishead, as well as various West African High Life and salsa groups. He gradually became primarily involved in jazz, playing with his own group and the Tommy Chase Quartet at festivals in the UK such as Glastonbury, Brecon, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Brighton and festivals in Europe in Milan, Paris, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and the North Sea Jazz Festival. He spent much of the 90’s collaborating with Chris Ingham in FIQ, releasing two highly acclaimed CD’s, Zanzibar and Textile Lunch. A graduate of Goldsmiths University, with a post graduate degree in composition from ARU (where he lectures), he later studied composition at the University of Sussex with Martin Butler, and has had works commissioned and performed by orchestras in London and Cambridge.
Dave Gordon (piano)
Dave plays both with Riprap and with his own trio, and for him jazz and Baroque music have remained equally irresistible forces. He has played with the Theo Travis Band and the Pete Oxley Band, having performing at Ronnie Scott’s and at numerous international jazz festivals, and has released a number of CD’s. Dave also works as a solo improviser with the London Contemporary Dance School, as a harpsichordist with the Academy of Ancient Music and other Baroque orchestras and in New Zealand and Australia as a recitalist. As a composer, he writes not only for his trio, but also for BBC Radio 3, and has recorded CD’s with his crossover band Respectable Groove and the band Zum. He recently won an AMI award for composing a community opera. Dave is also currently working with Chris Garrick and the singer Jacqui Dankworth.
“a richly gifted player, with a sparkling style and boundless imagination, able to move from one mode to another with great skill” – Phil Johnson (The Independent).
Andrew Brown (bass)
Andrew studied with Tony Hougham (Principle Double Bass of Covent Garden) and went on to play with such American players as Tal Farlow and Peter Erskine, as well as in bands with Pete King, Benny Green, Pete Oxley, Simon Vincent and FIQ with Kevin Flanagan, and Chris Ingham. He is also involved with the contemporary music scene, working with such players as Eddie Prevost and Lol Coxhill and, most recently, in free improvised/electronic trios with the Canadian composer Matt Rogalsky and American reed player Scott Rosenberg. He has worked as a session player in a number of rock bands including a period in Paris with Elise Romane and two years with Steve Harley. He is currently working with Kevin Flanagan’s Riprap Quartet, and Respectable Groove.
Russ Morgan (percussion)
Russ Morgan (drums) studied with Trevor Tomkins and trained at the Royal Academy of music in London. A former member of Julian Seigel’s “Short Stories”, Martin Speake’s quartet, and Pete Oxley’s “Curious Paradise”, Russ is currently playing with “Rip Rap”, the Chris Ingham trio, and “Trio East”.
Russ has toured and recorded around the UK and Europe, and has played with Julian Arguelles, Gilad Atzmon, Allan Barnes, Simon Bates, Pete King, Toni Kofi, Mark Lockheart, Julian Nicholas, Dave O’Higgins, Spike Robinson, Alan Skidmore, Stan Sultzman, Art Themen, Theo Travis, Tim Whitehead and Bobby Wellins (sax) Steve Waterman and Steve Fishwick (tmp) Gareth Lockrane (flt) John Etheridge, Daryl Jahnke, Jim Mullen, John Parricelli, Nigel Price and Phil Robson (gtr) Gordon Beck, Richard Busiakiewicz, Dave Gordon and Kate Williams (pno) Mike Gorman and Pete Whittaker (org) Malcolm Crease, Alec Dankworth, Mick Hutton, Steve Watts and Rob Statham (bas) Jim Hart, Roger Beaujolais, Lewis Wright and Bill Le Sage (vib) Christian Garrick (vio) and Jacqui Dankworth, Trudy Kerr, Anita Wardell and Christine Tobin (vox).
When not hitting his drums Russ is a keen practitioner of Chinese martial and healing arts. For more than 20 years he has trained in Tai chi Chuan, Wudang shan Chuan, Chi kung, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and Acupressure massage. Russ was a London instructor for the World Taiji Boxing association for 10 years, and now runs his own club ’Taiji Temple’.