Grammy Award-winning pianist Bill Laurance, who rose to fame with world-renowned jazz outfit Snarky Puppy, is performing an intimate show at Band on the Wall as part of the venue’s momentous reopening season.
Laurance released his debut so album, Flint, in 2014, followed shortly by Swift – both albums bringing together classical and jazz styles in an original and captivating way, with emotive melodies, powerful rhythms and cinematic arrangements. 2016’s Aftersun brought funk into the equation, with Laurance inviting celebrated percussionist Weedie Braimah into the fold, allowing his deep understanding of West African rhythm to inform the direction of the music.
Laurance’s most recent studio album, Cables (2019), saw him trying something different again. His first concept album, it draws inspiration from the exponential growth of technology, and features the artist playing every instrument on the record. Naturally centred around his lyrical and virtuosic piano playing, the album also explores new sonic territory, with electronic beats and textures and influences of modern composition, soundtracks, ambient and funk – all the while staying true to Laurance’s jazz DNA.
Most recently, Laurance has been working with Manchester’s own Untold Orchestra, firstly producing glorious orchestral rearrangements of Cables, and secondly releasing the original Zeal EP just a few months back. This sees a return to Laurance’s better-known aesthetic, combining symphonic melody and texture alongside hard-hitting grooves, swirling synths and intoxicating piano. Drawing out the classical side of Laurance’s style, it’s full of string swells and sweeping melodies, with the whole thing carrying the drama of a movie score.
Though there’s been nothing mentioned, our inkling is that we’ll catch at least a few members of the Untold Orchestra guesting with Laurance at Band on the Wall. It’s their hometown after all, and their work together has been really well received. Who knows though, we might be jumping the gun. In any case, this gig will no doubt be a highlight of the venue’s reopening season, and is a must for anyone who likes their music with a twist of high drama.