Last night Chris Batchelor was awarded one of the 8 Paul Hamlyn Awards. It's worth £45,000 over three years and he can do with it what he wants. Iain Ballamy got one in 2007 and Evan Parker in 2008. So,for the past 3 years, there has been one jazz musician.
I am proud to be associated with Chris's last 2 recordings. He doesn't release much - this is only the second album in over 10 years. And indeed I received a comment when Big Air was about to come out that "Chris doesn't play much". Well, that's also because he runs the jazz course at Middlesex University, where recent alumni include Led Bib, Hans Koller, Jason Yarde, Ben Reynolds, Stian Westerhuis and many others. No wonder he has little time!
I first was privileged to release the album "Life As We Know It" in 1997. The gestation for Big Air started in 2001. And here we are.....
Of course, one should also mention that he has had a long-term musical partner in Steve Buckley. What a wondrous saxophonist. Glad that he is about to return.
Here is a track of theirs from Saalfelden Jazz Festival this year.