June Tabor/Iain Ballamy/Huw Warren | Quercus | ECM 2276



An important figure in British music since the 1960s, June Tabor first attracted attention singing unaccompanied traditional songs in the folk clubs (The present disc includes a beautiful solo performance of “Brigg Fair”). Tabor’s distinguished discography has emphasized the primacy of traditional material but she has proven to be a gripping interpreter of songs from many sources. The recipient of a number of prizes, she swept the BBC’s Folk Awards in 2012 winning prizes as folk singer of the year, and album and track of the year prizes for her collaborations with Oysterband on “Ragged Kingdom” (Topic Records). “June Tabor’s repertoire has never been blinkered by a quest for authenticity: she has covered all territories from Weimar ballads via jazz to the most trad of trad English folk. And yet, the sense of scholarship that she brings to her work never lets you forget that you are listening to, perhaps, the greatest interpreter and curator of indigenous British music”, said Chris Jones of BBC Online.

Iain Ballamy’s been a major contributor to aspects of improvised music in Britain for three decades, leading his own quartet at Ronnie Scott’s when just 20. He was a co-founder of Loose Tubes, the innovative large ensemble, in 1984, has had long playing associations with Django Bates and Billy Jenkins and has played with many major figures in international jazz including Hermeto Pascoal, Gil Evans, Dewey Redman, Mike Gibbs and more. In 2001 he was awarded the BBC Radio 3 special award for innovation at the British Jazz Awards. He is well-known to ECM listeners for his work with the experimental group Food of which he is co-leader with Thomas Strønen (albums include “Quiet Inlet” and “Mercurial Balm”). Other current projects include a saxophone and button accordion duo with Stian Carstensen, and the jazz quartet Anorak with Gareth Williams, Steve Watts and Martin France. Ballamy’s invitation to play on June Tabor’s album “At The Wood’s Heart”, as well as collaboration with Huw Warren in a number of contexts, led to the formation of Quercus.


Welsh-born Huw Warren played cello and organ before attending Goldsmiths College in London where he studied with John Tilbury, the experimental pianist associated with AMM and post-Cage new music. Warren subsequently became involved in both jazz and avant garde scenes and his work since has roved fearlessly through the genres. He co-led the jazz group Perfect Houseplants, produced early music projects with Andrew Manze and the Orlando Consort, toured widely with the Creative Jazz Orchestra, and in recent seasons has collaborated with Maria Pia de Vito, Mark Feldman, Ralph Towner and many others. As a session player he has worked with Billy Bragg, Elvis Costello, Eddi Reader and more. Huw Warren has been pianist and musical director for June Tabor since 1988.