What they say…
“Pure Blue Note! Excellent!!”
The Jazz Defenders are a group borne out of a deep love for Blue Note Records – specifically the hard bop recordings of Horace Silver, Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan and Art Blakey. Those records were highly regarded for a reason – catchy horn lines and incredible musicianship combined with Rudy Van Gelder’s engineering skills mean they will forever be regarded as classics of the genre. The Jazz Defenders are a group that would ‘defend’ the legacy of those recordings whilst creating its own original identity and distinctive flair.
The group is the brainchild of vibrant pianist and composer George Cooper who in 2015, set about choosing the right musicians for the individual qualities and style that they would bring to the group, followed by an all original set of tunes being written between Cooper and each member of the ensemble. Featuring some of the UK’s finest players the line-up is Nick Dover (tenor saxophone), Nick Malcolm (trumpet), Ian Matthews (drums), Will Harris (bass), and George Cooper (piano). The music that they produce together is a modern soul jazz slant on classic hard bop, effortlessly channelling the spirit of the golden Blue Note era of jazz.
As session musicians in their own right, the five members of the band have worked with a variety of internationally acclaimed artists such as Kasabian, Nigel Kennedy, Hans Zimmer, Massive Attack, The Haggis Horns, Pee Wee Ellis, Andy Sheppard, Get The Blessing, Simon Spillet, Alan Barnes, Rodriguez & Nostalgia 77, as well as playing at venues including Ronnie Scott’s, The Jazz Cafe and The 606 Club.