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. 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).
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.
Alongside an intense schedule of live gigs the band began laying down their own tunes, effortlessly channelling the spirit of the golden Blue Note era of jazz. The result of these efforts was debut album “Scheming“ released at the end of 2019 on Haggis Records. The album puts its own unique twist on classic bebop and hard bop, giving a modern soul jazz slant to the traditional sound and proving once and for all that jazz is far from dead.