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Dream Circus

Dream Circus (2020)

Misha Mullov-Abbado double bass

James Davison trumpet & flugelhorn

Matthew Herd alto saxophone

Sam Rapley tenor saxophone

Liam Dunachie piano & Hammond organ

Scott Chapman drums

Recorded at The Village Recording in Copenhagen

Rob Luft electric guitar drone on track 5

Jasper Høiby producer

August Wanngren engineer & mixing

Donal Whelan mastering

Jake Dubber digital art

Oli Bentley album artwork

Album liner notes

Thank you for getting hold of “Dream Circus” which is my third album as a bandleader, and the one I am by far the proudest of so far. There are many reasons why I wanted to base the title of the album on dreams. As is the case for many musicians in their late twenties, the last few years have been very important for me as I have been gradually establishing my career and slowly figuring out (sometimes the hard way) what my dreams are for the future. Almost all the tracks on the album were written during particularly eventful times for me personally and feel part of an intricate musical story. Also I have always been very fascinated by the mysterious and psychedelic nature of the dreams we dream at night, and each track on this album can be heard as a statement or an individual dream as well as a story. ​ Although I am proud of the nine compositions that I wrote for this album, none of them would have been brought to life and be in their existing state now without the dedication and commitment from my wonderful band. I would like to thank Scott, Jim, Liam, Matt and Sam from the bottom of my heart for sticking by me for all these years and for all the touring we have done performing my music. Since we recorded my last album we have performed over forty shows, and the amount we have travelled and performed in such a wide range of different places with so much fun, playful, rough and spontaneous energy reminds me of a traveling circus company. ​ I would like to thank Jasper Høiby for producing this album with so much positive energy and for totally transforming the sound of the band for the better in every way during our most enjoyable three days recording in Copenhagen last September. It is an honour for me that you were straight away keen to be involved in this project. I would also like to thank: August Wanngren for engineering and mixing this album with so much skill, ease, patience and speed – literally every part of this project that has involved you has been so simple; BBC Radio 3 for inviting me to be on the New Generation Artists’ scheme for two years and for generously funding part of this album recording as a result of that; Donal Whelan for once again mastering this album to such a high standard; and to Dave Stapleton and everyone at Edition Records for once again putting their trust in my music and for all the hard work that is currently going into the album release and artwork. ​ “Stillness”, “Little Astronaut” and “Blue Deer” were written for and are dedicated to Benin who left us in September 2018. I love you so much, still think of you every day, and hope you’re doing alright up there…

Praise for Dream Circus

Thank you to everyone who has reviewed the album so far. Click on the links below to read the full review…

“Dream Circus is a poetic, romantic and rhythmic work… Edition Records once again demonstrates beautiful European diversity in the world of jazz today… Yet another ‘Indispensable’ rating that the editors of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move will attribute to ‘Dream Circus’ for the quality of composition and performance, and the cinematic atmosphere intervening at times with welcome writing tricks…”
Thierry Docmac, Paris-Move (FRANCE) ★★★★★

“My album of the year so far. Cleverly written and played, but also beautiful, musical and although “classically” inflected in places, definitely jazz: distinctly modern but with mainstream and lyrical roots. This third outing by London-based double bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado confirms a new and substantial British ensemble composing voice, joining the tradition of Kenny Wheeler, Mike Gibbs and Issie Barratt.”
Chris Kilsby, Bebop Spoken Here (UK)

“The writing, the playing and the recording are of such high quality that once you’ve put the record on, you need a very good reason to take it off. This is modern jazz with a powerful imagination and a sense of variety that never compromises its integrity. It’s a music with roots in hard bop but a strong commitment to melody.”
Richard Williams, Blue Moment (UK)

“This studio recording has the soul and spontaneity of a live performance – the musicians seem to play with total freedom. But that apparent freedom is in fact the composer’s trademark and living proof of his creative mastery… The warm expressivity of Misha’s melodic bass is a perfect match for the sparkling brass instruments, crowned by a pianist whose agile hands could be acrobats in a dizzying trapeze act.”
Jean-Michel Schlosser, Couleurs Jazz (FRANCE)

“The band of former fellow students, with whom he is now presenting his third album, has been in existence for four years – a sextet that often sounds larger due to the skilled use of three wind instruments.”
Berthold Klostermann, Fono Forum (GERMANY) ★★★★★ (music) / ★★★★ ½ (sound) 

“Wallow [yourselves] in the harmony of the solos of trumpeter James Davison, alto saxophonist Matthew Herd, tenor saxophonist Sam Rapley or pianist and Hammond organist Liam Dunachie, the immensely imaginative interplay of Misha Mullov-Abbado, Dunachie and the enjoyable drummer Scott Chapman’s rhythm section with the horn section and enjoy the Dream Circus a second, third, fourth or fifth time.”
Werner Stiefele, Rondo Magazine (GERMANY) ★★★★

“The new generation of British jazz is storming into the spotlight… [Mullov-Abbado] has an elegant and agile style… His music has the hymn urgency that characterized McCoy Tuner’s records in the 1970s… The three wind instruments melt together again and again to form their own sound in an impressive way. Although Mullov-Abbado – who wrote all the material himself – enjoys complex rhythms, his music never gets hectic.”
Rolf Thomas, Jazzthing Magazine (GERMANY)

“Definitely one of the most important messengers in the new great British jazz generation. With music that brings along the best of the acoustic 60s language and moves it into our time in a very life-affirming way – with plenty of dynamism and personality, Misha Mullov-Abbado confirms that he can become one of the truly great within this genre in the future.”
Tor Hammerø, Nettavisen (NORWAY)

“Last week I found Mullov-Abbado to be our “album of the week” at NDR Jazz, played music from “Dream Circus” every night on my programme. The response from our listeners was overwhelming – it might have set the record for the year so far!”
Ralf Dorschel, Album Of The Week on NDR Jazz (GERMANY) 

“Misha Mullov-Abbado’s compositions are full of surprises and alternating between lively and melancholic. The sparkling joy that the 6-piece radiate is contagious… Sprawling solos create a cool jazz atmosphere, framed by majestic themes…”
Jan Paersch, Kulturnews (GERMANY)

“Certainly one of the most talented bassists to have emerged on the UK jazz scene in many years Misha Mullov-Abbado’s ‘Dream Circus’ is his most convincing and enjoyable album so far”
Stephen Graham, Marlbank (UK)

“Third album by double bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado whose compositions still remain anchored in the tradition but are also just sufficiently surrounded by a touch of modernism and inventiveness that keep it exciting.”
Georges Tonla Briquet, Jazz Halo (BElGIUM)

“Fans of top, cutting edge playing, and of generally uplifting high quality musical creativity will find much to delight them here.”
Eddie Myer, Jazz Views & Sussex Jazz Magazine (UK)

“Absolutely brim-full of musical and personal vivacity. His albums seem to me to have become increasingly refreshing, new and exciting with just the right measure of ‘cheekiness’. Brilliant.”
Martin David Powell, BCB Radio Bradford, Jazz Scene (UK)

“The sextet’s music is saturated with an exciting mixture of expressiveness and impression… The musicians did not disappoint. We are in for a treat with free jazz breakdowns and a captivating ride straight ahead with solo eruptions. That’s what I call a masterpiece, gentlemen!”

Jan Hocek, His Voice (CZECHIA)

“Misha’s manifesto to having earned a place among the field of extraordinarily creative bassists in contemporary Jazz.”
Michael Ambrosino, (UK) Best Jazz Albums 2020

“For all its exhilarating improv breakouts, this is contemporary jazz with a very firm hand on its tiller, but it’s beautifully done.”
John Fordham, Jazzwise (UK) ★★★★

“Multi-influenced yet stylistically coherent, accessible but never merely obvious, this is an inviting and rewarding album.”
Steve Harris, Hi-Fi News (UK)

“The tunes themselves are excellent, but are lifted up another notch by inventive scoring for the ensembles.”
Barry Witherden, BBC Music Magazine (UK)

“As superb as his previous album Cross Platform-Interchange is, the new one is maybe even better.”
Ron Schepper, Textura (CANADA)

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