Interview: Sam Quintana’s Wandering Monster
1 February 2017
Supporting Seamus, Ross and James on their penultimate tour date, Seven Arts in Leeds on February 9th, are Sam Quintana’s Wandering Monster. A Leeds-based led by double bassist Sam Quintana, the group met while studying at Leeds college of Music. In late 201, they were announced as the latest ensemble to take part in the Jazz North Introduces scheme. We caught up with band leader Sam ahead of their performance on the 9th…
How was 2016 for Wandering Monster?
2016 was a great year for us. It saw the release of our debut EP on Leeds based label New Jazz Records. This was well received and met with some positive and encouraging reviews. In July the group received the Jazz North Introduces Award. This scheme has really given the project a focus and has provided us with the chance to perform at a number of UK festivals, including Lancaster Jazz Festival and Marsden Jazz Festival. Behind closed doors we have been working hard developing some new material.
How would say the band has developed since its inception?
The sound of the band is becoming increasingly more influenced by rock/fusion. Most of the compositions now incorporate odd-time/metric ideas and the most recent tunes see a deeper exploration of these techniques.
What albums/artists have you been listening to recently?
Recently ‘Star of Jupiter’ by Kurt Rosenwinkel has been on repeat. As well as this I’ve been re-visiting some Joe Henderson records such as ‘In ‘n out’ and ‘The State of the Tenor’ and working my way through a Billy Holliday box set I received for Christmas! I’ve also been listening to some great British bands- Dinosaur, Worldservice Project and Klammer.
What’s in store for 2017?
We have some great gigs lined up for this year. Support slots for Mammal Hands and Seamus Blake will certainly be the highlights, but we’re also very excited to perform at some other jazz festivals under the Jazz North scheme. The award is also providing us with the opportunity to receive some mentoring sessions from UK Jazz stalwart Mike Walker, and we’re looking forward to seeing how he can help us shape our music. There are plans to record some of our new material and release it either on another EP or as a series of videos.
Aside from Wandering Monster, what other projects are you involved in?
Other projects I am involved in include progressive jazz/rock trio Zeitgeist (with WM members Aleks Podraza and Tom Higham,) Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat, The Dave Hanson Band, The Kentucky Cow Tippers, Red Sparrow Fall and The Toby Noble Acoustic Quartet.
What was the best gig you saw in 2016?
A few spring to mind: Anthony Joseph at The Jazz Café in Camden, Gilad Hekselman at Wharf Chambers in Leeds and various performances by Worldservice Project.
Check out Sam’s website here – http://www.samquintana.co.uk/