StrayHorn Quartet is a group of the West Country’s finest jazz musicians led by saxophonist and composer Dom Franks. The band also includes Cheltenham based pianist Alex Steele, drummer Matthew Jones and bassist Will Harris, a musician who has previously featured on the Jazzmann web pages as a member of the groups Moonlight Saving Time and Michelson Morley and as part of the Kevin Figes Quartet.
Franks, also from Cheltenham, founded StrayHorn Quartet in 2010. Once a student of the acclaimed saxophonist Jean Toussaint he is also a former winner of the Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Musician of the Year award. The group’s début album “In Native Tongues” (2011) received a favourable review in Jazzwise Magazine and garnered airplay on specialist jazz radio stations in the UK and abroad. The quartet have also gigged regularly, particularly in the South West and the Midlands and have made a number of festival appearances.
The group name may suggest that the quartet specialises in covering or adapting Billy Strayhorn tunes but their focus is actually on the original compositions of Franks and Steele. The tunes embrace a variety of jazz styles with Franks citing pianists Robert Glasper and Taylor Eigsti plus saxophonist Joshua Redman as important contemporary influences.
Dom Franks - Saxophones
Alex Steele (Jean Toussaint / Damon Brown / Art Themen) - Keys
James Agg (Tipatina / John Pearce / John Law Quartet) - Acoustic Bass
Billy Weir (fantastic young rising star, recent recipient of
Birmingham Conservatoire's 'Tony Levin Award' for percussionist to
watch) - Drums