Tell us a bit about your band with Tom Barford.
“It’s a two-tenor fronted chordless quintet with Ferg Ireland on bass and James Maddren on drums.”
What kind of music will you be playing at The Verdict on Friday 2nd February?
“We mostly play compositions of mine and Tom’s – often it’s music that we play with other bands that sounds completely different and exciting when we bring it to the chordless format. Tom and I are quite different both as players and composers so there’s quite a breadth of music over the course of a set, and we like to throw in a curveball standard here and there and see where we can take them in the absence of a harmony instrument.”
How is it different playing in a chordless group?
“I’ve always thought the chordless setup sounds immediately a bit more earthy, and the richness of the combined two tenors against a more sparse harmonic background definitely brings this out. There’s more space as a horn player to explore extended harmony, and I never find myself missing a piano or guitar as Ferg is so creative with the harmonic foundation he lays down. There’s maybe a little more emphasis on the rhythmic side of things in this particular lineup, and it’s always entertaining trying to keep up with James in that respect!”
What plans do you have for the rest of 2018?
“In February we’ll be at the Spotted Dog in Birmingham on the 27th, and we have a recording planned for later in the spring. With his own group, Tom is releasing his debut album on Edition Records later this year as part of his Kenny Wheeler Prize, and I’ll be taking my quintet on the road for a 15-date EP tour in April/May.”
Alex Hitchcock and Tom Barford perform at The Verdict, Brighton on Friday 2nd February, 2018.
For more information:
Q&A Interview conducted by Charlie Anderson
Photo of Alex Hitchcock at Love Supreme by Lisa Wormsley