• Andy Shearer

Day 342 - Helena Kay: L And D

The brilliant young Perth saxophonist Helena Kay is a real rising star on the rejuvenated UK jazz scene. L And D is the first track from her excellent 2018 album Moon Palace, recorded with her KIM Trio of Ferg Ireland on double bass and David Ingamells on drums. If you enjoy it, you can buy the album here and help support an extremely talented local musician through these very challenging times.

Fresh from winning Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year in 2015 and the 2017 Peter Whittingham Jazz Award, emerging saxophonist Helena Kay released her debut album, Moon Palace, on Ubuntu Music at the end of 2018.

Moon Palace takes its title from a Paul Auster novel of the same name. It features a selection of Kay’s original compositions which evoke the various places and experiences that inspired them, from the leafy streets of Muswell Hill, north London (Strawberry Terrace) to the jazz Mecca that is Greenwich Village, Manhattan (Perry Street). “I wrote Perry Street after my first visit to New York, and named the tune after the street I stayed on for the two weeks I was in the city. I heard a lot of amazing music while I was there; it's an incredibly inspiring place to be,” says Kay. “I love the Larry Goldings/Peter Bernstein/Bill Stewart Trio: some of the tunes they play encapsulate a gritty, American (to my ears!) sound, and I wanted to capture that attitude in my own tune Perry Street.”

Moon Palace also reflects Kay's love of the jazz tradition with her quirky arrangement of Charlie Parker's Kim and her moving solo rendition of Hoagy Carmichael's beautiful ballad Stardust.

Kay leads KIM Trio with David Ingamells on drums and Ferg Ireland on double bass. “I met David Ingamells at Guildhall: he was in fourth year when I was in first year. I love his swinging and playful playing, especially in a trio setting,” explains Kay. “Dave introduced me to Ferg. He is a virtuoso on the bass; every time I play with him he pushes me to play better. Dave and Ferg make a great team.”

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