James Kitchman First Quartet

A group led by “quietly rebellious” [Songlines Magazine] guitarist James Kitchman featuring a cast of London’s finest improvisers: pianist Bruno Heinen (Denys Baptiste); bassist Tom McCredie (Elliot Galvin Trio); and drummer Shane Forbes (Empirical). They play James’ compositions which draw influence from the variety of musical worlds he traverses; from jazz, to chamber music, to contemporary folk, to ambient electronica. Improvisation and empathy are at the core of the group’s spirit; conjuring a sound that is at once stark and refreshing. His debut recording First Quartet’ on Ubuntu Music label was released in 2022 with airplay on BBC Radio 3, Jazz FM, and Soho Radio, a rapturous reception from the jazz press, and over 500,000 streams on Spotify in the first six months of its release.

“I love the feeling of the quartet, the beautiful tunes, and the deep chemistry between the musicians”
Sam Amidon (Nonesuch Records artist)

“Wonderful, sensitive, and well proportioned”
Ernst Reijseger (Legendary cellist & composer)

‘The range and quality of this debut would be remarkable even if it hadn’t all been laid down in a single day but that detail confirms James Kitchman’s aplomb as a composer and bandleader, not least in his choice of travelling companions’
Jazzwise Magazine, **** Editor’s choice

“An exalted lyricism and sophisticated grasp of harmony”
All About Jazz, ****

“One of the strongest UK releases by a new artist this year, First Quartet is a remarkable debut by guitarist James Kitchman. It’s so assured and together as a statement and you’d swear Kitchman even on a blindfold listen was a grizzled veteran …”
Marlbank.net, ****

Kitchman’s skills as an instrumentalist are matched by his abilities as a composer. This is a remarkably mature first album that features intelligent, multi-faceted compositions full of unexpected twists and turns and delightful sonic details.
The Jazz Mann, *****

“First Quartet is an album that is full of twists and turns, melodic and rhythmic surprises and little details that reveal themselves with careful and repeated listening. A superb debut, and it will be interesting to hear where Kitchman takes his music next.”

“An exciting and authentic piece of work, unshrouded by worries and expectations… A highlight throughout is Kitchman’s unquestionable guitaring ability which breaths a unique and authentic sense of character into it all.”

Whilst guitarist Kitchman may not yet be a familiar name to the wider jazz audience, things are set to change with this release.
UK Vibe

“Kitchman nods to the future without forgetting the past resulting in an album that presents him as an outstanding composer and instrumentalist”
Bebop Spoken Here

“The amplified stylistic spectrum – from minimalist “immobility” to a kind of sophisticated neo-swing – unfolds through permanent envelopes / dodges / allusions, in which each of the performers fully reveals his talent, but without eclipsing his partners.”
Romanian jazzologist and writer Virgil Mihaiu, Orizont magazine

Photos 1 & 2 by Irini Folerou. Photo 3 by Tom Sankey.