Empirical, the first ever Golubovich Jazz Ensemble at Trinity Laban (2011-12), is garnering rave reviews for its latest CD, Tabula Rasa, and features on the cover of this month's Jazz UK.
Saxophonist Nathaniel Facey, bassist Tom Farmer, and Trinity Laban alumni drummer Shaney Forbes and vibraphonist Lewis Wright make up Empirical, which won the Best Jazz Act at the 2010 MOBO awards. The group has been incredibly busy over the last 12 months, coming regularly to Trinity Laban to conduct masterclasses and create new music and perform with students.
They have also produced their first double album, Tabula Rasa, which is attracting rave reviews. The album features the Benyounes Quartet on six tracks. The quartet has just completed Trinity Laban's Richard Carne Junior Fellowship for String Quartet 2011-13.
Alison Bentley said in London Jazz: "In a world of pick up bands, Empirical's intense commitment to each other and to their music is a wonderful thing… a strikingly original mélange of modern classical and many jazz influences, from Parker to Dolphy and beyond; risk taking, thoughtfully composed and brilliantly improvised."
Mojo said: "Six years on they're still evolving, pushing boundaries and moving jazz forward"; while John Fordham said: "Empirical's skill and ingenuity keep on growing."
The Financial Times gave Tabula Rasa 4/5 stars, saying: "… there are lyrical passages and tender moments, foot tapping grooves and a contemporary string quartet in full flow, impressively justifying a double CD release."
Here's Empirical and the Benyounes Quartet performing and discussing their collaboration earlier in the year - /news/latest-news/new-empirical-and-benyounes-quartet-video