Author Archives: Misha Mullov-Abbado

About Misha Mullov-Abbado

Jazz bassist, composer & arranger

LATEST NEWS: “Music We Love” with Viktoria Mullova out Sep 25th

During this year of few live performances but enough recording projects to make up for it, my mum Viktoria and I are really happy to announce that our duo album Music We Love is being released later this month on Friday 25th September on Onyx Classics. The album contains a broad selection of music from many different cultures that we’ve arranged for violin and bass, and we recorded it in back in January when life felt very different, in the very capable hands of Robin Hawkins (Compton Audio) who recorded and mixed the album. Also thanks to the wonderful Aga Tomaszek (whose work is everywhere on this website) for the wonderful photo of us used in the artwork.

We’re so looking forward to being able to share this album with you all. Earlier this week a single from the album “Spring Fly” (the theme from an Estonian cartoon) has been released as a sneak preview on Spotify. Have a listen!

In the meantime I’m very happy that my own album Dream Circus is still getting such praise in reviews all over Europe. See the post below for some highlights, and do have a listen to the album if you haven’t yet. At the moment (fingers crossed – nothing seems to be certain these days) my band is due to perform our first actual real concert to an audience since January on Friday 2nd October at the Two Moors Festival in Somerset. Come along if you’re nearby, or else watch this space as very slowly the music scene starts to rebuild itself…

Praise for ‘Dream Circus’

Thank you to everyone who has reviewed the album so far. Click on the links below to read the full review…

“Dream Circus is a poetic, romantic and rhythmic work… Edition Records once again demonstrates beautiful European diversity in the world of jazz today… Yet another ‘Indispensable’ rating that the editors of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move will attribute to ‘Dream Circus’ for the quality of composition and performance, and the cinematic atmosphere intervening at times with welcome writing tricks…”
Thierry Docmac, Paris-Move (FRANCE) ★★★★★

“My album of the year so far. Cleverly written and played, but also beautiful, musical and although “classically” inflected in places, definitely jazz: distinctly modern but with mainstream and lyrical roots. This third outing by London-based double bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado confirms a new and substantial British ensemble composing voice, joining the tradition of Kenny Wheeler, Mike Gibbs and Issie Barratt.”
Chris Kilsby, Bebop Spoken Here (UK)

“The writing, the playing and the recording are of such high quality that once you’ve put the record on, you need a very good reason to take it off. This is modern jazz with a powerful imagination and a sense of variety that never compromises its integrity. It’s a music with roots in hard bop but a strong commitment to melody.”
Richard Williams, Blue Moment (UK)

“The band of former fellow students, with whom he is now presenting his third album, has been in existence for four years – a sextet that often sounds larger due to the skilled use of three wind instruments.”
Berthold Klostermann, Fono Forum (GERMANY) ★★★★★ (music) / ★★★★ ½ (sound)

“Wallow [yourselves] in the harmony of the solos of trumpeter James Davison, alto saxophonist Matthew Herd, tenor saxophonist Sam Rapley or pianist and Hammond organist Liam Dunachie, the immensely imaginative interplay of Misha Mullov-Abbado, Dunachie and the enjoyable drummer Scott Chapman’s rhythm section with the horn section and enjoy the Dream Circus a second, third, fourth or fifth time.”
Werner Stiefele, Rondo Magazine (GERMANY) ★★★★

“The new generation of British jazz is storming into the spotlight… [Mullov-Abbado] has an elegant and agile style… His music has the hymn urgency that characterized McCoy Tuner’s records in the 1970s… The three wind instruments melt together again and again to form their own sound in an impressive way. Although Mullov-Abbado – who wrote all the material himself – enjoys complex rhythms, his music never gets hectic.”
Rolf Thomas, Jazzthing Magazine (GERMANY)

“Definitely one of the most important messengers in the new great British jazz generation. With music that brings along the best of the acoustic 60s language and moves it into our time in a very life-affirming way – with plenty of dynamism and personality, Misha Mullov-Abbado confirms that he can become one of the truly great within this genre in the future.”
Tor Hammerø, Nettavisen (NORWAY)

“Last week I found Misha Mullov-Abbado to be our “album of the week” at NDR Jazz, played music from “Dream Circus” every night on my programme. The response from our listeners was overwhelming – it might have set the record for the year so far!”
Ralf Dorschel, Album Of The Week on NDR Jazz (GERMANY)

“Misha Mullov-Abbado’s compositions are full of surprises and alternating between lively and melancholic. The sparkling joy that the 6-piece radiate is contagious… Sprawling solos create a cool jazz atmosphere, framed by majestic themes…”
Jan Paersch, Kulturnews (GERMANY)

“Certainly one of the most talented bassists to have emerged on the UK jazz scene in many years Misha Mullov-Abbado’s ‘Dream Circus’ is his most convincing and enjoyable album so far”
Stephen Graham, Marlbank (UK)

“Third album by double bassist Misha Mullov-Abbado whose compositions still remain anchored in the tradition but are also just sufficiently surrounded by a touch of modernism and inventiveness that keep it exciting.”
Georges Tonla Briquet, Jazz Halo (BElGIUM)

“Fans of top quality cutting edge playing, and of generally uplifting high quality musical creativity will find much to delight them here.”
Eddie Myer, Jazz Views & Sussex Jazz Magazine (UK)

“Absolutely brim-full of musical and personal vivacity. His albums seem to me to have become increasingly refreshing, new and exciting with just the right measure of ‘cheekiness’. Brilliant.”
Martin David Powell, BCB Radio Bradford, Jazz Scene (UK)

“The sextet’s music is saturated with an exciting mixture of expressiveness and impression… The musicians did not disappoint. We are in for a treat with free jazz breakdowns and a captivating ride straight ahead with solo eruptions. That’s what I call a masterpiece, gentlemen!”
Jan Hocek, His Voice (CZECHIA)

“For all its exhilarating improv breakouts, this is contemporary jazz with a very firm hand on its tiller, but it’s beautifully done.”
John Fordham, Jazzwise (UK) ★★★★

“The tunes themselves are excellent, but are lifted up another notch by inventive scoring for the ensembles.”
Barry Witherden, BBC Music Magazine (UK)

“As superb as his previous album Cross Platform-Interchange is, the new one is maybe even better.”
Ron Schepper, Textura (CANADA)

“Dream Circus” out soon | New isolation E.P. with Patchwork Jazz Orchestra

Thanks to all that have enjoyed the two singles from Dream Circus – “The Infamous Grouse” and “Little Vision”. The full album will be out on Friday 12th June (just over two weeks away for those of you who, like me, have no idea where we are in the year anymore). If you haven’t yet you can pre-order the album HERE, and in the meantime the two singles are out now on Spotify and Apple Music.

In other news when the whole world pressed pause about 2 months ago those of us in the Patchwork Jazz Orchestra decided to make a lockdown E.P. recording all our parts from home. We released the E.P. last week and it sounds fantastic! It includes a mixture of older compositions and arrangements and some newer pieces that have made it into our pad since our first album release but before the lockdown. The whole album was mixed by the incredible John Prestage, who did such an amazing job considering we each had our own individual mic setup. You can listen to and download the album HERE, and in the meantime here is a video of my now-ancient composition “New Ansonia” that I made last week. The same song was the title track of my own debut album five years ago and I am very happy to have finally had the song’s original big band version recorded after writing it almost seven years ago…

“Dream Circus” out 12th June 2020

In these most strange and unexpected times I am pleased to announce that in the midst of all the cancellations and postponements of live performances around the world my third album as a bassist and a bandleader “Dream Circus” will be released on Friday 12th June on Edition Records.

The album contains nine compositions that I wrote over the last three years which were recorded at The Village studio in Copenhagen last September. It was recorded and mixed by August Wanngren, produced by renowned bassist and fellow Edition Records band leader Jasper Høiby, and features my usual partners-in-crime from over the years, the incredible James Davison, Matthew Herd, Sam Rapley, Liam Dunachie and Scott Chapman.

I am so excited for you all to hear this album. You can now pre-order the album via the bandcamp page, where you can also preview one of the tracks “The Infamous Grouse”.

New decade and two new albums

Happy New Year to you all! Apologies for such a big gap since my last update on here. As you might be able to imagine the events mentioned on the previous update took over the last few months in quite a big way. I am most pleased that my cello concerto Evolving Spring was premiered beautifully by Matthew Barley, the BBC Concert Orchestra and Michael Seal at the Queen Elizabeth Hall last November as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. This occasion marked the end of my two years as a BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist and I am now back to being a regular freelance jazz musician again.

On the same day that I submitted the first draft of the concerto back in September I packed my bass into a flight case bigger than me and flew to Copenhagen with my band to record my third studio album. We recorded 9 pieces that I’d brought to the band over the past three years and I’ve never been more excited to release an album than with this one. I was very lucky to have my old bass teacher Jasper Høiby producing and offering many thoughts and suggestions along the way, which totally transformed the energy of the band and the album. A massive thank you also to August Wanngren for engineering so faultlessly and mixing the album to such a high standard, and of course to the guys in the band without whom I would be nowhere – Jim, Matthew, Sam, Liam and Scott.

Outside Riverhouse        Riverhouse Barn Playing

The album has now been mastered and I have a few days left to decide on the title, so watch this space! The album launch gig will be on Weds 3rd June at Pizza Express on Dean Street in London (tickets aren’t yet available but save the date nevertheless) and then the official release with Edition Records will be Fri 12th June. I am also currently preparing for a recording happening in less than a week with my mother Viktoria Mullova – we will be recording our duo programme Music We Love for an album to be released later this year, containing a wide range of classical, jazz and original music.

In the meantime you can visit the gigs page to check out when I’m next playing. My band’s next show is at The Conduit in London on Sat 18th Januarymake sure to book tickets now as there are a limited number…

(photo of the BBC Concert Orchestra premiere by Ian Gillett; photo of my band from The Village Studio in Copenhagen by Liv Anastasia)

BBC Concert Orchestra commission and Album No. 3 recording

This summer has been full of lots of exciting things, including performances with my band, with my mother-and-son duo with Viktoria Mullova, ZiroBop and the folk singer Sam Lee‘s amazing new group. Amongst all the traveling and nearly missing early-morning flights I have also spent many many hours buried at home in London desperately trying to finish writing and orchestrating my new Cello Concerto before the fast-approaching deadline of 10th September which is next week.

This project, which is jazz-inspired and features lots of improvisation, is a commission from Radio 3 and the piece is being written for the BBC Concert Orchestra and (just to add to the family connections this year) my step-father Matthew Barley who is one of the best cellists around and also bridges the classical and improvising worlds very beautifully. The world première of the concerto will take place on Saturday 23rd November at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, and is part of this year’s EFG London Jazz Festival!

Outside Riverhouse        Riverhouse Barn Playing

I have almost finished writing the piece – the first deadline for submitting parts for the initial workshop with the orchestra is next week – the same day I fly to Copenhagen to record my third album as a bandleader for Edition Records! I am really looking forward to finally recording a lot of the music we have been playing for 2-3 years now.

Third album to be released on Edition Records next year!

I am very happy to announce that I am extending my contract with Edition Records to release my third album in 2020, which I will be recording this September! My ever-fantastic band (Scott Chapman, Sam Rapley, Liam Dunachie, Matthew Herd & James Davison) will be joining me at The Village Studio (Copenhagen), and I am especially pleased to have the incredible Jasper Høiby producing, who is one of my all-time double bass heroes and was my teacher at college a few years back. Since my last record was released two years ago the band has gone from strength to strength performing at festivals up and down the UK and abroad. Over that time I have written lots of new music for the band and I am extremely pleased to be working with Edition Records once again for this new album.

New Radio 3 Broadcast

A concert I recently played with my band at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival was broadcasted on BBC Radio 3 two days ago. Have a listen! It features all my own compositions – some old that features on my albums, and some new ones that are yet to be recorded properly (including one brand new piece that had never been played before). So far this year the gigs with my band have been getting scarily good and so much fun – we seem to be getting a bigger audience each time we play and I am so grateful to James, Matthew, Sam, Liam and Scott for all the time, effort and great vibes.

Also on the programme is my mum Viktoria Mullova and I playing my arrangement of one of the movements from J.S. Bach’s 1st Violin Sonata – this is one of the pieces we play in our new duo programme that is soon to be performing all over Europe…

Click here to listen to the programme

I have also had the pleasure of co-producing and playing on 4 albums that have come out this year so far. The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes by the Patchwork Jazz Orchestra was finally released in March, over a year after we recorded it at Air Studios, featuring 8 compositions by members of the band – one of which is my own and one of which I helped arrange. It’s A Boonie! is a wonderfully entertaining and top-quality album of songs for babies, all written and sung by the great virtuoso guitarist Rainer Scheurenbrand and with all the instrumental arrangements done by me. Odoyá is a collection of songs dedicated to the Orixás, mostly by the Brazilian group Os Tincoãs who were active in the 60s and 70s. The songs are sung by my friend Raja with the engineering and mixing by my old partner-in-crime Duncan Bridgeman and once again with my instrumental arrangements. And finally Sete Cores (Seven Colours) is the debut album by my partner Julia Gelpke – these seven beautiful songs are also dedicated to the Orixás and feature my first ever attempt at engineering and mixing an album. My trumpet-wielding friend James Davison happens to be playing on all of these creations, and various members of my band and my family are featured on most of these – the main reason why each of these albums has been an utter joy to be involved in. Enjoy!

Band back on the road March 2019!

After a brief period of working on some big recording projects (more about that later…) I am returning to performing regularly with my band again this year. In March alone we have six gigs, and we hope to see you at one of these!

Fri 1st, 1:00 pm
Royal Festival Hall Foyer, London (free entry!)

Tue 5th, 7:30 pm
Herts Jazz Club, St Alban’s

Fri 8th, 8:00 pm
Goring Jazz Club, Goring-on-Thames

Sat 9th, 9:30 pm
Clare Jazz, Cambridge

Sat 16th, 8:00 pm
Ryedale Festival, York

Sun 17th, 7:30 pm
Omnibus Theatre, London