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The album includes seven Travis originals which feature his strong melodies, varied compositional colours and imaginative arrangements. The music is atmospheric, contemporary, progressive and texturally rich. Travis's pieces vary in style from the McCoy Tyner-flavoured 5/4 swing of All I Know to the passion of Barking Dogs and Caravans. Several of the tracks are very spacious, such as the atmospheric arrangement of Here's That Rainy Day, the stately Northern Lights and the haunting Last Flight From Twinwood. The album finishes with a 16.41 minute epic called Bass Rock, inspired by the remote and uninhabited island of the same name.
Heart of the Sun features Danish trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg - known for his landmark collaboration with Miles Davis Aura as well as work with Dexter Gordon (including the Round Midnight film), George Russell, Bill Evans and his ECM recordings with Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal. As Palle Mikkelborg rarely agrees to contribute to or collaborate on other projects, his participation in this project is a strong endorsement of Travis' increasingly personal style and his identifiable musical vision.
The album also features David Gordon, Andy Hamill and Marc Parnell - with whom Theo recorded his successful Passion Dance - Live at Ronnie's CD of 1999 (Jazz House) and has toured for several years. Other guests include guitarist Mark Wood (Nucleus/Dudu Pukwana/Michael Giles), Gong front man Daevid Allen on glissando guitar (a free-form of slide guitar pioneered by Syd Barrett in the mid-1960s and subsequently made famous by Allen and others), and the superb German rhythm section of Stefan Weeke and Bjorn Lucker from the ACT signed band Triocolor and who toured with Travis in June 2000 with The Berlin Vibe band.
1. All I Know
2, Northern Lights
3. Fast Life
4. Barking Dogs and Caravans
5. Here's That Rainy Day
6. That Old Smile
7. Last Flight From Twinwood
8. Bass Rock
Produced by Theo Travis, co-produced and mixed by Steven Wilson.
features Palle Mikkelborg
Theo Travis is one of the biggest names on the British Jazz scene. He tours constantly in the UK and is regularly heard on Jazz FM and BBC Radio. The Theo Travis Quartet has played seven separate weeks at Ronnie Scott's club, London, and recorded two BBC broadcasts. They performed two shows at the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Israel in August 2000, which were broadcast on national TV and radio.
Theo Travis is active in an eclectic range of music. In 1999 he became a member of Daevid Allen's Gong as featured soloist and has since toured with them in Japan, Scandinavia, Europe, the UK and America including a sold out show at New York's Knitting Factory. He also co-wrote most of the group's album Zero to Infinity released in Feb 2000 and subsequently produced their live album Live to Infinitea, released in October 2000. Travis has also recently been recording and touring with experimental singer songwriter Anja Garbarek (daughter of Jan). This has included a broadcast on Radio 3's Mixing It (June 2001), and appearances at the Nice, Molde, and Bergen International Jazz Festivals. Theo Travis runs (with bassist
Dave Sturt) an experimental ambient/electronica band Cipher with whom he has written and performed ambient soundtracks to Hitchcock silent films and recorded the acclaimed album No Ordinary Man. In 2000 he formed the Berlin Vibe, an Anglo-German quartet with Roger Beaujolais (vibes) which toured the UK and has just recorded its debut CD, to be released shortly. He has also composed two scores for the Besht Tellers storytheatre company and toured with them in 1997 and 1999.
In October 1998 the Theo Travis quartet undertook a 13-date tour of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, visiting five remote Scottish Islands including the first ever jazz gig on the tiny island of Iona. In 1997 Travis formed the cutting edge free improvising trio Marshall Travis Wood with internationally respected drummer John Marshall and left-field guitarist Mark Wood. The trio recorded an album Bodywork which has received rave reviews in journals across the UK, France, Germany and the USA. Travis has appeared on a one-hour interview on New York radio station WKCR-FM and been featured on three radio stations in Boston, USA.
Theo Travis received a degree (with honours) in music from the University of Manchester. Described as "One of the very best young tenor players of this or any jazz generation in Britain" (Digby Fairweather, Radio 2), for his second album View from the Edge, 33 Records was awarded an Arts Council of England grant in recognition of Theo's compositional skill and growing stature on the British scene. The album was subsequently voted Best British Jazz CD of 1994 by the Jazz on CD Critics/Readers poll. Travis's composition Lulworth Night from his third album Secret Island CD was on the Jazz FM playlist for three years. Theo has also worked with Tony Coe, John Etheridge, Mervyn Africa, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Mick Karn, Porcupine Tree, Steve Lodder and the late Slim Gaillard. He has also guested on over 30 albums.