Manchester Jazz GoGo Penguin Newest Jazz Band in the Rise

By Thomas Swan on Feb 15, 2016 01:40 PM EST

Being based out of Portland, Or has its benefits. We have one of the most cutting edge jazz radio stations in the US, KMHD. You may hear a lot of uninteresting sounds but, every so often, comes a new, powerful group of individuals who will not be denied and KMHD were one of the first to get on board the GoGo Penguin band wagon. The three man trio, based out of Manchester, England have drawn comparison to such heady acts as Massive Attack and Brian Eno.

Formed in 2012, GoGo Penguin consists of Chris Illingworth on piano, Nick Blacka on double bass and Rob Turner on drums. Wikipedia describes their sound this way, "They are known for their skittering break-beats, infectious piano melodies, powerful and propulsive basslines,and anthemic riffs. Their music defies the one label categorisation, incorporating elements of electronica, trip-hop, jazz, rock and classical music."

Since the release of their first album Fanfares in 2012, GoGo Penguin have seemed destined for the big time. It was just a matter of how quickly. Reviewing Fanfares for BBC onlines, John Eyles was pretty much in agreement. His review cuts to the chase pretty quickly, "In the increasingly overcrowded field of piano trios, any new arrival must have some eye-catching feature to stand out. That probably explains why a jazz trio comes to be called GoGo Penguin, a name which is not easy to forget. But in fairness to this excellent group, their music would have attracted attention even if they had been called the John Smith Trio."

That reaction has been the sentiment of just about everyone who hears GoGo Penguin. In 2015, the record companies took notice and the band was finally snatched up by a bigger label, Blue Note which is a subsidiary of the Universal Music Group. As well, ten days ago (February 5th), the band released their third album, Man Made Object. How far their innovative sound will take them is anyone's guess. If anything, it hasn't held them back thus far. So, ladies and gentlemen, I give you GoGo Penguin...

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TagsGoGo Penguin, New Jazz, Manchester England, Band on the Rise, Blue Note Records