Award-winning pianist launches new album at iconic venues

Award-winning Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie will launch his third album, Forest Floor with concerts at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh, on Friday, 8 April, and Ronnie Scott’s in London.

The launch will take place on Tuesday, 19 April, when McCreadie and his trio, with David Bowden (bass) and Stephen Henderson (drums), will then feature in a prestigious showcase concert at the international trade fair Jazzahead in Bremen and play dates across Scotland and England.

Following on from Fergus’s self-released debut, Turas, which won Album of the Year at both the Parliamentary Jazz Awards and the Scottish Jazz Awards, and its similarly well-received successor, Cairn, the new album is released on leading European label Edition Records.

Fergus’s music reflects the influences of Scotland’s landscape and musical traditions and has won praise from reviewers and radio presenters across North America, Europe and Australia as well as in the UK.

He grew up in Dollar in Clackmannanshire, which is celebrated in the track Law Hill on the new album, and he studied on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s jazz course, graduating with honours in 2018. In addition to winning the Album of the Year title for Turas, McCreadie himself has twice won the Best Instrumentalist prize at the Scottish Jazz Awards, in 2018 and 2020

Although he has appeared on the Queen’s Hall and Ronnie Scott’s stages before, launching Forest Floor at two venues that are considered the spiritual homes of jazz, in Scotland and London respectively, is a huge honour for the twenty-four-year-old.

Fergus said: ‘The Queen’s Hall is iconic and its piano legacy is amazing.’

The Edinburgh venue has been staging top international jazz attractions for more than 40 years. These include American jazz piano legends McCoy Tyner and Chick Corea and Jamaican calypso jazz creator Monty Alexander, who was an early admirer of Fergus’s blending of jazz tradition with his Scottish roots.

Ronnie Scott’s has hosted almost every major jazz musician since it was opened by the late saxophonist whose name it bears in 1959.

Fergus McCreadie and his musical colleagues

Fergus added: ‘You’re always aware of its history as soon as you step into the club. Just walking onto the stage, you can’t help thinking of the footsteps you’re following in. It can be a little intimidating but also inspiring and to launch an album at both Ronnie’s and the Queen’s Hall is quite a thrill.’

Forest Floor was recorded in the same studio as both of its predecessors, Quietmoney in Hastings, a location that clearly suits the trio and allows them to relax and be creative. The trio will make their debut at one of Europe’s biggest jazz events, the Love Supreme festival in Sussex on 1 July.

He added: ‘With this recording, it’s the same studio, same piano and same musicians as before.

‘But I feel the sound we have as a trio has become more developed and rounded somehow. This album has its own journey, its own destination. As we perform this more and more, the music will change and our approach to it will adapt with it. That’s the beauty of this music. It’s all about evolution, not standing still, but listening and adapting with it.’

Tour dates are –

April 8: Queens Hall, Edinburgh; April 19: Ronnie Scott’s, London; April 22: West Kilbride Village Hall; April 23: Perth Theatre; April 29: Jazzahead! Bremen, Germany; May 6: An Tobar, Tobermory; May 13: Nairn Community & Arts Centre; May 15: Merchants House, Glasgow; May 26: Bonington Theatre, Nottingham; May 27: The Witham, Barnard Castle; May 28: St Margaret’s, Braemar; May 29: Jazz Stroud; June 26: Lemon Tree, Aberdeen; July 1: Love Supreme, Glynde Place.