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Glasgow pianist tops chart with title track from new album

Fergus McCreadie has scored an early hit with his trio’s second album more than a month before it is officially released.

Glasgow-based pianist Fergus McCreadie has scored an early hit with his trio’s second album more than a month before it is officially released.

A video featuring the album’s title track, Cairn has reached No 1 in the influential Amazon Fresh Jazz playlist ahead of the popular Canadian singer Laila Biali and Miami-based jazz-electronica duo Twyn.

The playlist is compiled by Amazon’s music experts and has previously been topped by artists including the triple Grammy-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis and the Grammy-nominated New Orleans hip-hop jazz and funk team, the Hot 8 Brass Band.

“It’s amazing news,” says McCreadie, whose debut album, Turas won both the UK’s leading jazz prize, the Parliamentary Jazz Awards Album of the Year, and Best Album at the Scottish Jazz Awards in 2019. Turas also reached the Scottish Album of the Year shortlist, a rare feat for a jazz release.

“When we recorded the new album back in January, I felt it was a progression from the first one. It felt more mature. We’d been touring a lot and I thought that showed in the way we worked more closely together. 

“There was just that slight worry that, because Turas was so well received, people might listen to the new one and say it wasn’t as good. But the response so far has been really, really positive.”

Respected observers including Jez Nelson of Jazz FM, who was appointed MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours this year, have already tipped Cairn to be one of the most significant UK jazz releases of 2021. 

Fergus McCreadie and band.
Fergus McCreadie and band.

The album is also McCreadie’s first recording for the top European label Edition, having self-released Turas while still a student on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

McCreadie, who added the Best Instrumentalist title at the Scottish Jazz Awards in October this year to his haul of awards, graduated in 2018 and hit the ground running as a full-time professional musician. 

In quick succession his trio, with David Bowden (bass) and Stephen Henderson (drums), appeared at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Oslo and Stockholm jazz festivals, toured northern Europe and played a headlining slot at the world’s leading jazz club, Ronnie Scott’s Piano Trio Festival.

When we recorded the new album back in January, I felt it was a progression from the first one. It felt more mature. We’d been touring a lot and I thought that showed in the way we worked more closely together

Fergus McCReadie

“Everything was going well until the first lockdown caused live music to stop,” he says. 

“We were booked to play at Rochester Jazz Festival in New York and at the massive Love Supreme festival in the south of England but we’ll just have to hope these can be rearranged. We’ve already recorded a video for Celtic Connections, which is going online in January. 

“It’s fantastic to be part of an event like that and with the new album due on January 29, it would be good to think we can pick up the momentum we created before the pandemic.” 

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