The Sirkis/Bialas International Quartet is a fresh new collaboration between Israeli UK-resident drummer/composer Asaf Sirkis, known for his work with the Lighthouse trio (ACT), Gilad Atzmon, Tim Garland, Larry Corryel, John Abercrombie, Asaf Sirkis Trio, and Polish vocalist/composer extraordinaire Sylwia Bialas. The quartet features London based, Scottish bassist Kevin Glasgow, and the acclaimed Frank Harrison on piano and keyboards (UK).
With an emphasis on band interaction and sheer joy of playing, this band celebrates music from both collaborators, covering a wide range of influences such as contemporary classical music, Polish folk, South Indian & Middle Eastern musics as well as a wide range of dynamics – from the most delicate ballad all the way to high-energy electric virtuoso lines and everything in between. Expect soulful melodies, aerospheric sounds with strong grooves, a full color electro-acoustic jazz with an ethnic touch and some uncommonly used instruments and sound effects.The quartet`s latest album „Come To Me“ was released 2014 at the London Jazz Festival and the band has been touring in the UK and Europe since.
Recorded in 2014 at Eastcote Studios and launched at the London Jazz Festival of the same year, COME TO ME is the first Sirkis/Bialas IQ album. The album features Sylwia Bialas on vocals and compositions, Asaf SIrkis on drums and compositions, Frank Harrison on piano and keyboards, and Patrick Bettison on bass and harmonica.
The album has been nominated as one of the best albums of 2015 at All About Jazz website by Mark Sullivan as well as receiving some rave reviews! The band is touring at the moment playing mostly materials from this album.
ASAF SIRKIS TRIO
In 2007 the Asaf Sirkis Trio was formed, featuring Greek guitarist Tassos Spiliotopoulos and Scottish bassist Kevin Glasgow.
Asaf explains the concept of the trio in an interview for Jazz UK magazine: ‘I wanted to create a sound where electric guitar and electric bass sound like a single instrument. All the music I wrote for this band came from this approach’.
‘I’ve always been drawn to the trio format. Music for me is about teamwork and communication and there’s something about trios that really delivers this and everybody in the band can really express themselves’ The 2010 album ‘Letting Go’ was created with the idea of simple and effective melodies, a clearer idea of the band’s sound, and with the individual characteristics of the band members in mind. The album received rave reviews and the band toured UK and Europe extensively, developing their individual voice and sound.
Asaf explains in an interview for Jazz Podium (German Jazz Magazine): ‘Letting Go’ represents for me the process of spiritually becoming aware of who I really am and of letting go of beliefs and thought patterns I’ve picked up along the way that do not belong to me. I called it that way because I felt the beginning of this process together with having the first inspiration to make this album’. ‘The Monk’, released in 2008 was created with the vision of a new sound. The band begun rehearsing and playing local gigs around 2007 and after a year of intense work the project was finally recorded.
The name ‘The Monk’ refers to the work of a musician; Asaf explains in an interview to Jazzwise: ‘I find a lot of similarity between the way a monk lives and the Jazz musician. Not that I'm a monk! But for me monk symbolizes great devotion to something that's not material’.
SHEPHERD'S STORIES is the latest Asaf Sirkis Trio album. The album features Greek guitar maestro Tassos Spiliotopoulos and bassist Yaron Stavi plus guests John Turville on keyboards, Gareth Lockrane on flutes and Sylwia Bialas on vocals. Recorded at Eastcote studios in London and released in 2013, this album has made it to be selected as one of the best albums of the year 2013 by both John Kelman and Ian Patterson at All About Jazz website. The band has toured the UK, Europe and the far east extensively.
''Finely crafted and beautifully performed, Sirkis' trio seems to go from strength to strength''.
-Ian Patterson, All About Jazz
LETTING GO is the second Asaf Sirkis Trio's album. It was released in 2011 and featured Tassos Spiliotopoulos on guitar, Yaron Stavi on bass, Asaf Sirkis on drums and special guest Patrick Bettison on harmonica. Letting Go was the most widely toured album of the trio to date.
"The Rock fans really should get to hear this album - it delivers all the sounds and excitement they like but with a lot more Jazz savvy sophistication. And the Jazz fans should hear it as a prime example of music that can be intelligent and enjoyable at the same time".
-Peter Bacon, Jazz Brekfast
THE MONK was the first Asaf Sirkis Trio album and was recorded shortly after the release of Asaf's album 'The Song Within' around 2008. This album marked the beginning of a new era in Asaf's musical approach and the beginning of this new band. The album featured Tassos Spiliotopoulos on guitar, Yaron Stavi on bass, Asaf Sirkis on drums and very special guests, Gary Husband on keyboards and Adriano Adewale on percussion.
“Israeli-born drummer and London resident Asaf Sirkis unleashes with thunderous abandon on this hard-hitting fusion offering that harkens back to a time before the genre became codified, diluted and reduced to a critical joke” .
-Bill Milkowski, Jazz Times (USA)
ASAF SIRKIS & THE INNER NOISE
ASAF SIRKIS - DRUMS, COMPOSITIONS
Inspired by the organ works of Olivier Messiaen, Maurice Durufle and Cesar Franc, Asaf founded The Inner Noise band in Israel in 1997. The original band members where Adi Goldstein on church organ, Amir Perelman on guitar and Asaf on drums. When Asaf moved to London in 1999 he re-formed the band with organist Steve Lodder and guitarist Mike Outram. The band has recorded three albums and performed in the UK and Europe. Both The Inner Noise's line-up and the music is widely considered as ground breaking and the music often described by reviewers as a new genre - 'Gothic Jazz'.
'The Song Within' is the latest Inner Noise album. Recorded in Eastcote studios and at St. Michael's Church (Highgate, London) around 2007 and featured Steve Lodder on Church organ and Mike Outram on guitar, this album was selected as one of the best albums of the year 2007 by John Kelman at All About Jazz website.
"It's a challenge to distinguish oneself these days, but Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise is creating its own niche; an organ-guitar-drums trio like no other. The Song Within continues the precedent set on Inner Noise (Konnex, 2002) with Sirkis' best writing yet for a trio that has its own voice and continues to grow with each successive release"
-John Kelman, All About Jazz
'We Are Falling' was inspired by the poetry and music of Sun Ra. Upon arriving to the UK, Asaf met drummer Clifford Jarvis who played in Sun Ra's Arkestra for many years. It was through this meeting that Asaf had a chance to read the very rare Sun Ra poetry book 'The Immeasurable Equation' in it's original and un-edited form. This has left a strong impression on him and hence the name 'We Are Falling'. The album featured Steve Lodder on organ and Mike Outram on guitar.
We Are Falling is retro-fuelled fusion fun of the best kind, delivered without pretension (despite the track titles) and bursting with energy
-Peter Marsh, BBC Magazine
'Inner Noise' was the first album from this band. Recorded by Philip Bagenal (off Eastcote studios) at St. Michael's Church in Highgate, London around 2002. Although the album received mixed reactions from audiences and critics, it is still considered ground breaking and a one of a kind by many.
Asaf Sirkis & The Inner Noise boldly go where fusion only hesitantly put out the odd foot before, and where prog rock could at best dream of going had it dared to. The music is vibrant, vital, exciting and fresh and even manages to surprise. One of these surprises is its wonderful accessibility and immediacy. "Inner Noise" has to be essential in any modern jazz and modern classical collection at the very least.
-Rich Rainlore, Rainlore's World website
ASAF SIRKIS TRIO (ISRAEL, 1995-1997)
ASAF SIRKIS - DRUMS/COMPOSITIONS
KOBI ARAD - KEYBOARDS/PIANO
GABRIEL MAYER - ELECTRIC BASS
The Asaf Sirkis Trio was founded in 1995 by Asaf while he was living in Tel-Aviv, Israel. This was the first major outlet for Asaf's writing. The band featured Gabriel Mayer on bass - one of the most prolific and creative bassist in Israel with whom Asaf worked with in many different settings during his time in Israel the very talented Kobi Arad on keyboards who is currently an active musician on NYC's music scene. The band toured Israel extensively between 95 to 97.
One Step Closer was was recorded at Levitan Studios in Tel-Aviv in January of 1996.