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The Chris Conway Band - Breathtaking
Chris Conway Band - Breathtaking

Chris Conway -
piano, keyboards, electric & acoustic 9 string guitars, bamboo flute, tin whistle, voice, kalimba
Neil Segrott - bass, electric guitars
John Runcie - drums, percussion
Andy Nicholls - tenor saxophone - 1,3,6,7,9,12,13
Mary Browne - voice - 14.

Carmen Miranda
You'll Never Know
If Only
Breather I - I Care
Golden Steps
Cry For the Mountains
Breather II - The Lonely Road
The Long Winter
The End Of The World
Think Blue, Count Two
Breather III - Count Me In
Tone Poem
Flying Home
Breather IV - Lights Out

Chris Conway Quartet

Instrumental modern jazz, with ambient and world music touches.
A compilation of 3 of Chris Conway's jazz trio/quartet albums. Stunning jazz piano playing and compositions, Latin, atmospheric ECM stylings, world music and straight ahead jazz blend to make a great album.

"has barely been off my car stereo all week...has a place in all discerning collections"
- The Week

This was a compilation from 2 albums made with trio, then known as Happy Landings, and 1 with quartet adding sax player Andy Nicholls.

The Happy Landings releases were very much ECM inspired whereas the quartet leaned more towards a mainstream jazz sound.

It was quite a job selecting the tracks. What to include, what to leave off, and how long it should be. In the end CC decided to include as much as possible as a document on this era with the bands.

Charles Lloyd, Bobo Stenson, Rainer Bruninghaus, Steve Kuhn, Terje Rypdal, Flora Purim, Okay Temiz, Markus Stockhausen, Jiri Stivin, Alexei Kozlov.

Breathtaking is a compilation comprising...
2 tracks from Chris Conway's Happy Landings album Sky High.
3 from Think Blue Count Two.
10 tracks from the Chris Conway Quartet album Who Cares?
These albums have now all been remastered and re-released in their entirety.

The cover art (not including the writing) is a painting by Chris's mother - the painting hangs in Chris's studio.

The 4 solo "Breather" interlude tracks were designed as aural breaks to refresh the ears along the way.

The End of The World became a jazz song.

The Long Winter was also recorded by The Rain Garden on their Practical Candle Magic album

Chris is a big Carmen Miranda fan, hence the title of the opening track.

CC's fave track -You'll Never Know


Jazz Rag

Chris Conway
Chris Conway's notes suggest Conway, Michigan-born and UK-based multi-instrumentalist (here mainly piano/keyboards), has his quartet improvise some 30 seconds of music each to give the audience a "breather" .

In fact, you hardly need to catch your breath from such atmospheric meditations as Golden Steps (otherworldly) sounds and a simple open-spaces guitar line from Neil Segrott) or Cry For The Mountains (haunting sax and guitar).

For all that the "breathers" are attractive vignettes, notably Andy Nicholls' tenor solo which conjures up the Steppes or some- where such, complete with drone effect.

It's easy to find yourself commenting on Chris Conway's music in such terms of imagined places or events
. After all he does the same thing: "jazz on a space station" "post-apocalyptic love song",' "environmental feel for a folk' tour of Germany".

One of the most inventive tracks, The Long Winter draws on Turkish and Balkan music to great effect, with drummer John Runcie switching to assorted percussion and Chris soloing on bamboo flute.

Despite the wide range and occasional exotic instrumentation, Breathtaking is accessible and tuneful, with more than a nod in the direction of jazz in songs like the ballad, Dodo, a Conway original like most tracks, or Andy Nicholls' If Only.
Ron Simpson


The Week
"He's so good he gives us a headache!" Leicester's Chris Conway may well be the gardest working man in show business. An acomplished jazz pianist, he is equally known in world music and folk/roots circles - which gives us a headache at The Week trying to work out what column to put him in.

Well this week he's in the jazz column - and quite right too, for he has released a CD with his Jazz gorup which has barely been off my car stereo all week.

Breathtaking Zah Zah CD 9811 is a compllation of Chris's jazz music which quite frankly has a place in all discerning collections. It's a lovely collection of mainstream/modern tunes which showcase Chris's keyboard talents to the full, and give plenty of space to the gorgeous tenor stylings of Andy Nicholls. You should be able to buy this in all good record stores and via the Zah Zah order page

Hybrid Magazine
How Chris Conway finds the time/energy to have so many of his own projects on the go like, simultaneously will always remain one of life’s mysteries. Spookeroosville. It's rumoured he can get a tune out of just about anything, but his true forte is piano (dig?) and nowhere more so than in the swingin' world of jazz. Nice.

"Breathtaking" is a collectable of mainly Conway-penned tunes, executed in plush turquoise lougelizard style by his Leicester-freebased 4-piece ensemblance incorporating bassmeister supreme, Neil Segrott, saxmachine Andy Nicholls and percussionist John Runcie. Groovy.

This is an easy album to estimate, so consummate and easy-on-the-ear are the improvised compositions. There is a real diversity within the allover mellowness - influences from Latin, film-score, and general "world" music. It seems to be kind of ubiquitous, in an available everywheres-ville way - the USA, Japan and UK shops, Internet shops such as Amazon, and CD Now; hey, Virtual baby!
Jim Harwood


Jazz Journal
Although born in Michigan USA, Chris Conway is now mainly resident in Britian and is known best for multi-instrumental work with the world-music group Jazz Orient/Re-Orient.

On this album, he concentrates on jazz piano, his lyrical, light-fingered, usually breezy approach dominating every track. Nicholls delivers some workmanlike tenor solos, notably on Cry For The Mountains and Dodo, while the rhythm section are subtle and unobtrusive throughout.

Highlight of the set is the funky, sprightly Tone Poem, the Charles Lloyd war-horse which gets a thorough shaking sown here. The style is undemonstrative jazz-fusion, with a certain New Age lightness in places, which makes for a pleasant listen.
Simon Adams

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The Chris Conway Band - Breathtaking


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Chris Conway Quartet CD Who Cares?

Who Cares?

Chris Conway's Happy Landings Think Blue Count Two
Think Blue, Count Two

Sky High

..... Chris Conway - Breathtaking CD