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ISQ

Wednesday 4 December 2019 8.30pm Churston Golf Club

ISQ are a critically-acclaimed post-jazz/alternative quartet from London described as “EST with vocals”.

This crossover jazz outfit take the conventional jazz line-up as a mere starting point, embracing “the song” as an improvisational framework to move into different – sometimes unexpected – sonic directions and moods.  The use of space and dynamics along with the vocalist’s evocative lyrics, weave stories of a rare intensity. After two critically-acclaimed brave and original albums, ISQ have just finished recording their third album ‘Requiem For The Faithful’ released in autumn 2019 to coincide with their UK-tour.

ISQ features the charismatic Danish-Sicilian vocalist Irene Serra (Wynton Marsalis, Norma Winstone, US3) whose strong stage presence and a compelling vocal tone is used to great effect on their original songs, Richard Sadler on double bass (founding member of the Neil Cowley Trio), Naadia Sheriff on piano (Yazz Ahmed, Hermeto Pascoal) and Chris Nickolls on drums (Andy Sheppard, Jean Touissant).

Modern jazz musicians often have indie rock influences in their playing. Jazz singers less so. Italian vocalist Irene Serra fronts ISQ: she’s paid her dues singing bebop and Latin music, studying jazz in London, and working her way to the finals at the Shure Montreux Jazz Competition. She sings her confessional lyrics with a jazz musicality and a kind of rock attitude and intensity, which draws you into the complex songs from their new album Requiem for the Faithful. 

It is in a live setting that these musicians really show their jazz roots, expanding the framework of the songs in their own inimitable style whilst relishing in musical spontaneity and interplay.

A couple of years on from its debut, ISQ is perfecting its craft, becoming one of the most recognisable bands on the scene’ – All About Jazz ‘Serra’s lyrics aren’t just the usual “Moon in June” stuff, there’s a real intelligence and poetic sense and a highly personalised world vision.’ – Ian Mann (The Jazzmann)
“…ISQ are a melting pot of genres – jazz, pop, acoustic and experimental – which all blend together to entrancing effect…” – Time Out London Critics Choice
“…Their arrangements draw on jazz, rock and electronic music, using t he skills of the band’s individuals to the full, in music which is uniquely theirs…” – London Jazz “… a refreshingly individual singer…” – The Jazz Mann

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