John Martin Quartet "Dawning"


John Martin - tenor and soprano sax, Tim Fairhall - double bass, Andy Ball - drums,  Jonjo Grisdale - piano.

Press Release

'Dawning’ is the debut album from the John Martin Quartet and reveals a young saxophonist/composer with a warm and engaging voice. The eight original tracks (all by Martin) that make up the album have a strong sense of melody with thoughtful interplay between the composed elements and the supple improvisations of the Quartet.

After studying composition with Nikki Iles and Eddie Parker at Middlesex University, John Martin went on to play as a sideman in many bands on both the jazz and world music scenes. During this time he worked hard on developing his own sound, studying the masters of the music and immersing himself in the rich cultural diversity that the many different London music scenes have to offer.

‘Dawning’ represents the starting point of a journey full of promise. It has been recorded beautifully at Artesuono studio in Italy, and is characterized by a warm and open sound, and a certain emotional directness (which is nonetheless far from naïve). Martin’s uncluttered improvisations and the dynamic structures created by the band respond to a wide range of inspiration, from English jazz and folk and the ECM sound to Wayne Shorter and the downtown New York scene. The artwork was painted from the music by Jon Braley, who was a finalist in 2010 for the prestigious John Moores painting prize.


“ A lovely album”  Kenny Wheeler

“One of 2011’s most pleasing new discoveries…a remarkably mature and assured statement from such a young musician… If he can maintain these standards he is surely destined to become a major figure on the UK jazz scene” Ian Mann The Jazz Mann

“the lyrical sway of Andy Sheppard, the atmospherics of Jan Garbarek, the pensiveness of Kenny Wheeler and the country-chime of early Keith Jarrett…. this quartet are players of real promise” John Fordham, The Guardain

“Dawning introduces an engaging young saxophonist.. with a soulfulness which seems to have been surgically removed from many young Jazz Studies alumni” Chris May, all about jazz

“Dawning is one of the most fascinating and beautiful releases of the year so far, and it's a quite stunning debut effort for such a young group of musicians.” Rainlore’s World of Music

“This is an honest, cohesive and sophisticated release - a band to listen out for in 2011 and a credit to the F-ire  collective "Iain Ballamy

“Engaging debut from the Wheeler and Ballamy-backed saxophonistKenny Mathieson The List

“Martin's is an affecting, attractively fragile approach… which imparts considerable warmth and emotion” Chris Parker, London jazz

“Like Adam Waldmann’s Kairos 4tet, John Martin’s band play with a great deal of melody in mind, and a narrative flow to their improvisations, as well as strong group cohesion.” Peter Bacon jazz Breakfast

Buy The Album

Physical copies of the album are available direct through my website shop but also most of the main online music stores like Amazon and iTunes