Quercus featuring June Tabor
Three unique musicians converge to create an evocative mixture of words and music, encompassing jazz, folk and traditional songs in contemporary settings. Saxophonist Iain Ballamy and pianist Huw Warren have international reputations both as composers and performers; June Tabor is quite simply one of today's most commanding and distinctive interpreters of song.
★★★★★ "...taking songs that have stood the test of time…and stripping them back to their essential truth" The Irish Times
Quercus, the trio in which Warren and Ballamy shape new contexts for the dark and moving voice of June Tabor, made a major impact with its ECM debut album, issued in 2013. The recording won the German Record Critics’ Prize as Album of the Year and the international press recognized what the UK folk world has known for many years; that nobody gets inside the meaning of a song in the way that June Tabor does, illuminating a lyric and exploring a tune’s emotional atmosphere.
“The folk singer June Tabor has been a marvel of English music since the 1960s, and Huw Warren and Iain Ballamy only enhance her clarity, stillness and deep but fragile sound,” wrote The Guardian’s John Fordham of the trio’s debut album. “Nobody plays a note too many or expresses a false emotion. It’s a unique tribute to the power of song.”
“Clarity, stillness and a deep but fragile sound. Nobody plays a note too many or expresses a false emotion. It’s a unique tribute to the power of song.” The Guardian
“June Tabor is the dark-voiced queen of folk, Iain Ballamy and Huw Warren are adventurous improvisers. But the fusion is magical...” The Times
As melodic counterpart to Tabor, saxophonist Iain Ballamy is an ideal partner. In a sense, he is a second singer in Quercus.
Pianist Huw Warren, whose rare combination of originality and understatement has been appreciated by many singers, has been arranger-accompanist for Tabor for nearly three decades. Concurrently, he has been active across a broad span of genres, as composer, jazz improviser and educator, and has worked with musicians from the Scottish Chamber Orchestra to Kenny Wheeler.