When the young British trumpeter, composer and bandleader, Laura Jurd, released her debut album “Landing Ground” in 2012 on the label Chaos Collective, it was as if the Harry Potter crew, led by Hermione, had put together a little wizard’s jazz quartet to create an alternative soundtrack to the Potter franchise. More influenced by Ligeti, the avant garde and uplifting contemporary jazz with a groove, with just a smattering of John Williams’s Potter soundtracks, their unusual take on jazz was formed.
Their second release on Chaos Collective, “Human Spirit” (2015) added more musicians with vocals and vocalized theatrics, and they opened up to influences of Olde English folk and progressive rock.
For their third release, “Together as One,” (2016) the Laura Jurd Quartet has now renamed itself as Dinosaur, and they’ve switched to the British label, Edition Records. At this point, they’ve also evolved or matured to an even more intriguing and nuanced jazz with influences from rhythmic world music, rock and folk, and a more noticeable Miles influence, circa “In a Silent Way” (1969). As innovators, they’re also approaching the most adventurous British alternative jazz marvels, these days, Polar Bear.
In the meantime, Jurd has picked up the 2015 Parliamentary Jazz Award for “Instrumentalist of the Year”, the BBC New Generation Artist award for 2015-2017, and she has been shortlisted for a BASCA British Composer Award. Jurd also now plays synthesizer, and together with her impressive, original core ensemble, including keyboardist Elliot Galvin, electric bassist Conor Chaplin, and drummer Corrie Dick, the youthful magic of this unique concoction is just beginning to really brew.
With the exception of a sole, upcoming gig on the continent, in Prague, Dinosaur (formerly the Laura Jurd Quartet) is mainly playing the UK through to the end of this month.
Dinosaur on Tour
Wednesday, January 25th—Festival Spectaculare, Prague, Czech Republic – Tickets:
Thursday, January 26th—Bonnington, Nottingham, England
Friday, January 27th—Club 85, Hitchin, England
Monday, January 30th—Jazz in the Round, London
Thursday, February 2nd—Celtic Connections, Glasgow, Scotland
Images and YT Video: Laura Jurd & Dave Stapleton