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Return to Venus – James Curgenven

James Curgenven is a performer and composer based in Yorkshire and the Humberside.

Learning from many different sub-genres of Jazz, Curgenven is particularly interested in the ‘Free Jazz’ sub-genre. Curgenven’s performances are emotionally charged and powerful.

Curgenven’s compositions are about giving musicians the opportunity to talk through music and find their own voice through the medium of guided improvisation.

Return to Venus is Curgenven’s second studio EP, following Hymns for a Crossing Soul. Return to Venus develops on the original ideas of guided improvisation from the previous EP. Hymns for a Crossing Soul fused Arabic harmony with the freedom of free-jazz improvisation.

This time Return to Venus was more focused on the development of the musicians and the way in which they talked to each other through the music. To help with this Curgenven enlisted the help of
James Rushworth, as percussionist, as well as Toby Barrowcliff, a guitarist. The group had never played together before this project.

“The fact that we had never played together before allowed for us to develop together. The improvisations were unexpected and gave rise to emotional or instinctive reactions,” Curgenven explains.

The music is not just an exercise in ‘free-jazz’, the melodies are powerful, the sounds are strong and the improvisations have their own stories. The discussion that happen through the music are robust
and passionate. The influence of John Coltrane is clear in this improvisation, as well as musicians such as Rashied Ali and Archie Shepp.

Curgenven also had the support of Dan Johns as a producer, who he has worked with on his past two EPs. Johns has approached the project with passion, fire and determination to help the music shine and show its true colours.

Track List:

  1. Dissension
  2. Transcension
  3. Suspension
  4. Transcension (Alternate Take)
  5. Suspension (Alternate Take)
    “We loved it – it sounded wonderful …” – Alan Raw (BBC Radio Humberside).
    “The incredible music of James Curgenven,” – Alan Raw (BBC Radio Humberside).


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