CD Review ‘Future Pop’ – The List, March 2010

04th Apr 2010

Leah Gough-Cooper’s Human Equivalent – Future Pop

Dumfries-born, Boston-based saxophonist Leah Gough-Cooper’s debut album shares three musicians with drummer Patrick Kunka’s album (reviewed a couple of issues back), and merits equally high praise. While certainly accessible, Gough-Cooper’s intelligently crafted music is way too intense to be a credible future pop, nice though that notion is, but open-minded rock/pop/funk/dance fans may well connect with what is going on here.

The saxophonist’s fluent and inventive work on alto and soprano is supported by responsive and focused ensemble playing and strong soloing from the band, featuring Kunka and pianist Alan Benzie (prominent on Fender Rhodes and electric keyboards as well as piano) alongside guitarist Serghio Jansen and bassist Martin Nessi. George Garzone, a leading figure in the Berklee College faculty, is a special guest on tenor saxophone on ‘Night Surf’.

Kenny Mathieson – The List, 29 March 2010.

CD Review ‘The Edge’ – Jazzwise Magazine, Issue 139, March 2010

01st Mar 2010

Patrick Kunka, ‘The Edge’, ShredAhead SA001 (three stars)
Patrick Kunka (d), Leah Gough-Cooper (as), Alan Benzie (p) and Dylan Coleman (b). Rec. Feb 2009.

It’s a bit early to be selecting a new-star album of the year, but this may well turn out to be it. Kunka, who hails from that ultra-hip jazz Mecca of Aberdeen, is a drummer and composer of outstanding promise. He and his similarly youthful Scots posse have amassed honours at Berklee and the New England Conservatory and appeared at jazz festivals in France, Switzerland and Panama in recent months. And yet they’re almost unknown here. Prophets without honour in their own homeland, one might say. Though broadly of the Tony Williams school of drumming, Kunka can also contribute to a ballad performance with taste and sensitivity, as on ‘4am’, Coleman’s bass feature here. Equally impressive is the title track, one of those spare up-tempo themes that sound hip yet are easy to play and beg for a strong solo to suit. Altoist Gough-Cooper is the winner here, a stirring discovery of Kenny Garret-like intensity and creativity. Pianist Benzie has the ethos of Hancock and Corea under his fingers and builds a sophisticated solo. Indeed there are no weak links in this astonishing young band. Read Kunka’s webpage, track down a copy of his debut album on jazzcds.co.uk and enjoy. It might be a while before they play a club near you. – Jack Massarik.


CD Review ‘The Edge’ – The List Magazine, Feb. 2010

27th Feb 2010

Patrick Kunka Quartet – The Edge (4 stars)

This debut album from Aberdeen-born drummer Patrick Kunka was originally issued last summer, but was rather overlooked at the time. Some positive recent response has encouraged him to re-promote it, and it more than justifies that decision. Kunka is currently based in Boston after studying at Berklee College, and is joined here by American bassist Dylan Coleman and two more of Scotland’s bright young talents (also with Berklee connections), pianist Alan Benzie and saxophonist Leah Gough-Cooper.
They play a bright and exciting brand of contemporary jazz. All nine compositions are the drummer’s own, drawing on American models, but with an edgy, energised feel. They are attractive in themselves, and also provide fine vehicles for the improvisational talents of each of the players to shine through, with Gough-Cooper’s saxophone work – not for the first time – making a particularly strong impression. – Kenny Mathieson


PKQ Play Nancy Jazz Pulsations Festival, France.

30th Oct 2009

Well, it’s been a while since my last swathe of news updates but, boy, I have a lot to report. From October 4th-13th, Berklee sent the Patrick Kunka Quartet to the Lorraine area of France, to the Nancy Jazz Pulsations Music Festival. We partook in giving workshops, playing gigs almost every night and traveling around the area non-stop for the time we were there. Busy is a bit of an under-rated word for the week, but it was a lot of fun and a good laugh. You can check out more of our goings-on on Berklee’s Tour Blog: http://www.berkleeontour.com/category/france

Patrick Kunka Quartet

12th Mar 2009

Patrick Kunka, drummer and composer, is a force to be reckoned with. Started a year ago, the Patrick Kunka Quartet consists of Alan Benzie on piano, Dylan Coleman on bass, myself on alto and soprano saxes and Patrick on the drums. Inspired by the mind-bending forces of Indian rhythms, complex modal structures and some nasty grooves, Patrick has created something very special. We spent two days in the studio in February recording his most recent album ‘The Edge’ and we are quickly reaching the finish line with its production. The PKQuartet will be touring this coming August, around Scotland and Northern England, gigging and doing a clinic or two for local schools (an idea I’m very enthusiastic about), to promote live music and education in jazz and improvised music generally. Please watch the site for all the dates we’ll be playing and we hope to see you around in August! Check out the group’s MySpace page: www.myspace.com/patrickkunkaquartet

New Video Added To Music

22nd Dec 2008

Leah “Collider” (Patrick Kunka Quartet)


22nd Dec 2008

I’ve also been working with Patrick in his quartet which also includes Alan Benzie on Piano. We’re working on original material by Patrick and also some numbers by Alan and myself. James Lindsay from Jazz Futures is also joining us in Aberdeen for a gig in January.

  1. MP3: Future Pop ('Future Pop')
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  2. MP3: Leaf Blower ('Future Pop')
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  3. MP3: On the Other Side
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  4. MP3: From the Ash (live at Bar East)
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