"A great band playing classic material in a fresh and innovative way. Lots of exploration, while still honouring the compositions. Bravo!" - Len Aruliah

The Al Swainger Q*tet

Biophosmos : the Music of Chick Corea

Mix Chick Corea with Radiohead in a blender then use the resulting cocktail to write film music and you might get something a little like this...

“..the birth of a new layer of fusion... live sound design and live soundscape composition...beautifully and artfully intermixed with straight ahead jazz and improvisational mastery”


​Audience Feedback

​Chris Leonard

​“Fantastic. Until last night, I was more familiar with the name Chick Corea than his music and so did not know what to expect. If I'd had any expectations they would have been surpassed by the surefooted and exciting performance of this quartet.”

​Audience Feedback

​Martin Phillips

“An outstanding gig, with worldclass musicians... a fresh and live-experimental take on otherwise well-covered work from Chick.”

​Audience Feedback

​Sam Roy

“A really enjoyable performance from four incredible musicians. The quartet faithfully recreated Chick's music, yet kept the feel fresh and original through their interpretation. As a musician in the audience I was educated, humbled and delighted - all simultaneously.”

   Soundclips

What We Do

The Al Swainger Q*tet is a four piece jazz ensemble featuring extensive use of modern technology to take the artform in a unique and daring new direction. Appropriately enough for a first outing as a group the repertoire is currently based around the compositions of Chick Corea but reimagined for a new 21st century ear.

Q*tet live dates

14/03/18 Jazz at the  Fringe, Bristol

18/05/18 The Be-Bop Club, Bristol

​09/08/18 Tiny Rebel, Cardiff

24/10/18 Swing Unlimited, Bournemouth

15/11/18 Future Inn, Bristol

18/11/18 Teignmouth Jazz Festival

​01/02/19 CICCIC, Taunton

​20/03/19 The Speakeasy, Torquay

​29/11/19 Meeting House, Ilminster (w/Ant Law)

About us

Al Swainger - Bass / FX / Ableton

Al Swainger is a musician who happens to be a bassist. He has been awarded 5th place in the British Jazz Awards three times from 2012-14 and performs regularly with Digby Fairweather's Half-Dozen, the Annika Skoogh Quartet and Ed Leaker's Swing Machine. He also spent 10 years as part of the Craig Milverton Trio and 5 with art rock band Grice.

He is also a composer, producer, improviser and FX enthusiast. His eclectic tastes have led to making music in a wide variety of genres over the years with literally hundreds of musicians. Covering ground from pop to progressive rock, traditional to modern jazz and world music to fully improvised soundsculpture, Al is always keen to explore new musical territory while embracing and evolving the traditions of the past. This project is his 5th studio album as bandleader in addition to a number of satellite live recordings. Previous releases include The Art Trip : a tribute to Art Pepper (with Alan Barnes), Snow Giants - UN (with Mike Outram & 05Ric), Pointless Beauty - A Lonely Vigil & Pointless Beauty - After & Before. ​

Jon Clark - Drums


​Fast becoming a stalwart of the Bristol music scene ​as both drummer and percussionist with a range of projects from Bebop to Salsa to Nu Soul. Jon is currently a regular with Radio Banska, Ruth Royall, The Bristol Salsa Orchestra and his own project the King Kong Trio.

Prior to moving to Brisol he studied percussion in Cuba, also in India (with Shakti percussionist Neyveli Venkadesh) and at the Conservatorio Superior de Musica, Salamanca. He was first introduced to free improvisation whilst studying at Newcastle University and went on to lead ‘The Odd Little Group’ (a free improvised sax trio) and perform with ‘Dirty Pie’ (an ad lib hip hop ensemble).

Whilst in London played with the London Improvisers Orchestra, along side Steve Beresford, and performed a string of gigs with Chinese percussion virtuoso BeiBei Wang, Cleveland Watkiss and Orphy Robinson. ​


Joe Northwood - Sax


Based in Cardiff, Joe is at the forefront of a new wave of Jazz talent emerging from Wales. Having performed in numerous venues and festivals in the UK and abroad, Joe has gathered a great deal of experience to establish an ever growing career.

Joe was fortunate enough attend the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and be taught by some of the UK’s leading jazz musicians, including Iain Ballamy, Geoff Simkins, Keith Tippett, Huw Warren, Martin France, Steve Waterman and Martin Speake. He leads his own group Tuk Tuk.


​Tom Berge - ​Keyboards


​Growing up, Tom was exposed to the sounds of Oscar Peterson, Erroll Garner and Nat King Cole to name a few.  He started playing the piano at the age of 5 and after completing his classical studies he then decided to concentrate fully on Jazz. He studied at Leeds College of Music and graduated with a 1st class honours degree in Jazz performance, receiving the Jazz Conservatoire Prize.  Here he gained valuable playing experience and studied under some of the UK’s best players and teachers.  Tom also had the privilege of studying under David Newton (voted best UK Jazz Pianist 13 times in a row by the British Jazz Awards).  Playing regularly across the UK, Tom has had the pleasure of playing alongside a number of well-known and prominent artists on the jazz scene today including Alec Dankworth at Cleo Lane’s Wavedon Festival, Mike Walker and Ian Dixon in a concert of Mike’s ‘Madhouse’ Album and Monty Alexander at Ronnie Scotts.