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It's finally here. The new album for 2024.

Summer Lullaby

As the sun dips below the horizon and the warm breeze of summer caresses your senses, join us on a musical odyssey that is ‘Summer Lullaby’.

Jazz Journal  - Summer Lullaby

review by Brian Payne

Versatile trumpeter and composer Paul Higgs is equally adept at playing jazz, classical or contemporary music. For many years he was the National Theatre’s musical director during which time he also also worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Amongst many others, he’s performed with Peggy Lee, Johnny Dankworth, Al Martino, John Williams, Nancy Wilson, Shorty Rogers, Lulu, Sir Peter Maxwell Davis and the BBC Philharmonic and has composed and arranged music for numerous films and television shows. As well as trumpet, Higgs played piano, guitar and bass for 11 years in the National Youth Jazz Orchestra and served as their composer and arranger.

I had the pleasure of seeing him perform seven years ago with Chris Ingham’s quartet in their Jazz of Dudley Moore tribute concert at Swansea Jazz Festival, with Ingham on piano, Geoff Gascoyne on bass and George Double on drums. I observed in my review at the time that Higgs’s trumpet playing was “particularly remarkable”. It’s a description that holds true today in Summer Lullaby, a set he recorded with his own band, Pavane. It follows his initial recording of the band, the eponymous Pavane, released in 2022.

Alongside Higgs on trumpet, Pavane currently comprises Ingham on piano, Andy Watson on guitar, Natalie Rozario on cello, Jerome Davies on bass and George Double on drums plus guest percussionist Graham Cuttill. All pieces on the album bar one are originals composed and arranged by Higgs. The exception is Bacharach and David’s This Guy’s In Love With You, memorably recorded by Herb Alpert in 1968. Try Higgs’ and Pavane’s take on this here.

Blending soft jazz rhythms with classical music, all the compositions on Summer Lullaby are melodious, contemplative, often wistful and at times melancholic. In Paul Higgs’ own words, the album has “summer’s tranquility at its heart”. This is blue-chip trumpet playing with a top quality band. It comes highly recommended.

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Two packed houses at last weekend's Hadleigh Jazz Club enjoyed Paul Higgs and his Sextet Pavane performing a classical/jazz concert that showcased some fresh compositions from their new album Summer Lullaby.
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Lance Liddle

Summer Lullaby review Feb 2024

If you were looking for this in a 'proper' record shop you'd be wondering where to start. Jazz? Classical? Easy Listening?  It could be in any one of those browsers and wouldn't be out of place.


At various times there are suggestions of early Miles, Chris Botti, even Herb Alpert. Higgs' plaintive sound evokes aural images of all three.


With the exception of the Bacharach/Hal David number This Guy's in Love With You (a sixties hit for Alpert) all numbers are compositions by Higgs. All are beautifully played, the guitar and the percussionist providing an occasional Latin touch and the cello adding a sonorous quality rarely heard in jazz.

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CD of the week - The Lady magazine




Review - 'Pavane', the album: “You don’t normally associate the word ‘beguiling’ with the sound of a trumpet, but this CD by celebrated trumpeter and composer Paul Higgs is just that. By turns romantic and haunting, but always insistent, Paul’s compositions mix the genres of classical music and jazz with the grandeur of a film score.” GS, The Lady,     21/2/14:CD OF THE WEEK; PAVANE:

Article on Pavane at

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London Jazz News - Frank Griffith

Trumpeter, pianist, composer Paul Higgs, has produced a gently atmospheric melange of classical, jazz and new age vignettes. The eleven tracks that comprise Pavane, each about four minutes in length, subtly woo the listener in, with a combination of plainsong trumpet melodies supported by an evocative wash of cello and viola countermelodies ably played by Helen Yousaf. The trickly and wistful classical guitar broodings from Andy Watson score highly as well.

The collection feels more like a forty-five minute suite rather than a variety of distinctive compositions. A remarkable effect results from delivering changing sound palettes and tempi throughout ,yet unified by an overarching almost trance-like ethos.

In frenetic times Pavane escorts the listener to a softly lit secluded space, with music to soothe and salve the mind and body.


Link to Bebop Spoken Here

Lance Liddle

Paul Higgs is a new name to me although he has such jazz luminaries as Digby Fairweather and Dave Gelly, among others, in his corner.
Musical Director and Composer at the National Theatre and the RSC for 24 years Higgs also worked with notable names such as Dankworths John and Cleo, Peggy Lee, Al Martino, Buddy Greco, Shorty Rogers and Rosemary Clooney (cited as George Clooney's aunt. I always think of George Clooney as Rosie's nephew!).
An impressive pedigree built upon his acceptance by NYJO at age 14. Bill Ashton, then MD of NYJO, referred to him as "One of the most gifted composers and arrangers ever to have been involved with NYJO" - praise indeed.
Pavane is an album of original compositions that blend the genres of jazz and classical music.
Oh dear, I thought, where have I heard that before?!
I needn't have worried - it works a treat. Incredibly, the end product incorporates just enough of both genres to avoid offending aficionados of either form.
No dirty blues or stratospheric screeching, just pure melodic creation.
At times the Miles/Gil Evans collaborations are fleetingly suggested and tone-wise Chris Botti comes to mind but, overall, this is a triumph for the composer, arranger and trumpet player.
It's neither hot nor cool - just comfortably warm.
On a personal note; my late parents, with whom I had many heated arguments on the jazz v classics issue, would have enjoyed listening to this.


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Wakefield Jazz Club Review - Read article here

Chris Ingham - Oxford Mail review.

click here...


Prepared Pianola for Roger Bannister















Paul's composition for Mel Brimfield at the Whitechapel Gallery. 
A new commission for the Government Art Collection was on display at the Whitechapel Gallery, London. inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Brimfield's 4' 33" (Prepared Pianola for Roger Bannister) is a playful interactive sculpture that takes as its starting point the experimental music and performances of John Cage and British athlete Roger Bannister's fourth-placed position in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. A multi-layered score with echoes of everything from the British National Anthem to BBC TV's Ski Sunday theme tune has been specially composed for the project."

There's a big red button to press, which causes a klaxon and various bells to sound, Then the pianola automatically plays a "tune" based on Bannister's race at the Helsinki Olympics, breaking into snippets of the various national anthems of whoever was leading at that particular time into the race.

A 1920s Steck pianola, a 'ball run' incorporating percussion instrument and musical horns combine to play a composition inspired by the athletes' performance in the race and the experimental music of John Cage.

The work celebrates the 1952 Helsinki Olympic race where British athlete Roger Bannister came fourth -- just missing out on a medal -- but spurring him on in his goal of breaking the four-minute mile two years later.

"I think there's something quite British about noble striving rather than success," said Ms Brimfield. "I wanted to make some sort of monument to that and this is the story of this race."

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