Acoustic Triangle

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Acoustic Triangle has quietly championed a back to basics approach in playing totally acoustically, melding jazz and classical music and, while hardly raving in the nave, completed a tour of concerts in sacred places up and down the country. Stuart Nicholson finds out what’s ahead for the trio of Malcolm Creese, Tim Garland and Gwilym Simcock as they release their latest album Resonance
 The critically acclaimed trio Acoustic Triangle is behind a quiet revolution in quiet places. Yet Malcolm Creese on bass, Tim Garland on saxophones and Gwilym Simcock on piano, make unlikely jazz revolutionaries. "There’s no point in pretending we’re not anything other than white middle-class British boys, with backgrounds in European classical music, various types of jazz and folk music," says Creese with a smile. "That’s who we are, British/European musicians! Not ashamed to say so, although it’s not very trendy!"
On 7 December 2005, they wound up a 28-date tour of churches, abbeys and cathedrals across the length and breadth of Britain in St. Cyprian’s Church in Marylebone, London. Launching their new album Resonance, recorded earlier in the year in Romsey Abbey and Dorchester Abbey, they delighted a standing room only audience.
It was a fitting climax to a remarkable project that had been over 18 months in the making. It’s only when you go on to the group’s website (www.acoustictriangle.com) and check out the large archive of pictures and historical/architectural details of every sacred building they played in that you really get an idea of what the biggest UK tour undertaken in 2005 by a jazz group was all about.
" The important thing about Acoustic Triangle is that we are just that, acoustic," explains Creese. "We don’t use any amplification whatsoever. So playing in churches and abbeys makes sense for us with their wonderful acoustics - in fact we recorded two albums, Acoustic Triangle in 2001 and Catalyst from 2003, at St. George’s in Bristol. But the idea of actually putting together a whole tour featuring the concept of performing in sacred places came after playing a concert at Southwell Minster in 2004. It was a wonderful experience in a wonderful building and we had a wonderful ovation from the audience and I think that was the deciding factor. I said to Tim and Gwilym afterwards, ‘This is what we do best, it’s something we should be doing more of.’