"It led me to invite Jo Fooks into my band....I can report that in the
year-and-a-half that has elapsed since then, she has developed further
into a bright star. I make no apology for singing her praises
here. A brilliantly inventive player and composer..."
-Humphrey Lyttelton on radio 2 "Best of Jazz"(21/01/08)
"Not sure what to expect on this gig, from Jo's website she sounded
like another competent player. Should be a reasonable evening! Wow, was
I in for a surprise. First Jo's sound on tenor. Full and mellifluous
with a sound that had distinct touches of the late great Zoot Sims.
Both her lower and upper registers were full and round and projected
beautifully even without a microphone.... the enthusiastic crowd
demanded two encores... All in all an excellent evening of excellent
jazz, with the musicians seemingly enjoying it as much as the audience."
-Don Emanuel, review of duo gig with Ted Beament at Good Intent 5/10/07.http://www.coljazz.co.uk
"...a CD by her
current quartet has gone into this programme faster than the
speed of light! To call "Here and Now" her 'debut' album is simply to
state a fact and nothing more. She's been through a full course of
study and apprenticeship and currently gigs in and around London. If
you've heard her already and been able to identify her wonderfully
mature and assured playing then your luckier than I am, but I will,
hence forward, make up for lost time. With the tight
of Simon Purcell on piano, Buster Birch on drums and Val Manix on bass,
she's produced an album that's staggeringly good. Get onto
www.jofooks.com, order it and be in
on the start of a great career!"
-Humphrey Lyttelton on Radio 2 ''Best of Jazz''(31/10/05)
"Anyone who can turn the humble Brussels Sprouts into an inspiration
for jazz shows a refreshing level of originality, and this is born out
in Jo's confident and assured tenor playing as much as in her original
themes. She leads a well-balanced quartet with authority and purpose,
and this debut disc augurs extremely well for her future."
- Alyn Shipton, radio broadcaster (23/01/06)
"My picture shows Acker and Humph when they first met saxophonist Jo
Fooks in Edinburgh in1992.... Jo has been sitting in with the Lyttelton
band on tenor. Humph is good at distinguished woman instrumentalists
and since the redoubtable Karen Sharp is proving to be a brilliant
baritone player, he has been able to dig out some of the arrangements
written for his original eight piece with the distaff side taking the
roles of Tony Coe and Joe Temperley... Her sound is closer to that of
the cool tenor players and perhaps Lucky Thomson."
- Steve Voce, Jazz Journal Magazine (1/01/06)
"Add to the extended list of outstanding jazz musicians from Scotland
(which include Sandy Brown, Tommy Whittle, George Chisholm, Jimmy
Deuchar, Bobby Wellins and Duncan Lamont) the name Jo Fooks, born in
Edinburgh in 1975, a young lady who has polished her craft...This is
her first album and is largely a showcase for her many and varied
talents. She wrote all ten numbers and sings her own lyrics to Just the
Little Things....I must make a point of drawing attention to the
outstanding keyboard work of Simon Purcell throughout the CD. Simon is
a hugely talented musician...My spies in the UK tell me she has been
sitting in with Humph's current band to make a three piece sax section.
This is a further indication of Jo's all round musicianship and absence
of stylistic bias. Along with Ian, Cambell, Digby and Humph I predict a
bright future for this talented young lady."
- Alun Morgan, Jazz Journal Magazine (1/02/06)
''Exploding into life with the Latin flavoured title track, Here and
Now is the debut recording from the Jo Fooks Quartet. Formed just last
year, the quartet features Scots-born Fooks (a previous winner of the
Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year) on saxes, flute and voice.
Penning all of the album's 10 tracks, the debut captures her
compositional voice in its nascent stage...demonstrates an impressive
facility across a range of genres including the reggae stylings of
'Indira', the swinging '90's Girl' and the languorous ballad 'My BB'.
Her full, singing tone on the lovely 'Heart Of Gold' irrevocably calls
to mind the playing of Stan Getz. Recorded and engineered by the
selfless Derek Nash, the sound is uniformly vivid and immediate"
- Peter Quinn from Jazzwise magazine (12/05)
"Saxophonist/flautist Jo is a former Young Scottish Jazz Musician of
the year and her dexterity and panache flows through the ten origional
instrumentals on this CD....Jo lets loose her own writing and arranging
finesse while subtly echoing her heroes Sonny Rollins and Dexter
Gordeon. Forgotten Friends contains the kind of melodic nuances
and intervals that decorate the finest jazz interpretations and with
the industry support in place, Jo can look forward to further
- MU Magazine (12/05)
''..Well now a very attractive blue eyed Scottish lassy from Edinburgh
Jo Fooks plays the saxophone extremely well..supported on this album by
some very fine players Simon Purcell on piano, Val Manix on bass and, I
thought, a terrific drummer Buster Birch. I like that frisky original
there with the quirky title 'Quite likes brussell sprouts', I quite
like brussell sprouts too as it happens but I more than quite like Jo
Fooks' playing, I like it alot. Her album is called Here and
Now... the tunes are all her own originals and you can get more info
from her website. If I sound ultra enthusiastic its not that she's a
friend of mine, I've never met her, I just like the CD."
-Campbell Burnap on SmoothFM (27/11/05)
"Jo's new album is a delightful surprise displaying high levels of
skill harnessed to musicality of the best kind and her new CD takes you
through a range of moods and styles which will appeal to jazz people
"Right from the start, Here and Now had my interest. You don't often
hear such talent on a debut album. You can hear Jo's influences coming
through on every song. The sounds from her sax are not overstated, nor
are they stuffy or boring. The combined experience of all her bandmates
comes across as clean and well arranged. Miss Fooks composed all the
songs and lyrics herself, and in so doing, has shown her talent for
writing and arranging also.... Reminiscent of the sounds coming out of
the jazz clubs of San Francisco in the 60's every note is light and
enjoyable...Altogether, this album is light, smooth and completely
enjoyable. I look forward to more new and refreshing sounds from Miss
Fooks and her quartet in the future. She certainly has a promising
career ahead of her."
-Michael Perry from http://www.jazzreview.com
"Jo will be a star!"
"Neither Alan or I felt very confident about a female sax player who
had to follow the powerful sound of the likes of Simon Bates, Derek
Nash, Gary Plumley, Dave Quincy ect. etc...Most of our players are
certainly not run-of-the-mill, but giants of the saxophone. We needn't
have worried she was even better than we thought possible. Her
infectious enthusiasm, excellent technique and lovely warm tone, plus a
charming personality, so endured her to all present....As those of you
who were there would be aware the trio played out of their skin, in
particular I have never heard Allan play better. Allans' view was that
she made the evening and that the 5 of them played as one complete unit"
-Don Leech from
Octobers 05 Newsletter for 'The Three Horseshoes' (Knockholt)