JO FOOKS

JAZZ SAXOPHONIST

REVIEWS

"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 support 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 great acclaim."
                       - 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 everywhere."
                                                                                                   -Digby Fairweather

"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!"
                    -Ian Carr

"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)