Beats & Pieces is not your average big band, rather a band that's big. These 14 musicians have been playing together for over ten years and have become a tight knit bunch, open to a huge diversity of music. The influence of artists such as Björk, Radiohead, David Bowie, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, Loose Tubes, Gil Evans and Kenny Wheeler pop up in their performances and the compositions of bandleader and conductor Ben Cottrell
The band tours regularly across the UK, Europe and further afield, marking their 10th anniversary in 2018 with their debut North American tour and inclusion in the Downbeat Critics Poll in the category Rising Star Big Band.
To date they have released 2 studio albums - 'Big Ideas' (2012) and 'All In' (2015) - and a 10th anniversary live CD/DVD entitled 'ten' (2018), all on Manchester independent label Efpi Records.
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Heirs to the eclectic big-band traditions of Loose Tubes, they make their
own sounds from many styles (The Guardian)
One doesn't hear interplay in compositions this stormy in a big band all too
often, at least not since the last Darcy James Argue album (Nextbop)
“[Beats & Pieces'] extraordinary achievement is to combine discipline with anarchy, and rock’n’roll energy with textures from the entire canon of big band jazz history” (Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music)
Spine-tinglingly good (MOJO)
A return to the idea that contemporary jazz for big band can still generate the kind of direct impact more associated with rock and pop music, but without undermining its essential craft and sophistication (Jazzwise)