Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat is a contemporary, cinematic jazz quintet led by Leeds based saxophonist and composer Emma Johnson.
Emma's writing displays a contemporary sound rooted by infectious melodies and the group have been described as demonstrating a “strong and joyful bond, immediately apparent in their sound”. Gravy Boat is a band that aspires to write and perform melodic, accessible jazz that anyone can enjoy.
Gravy Boat have been played on BBC Radio 3 & BBC Introducing Leeds and play ‘a relaxed, melodic and distinctive style of contemporary jazz’.
Regarding Emma's playing, a recent review on Bebop Spoken Here noted: ‘Johnson gets a great sound on tenor and has a technique to match. Not one of those in your face players but someone whose solos build gradually and logically, with a natural lyricism reminiscent of Coltrane.’
Gravy Boat released a well received single 'Where Were You Hiding?' in 2020, featuring Manchester based vocalist Nishla Smith, as well as a series of live music videos entitled ‘Seafarer’s Suite’ and an EP in previous years. The band were selected for the Jazz North Northern Line scheme for the year 2019 and have performed at many prominent festivals including Marsden, Manchester and Lancaster Jazz Festivals.
Emma has been awarded a Peter Whittingham Development Award and thanks to the support of Help Musicians UK, the band have released their debut album Worry Not to much acclaim this year.
Saxophone - Emma Johnson
Guitar - Fergus Vickers
Piano - Richard Jones
Double Bass - Angus Milne
Drums - Steve Hanley
Scroll along to the right and download any individual photos by clicking on them below.
Or get them all as a zip file here: https://bit.ly/3p1ATgD
Sun Stones - First Single from 2021 Album Worry Not (21/05/21):
Recent Live Gig Video - Pelican (August 2020)
Latest Single Video - Hold Me Tight
Worry not - 2021 album release info
Worry Not is the debut album from Leeds based quintet, Emma Johnson's Gravy Boat.
Emma's writing is inspired by cinematic scores as well as a wide range of jazz from hard bop to modern tenor/guitar led quintets, and this combines to create compositions that evoke imagery and emotions for the listener. The album combines strong melodies with improvised sections that give each member of the group space to shine.
As an album, Worry Not tackles themes of stress and worry and the process of overcoming those things to find a sense of calm. The imagery uses a lake setting and various weathers as a parallel to the coming and going of these emotions and the whole album is a cathartic listening experience, inspired by a place where Emma is at her most worry-free.
Written after a house flood and on the brink of the pandemic, the album (and the year awaiting it's creation) encapsulate a process of having worries, acknowledging and dealing with them, and allowing them to wash away.
Worry Not is produced with thanks to Help Musicians UK and the Peter Whittingham Award, and the group are so excited to have finally had the opportunity to release this record to a warm, positive response.
Worry not - reviews
London Jazz News:
"This sanguine album of original, contemporary jazz – influenced, in part, by cinematic scores – glistens with a mostly rhythmic fervour." Adrian Pallant
Trust The Doc:
"A virtuosic and very contemporary finish to a quite magical album on which the standard never slips even for an instant. Emma Johnson and her Gravy Boat are one of the most refreshingly imaginative and perfectly configured acts in contemporary Jazz. Surely they will be occupying bigger platforms very soon." Neil March
Fresh On The Net:
"Everyone shines here"
"I can’t wait to hear this live. This album is so obviously written with that in mind…"
BackLine INfo/Stage PLan
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Placement in Spotify's 'Jazz X-Press' Editorial Playlist
23k+ streams on Spotify
19k+ video streams on Facebook
Radio Play on BBC Introducing West Yorkshire
Emily Pilbeam: 'Everything about this song is just glorious from start to finish'
York Calling: 'Jazz may not be everyone’s cup of tea but Emma Johnson’s Gravy Boat are on a mission to make it accessible to a wider audience. I think they’ve achieved it in Where Were You Hiding?'
HRMNY Presents: 'effortless slice of contemporary jazz that is the perfect low key-listen for a Sunday Afternoon'
'Featuring gorgeous guest vocals from Nishla Smith, the single channel’s Norah Jones’ energy whilst Emma’s impressive saxophone performance feels reminiscent of Thelonious Monk’s Quartet‘s saxophonist Charlie Rouse'
Aipate: 'Where Were You Hiding? has a bewitching, joyful allure'