The Duncan Fraser Septet is my current project. Over the last 10 years of working as a professional Jazz musician my voice as a Composer, Arranger and Improviser has changed massively, and this project very much represents where I am now with my musical ideas.
I have drawn influence heavily from the music of one of my Jazz idols Wynton Marsalis and his septet of the early/mid 1990's, I use the same line-up of 4 horns (Trumpet, Trombone & 2 Saxes) plus Piano, Bass & Drums for my ensemble. Although there are also sounds influenced by greats such as Coltrane, Tom Harrell & Joe Henderson. I have also been inspired by current similar sized ensembles who are working on the New York Jazz scene. I took a trip over a few years back and really got inspired, which turned out to be the formations of this project. Subsequent trips combined with modern technology meaning the sounds being created are only a live stream away, means I have kept the inspiration going. So much so, that my first recording with this group is entitled Soundscapes of Manhattan, and the tunes are written to evoke imagery of parts of the city.
In December 2020, the band went into the studio and recorded this in a single day. The result of this is this groups first recording and my 2nd album as leader, Soundscapes of Manhattan. You can pick up your copy in my store or stream it on Spotify.
The album has 9 new compositions and arrangements that I have formulated and the playing of Ronan Perrett (Alto Sax), Wesley Frankel (Tenor/Soprano Saxes/Clarinet), Sam Sankey (Trombone), Rob Brockway (Piano), Huw Williams (Bass) & Luke Bainbridge (Drums)
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"The compositions are intelligent & the arrangements warm, swinging & colourful. There are some excellent solos, but it’s the cohesion of the septet as a whole that is arguably most impressive." - The Jazz Mann
"... Fraser Like to get out and about playing his own brand of NYC Hard Bop... Favouring a Septet Line-up gives the Trumpeter plenty of scope to work with the ensemble voicings, and this greatly enhances his already impressive writing." - Jazz Views