Occasionally an artist emerges with a talent and sound that throws them directly into the limelight. Demonstrating that the British Jazz explosion is not just a Metropolitan affair and standing up for the UK’s regions and nations, Fergus proves again he is an Artist for the moment, deserving and commanding the attention of audiences worldwide.
Fergus has an ability to communicate beyond his years, a versatility of rhythm and colour from the most delicate to the highest energy that is captivating and vital. His compositions shine a light on the folk traditions and traditional melodies that are rooted in his upbringing.
If Cairn demonstrates Fergus’ potential, Forest Floor confirms it. The success, accolades and award nominations Cairn earned (including nominations for the Jazz FM Awards and the Scottish Album of the Year 2021) only hint at what Forest Floor will achieve for him.
Forest Floor signifies an evolution in Fergus’ trio and sound, as he explains: ”In all my music I’m searching for an idea or a theme, that the composition and performance is based on. It’s a journey and adapts to each live performance. The recording documents the stage of that journey at a moment of time. With this recording, it’s the same studio, same piano and same musicians but I feel the sound we have as a trio has become more developed and rounded somehow. This album has its own journey, it’s own destination. As we perform this more and more, the music will change and our approach to it will adapt with it. That’s the beauty of this music. It’s all about evolution, not standing still, but listening and adapting with it. Forest Floor, both in its artwork and aesthetic, develops the themes created for Cairn.”
Whilst Cairn focussed on the permanence and beauty of Scottish stone, Fergus felt that this album had a greater earthiness to it, illustrated by the changes the seasons produce on the forest floor, a perception that fed into the title, music and artwork for the new work.
There’s a greater visceral energy apparent in this album. If Cairn was lyrical,Forest Floor steps up a gear in conviction whilst remaining balanced perfectly with its moments of serenity. It’s this equilibrium that makes Fergus’ music so powerful. His ability to transition from a full flowing, radiant pulse-wash of sound to a tranquil, early morning stillness in a moment is simply breathtaking.