Days On Earth
Released in january 2019, Days On Earth is my latest work for jazz sextet and 30-piece orchestra
I started writing the six movements of this piece in 2016 and in December 2017 recorded the music with a specially-selected orchestra and five of my favourite improvisers at Mark Knofler's famous British Grove studios.
Days On Earth features old and new friends with whom I’ve collaborated and developed close musical relationships over the years, including Seb Rochford (drums), Liam Noble (piano), Tom Herbert (bass), Roland Sutherland (flutes), John Parricelli (guitar) and Laura Jurd (trumpet). Also present is a new friend and amazing alto player, Alice Leggett. Alice has a very special way of improvising, but also got the concept, straight away, of playing my melodies with the character I envisaged. The strings were led by the incredible Jackie Shave, who is also a featured soloist on a track called Triana.
I've been told Days On Earth is 'epic' and I guess it is, but more importantly it’s a personal musical statement for me — both as a musician and a human being.
The album has received some great reviews, including a four-star Guardian review, Brightest Recording of a Glittering Career, as well as appearing in the Financial Times, The Times, MOJO, RONDO, Downbeat and Jazzwise. The first performance took place at Milton Court, with the incredible Guildhall Studio Orchestra, on 9th January 2019.
I’m really excited about playing this music over the coming months with a much smaller ensemble — we currently have six dates in the book — and I’m also looking into the possibility of full-scale performances of the piece - watch this space for details!
The clip below is an early incarnation of one of the pieces from Days On Earth performed by the Shapeshifter Orchestra from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in the Clore Ballroon at the London Jazz Festival.
"…boldest album yet… Lush and ambitious, it’s cinematically compelling from the off,” MOJO
“Lockheart’s laconically Wayne Shorter-ish sax sound, and influences including Duke Ellington, Gil Evans and Burt Bacharach as well as his Loose Tubes and Polar Bear alumni, have brought him now to the most ambitious recording of his two decades as a leader,” Guardian
“Lockheart captures this broad range of emotion by interweaving the spiky lines and smooth contours of contemporary European jazz with the shifting textures of a 30-piece orchestra conducted by John Ashton Thomas,” Financial Times