Fergus McCreadie: Fife gig for Scotland’s most exciting jazz prospect
Everyone in the world of Scottish jazz credits young Fergus McCreadie as the most exciting new prospect in recent years.
Full credit too goes to Fife Youth Jazz Orchestra (FYJO) for sowing the seeds with not only him but the many other talented young people through the expression and coaching of Richard Michael.
Playing piano aged seven and listening to American folk music that his mother played around the house meant an unusual approach to learning music and in the case of Fergus he went on to National Youth Jazz Orchestra with guidance from Tommy Smith before graduating in 2018 at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland studying jazz piano.
It was during his studies he met fellow musicians to form his own trio with Stephen Henderson on drums and David Bowden playing bass.
Bowden had already released three albums prior to joining the trio then won the BBC Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year Award in 2017.
The trio won the Peter Whittingham Jazz Award and Fergus himself has won the BBC Young Scottish Jazz Musician Award along with the guy Jones Prize, Joe Temperley Prize and Best Instrumentalist in the Scottish Jazz Awards. It was here too that their debut album Turas was Best Album in 2018 and won Best Album at the Parliamentary Jazz Awards.
The new album on Edition Records released this year is called Cairn and reflects on different parts of the Scottish landscape.
I spoke with him this week to find an enthusiasm for his music beyond his tender years.
He explained that it was a long process to sign up for the new album with a yearlong conversation and missed appointments.
Then, on the cusp of lockdown in February 2020 the label boss managed to see them play and the deal was complete over a pint after the gig. Already he has played in Norway, Sweden, Lithuania, and Estonia as well as the major cities in Scotland and most notably Ronnie Scott’s International Jazz Trio Festival.
What attracted him to jazz was the freeform collaborations with fellow musicians unlike the strictness of other forms and the solitude of playing classical music which he studied in his earlier years.
He now enjoys looking to the heroes of jazz such as Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson while dissecting the rhythm sections of Miles Davis and his work with John Coltrane. He now plans to examine the legendary Thelonious Monk for his tunes and a young New York sax player called Emanuel Wilkins.
Fergus McCreadie Trio plays the Old Kirk Kirkcaldy for Langtoun Jazz this Saturday (November 20) with tickets online or pay at the door.