As a leader
Taking Flight is the debut album from my band Fervour, released on 5th April 2018. It features original music of mine, drawing on influences from across the jazz tradition, alongside the earthy grooves of blues, rock and more. A grant from Arts Council England allowed us to record it at the renowned Real World Studios and launch it with a tour of top jazz venues across England.
The album is available for purchase in both physical and digital forms via Bandcamp (click on the player above) or through Itunes, Amazon and Spotify.
Herald Scotland - “Gibbs’ music has bags of personality and his soloing is full of ideas, now cool and reflective, now fast and assertive, now downright mischievous. His band go with him all the way and add their own thoughts and commentaries…” (full review here)
London Jazz News - “You know that feeling when you walk down the street and unexpectedly you come across a pound coin? Serendipity, a pleasant surprise, call it what you will, it lifts your mood a notch and brings a self-satisfied smile to your face. This album does much the same thing.” (full review here)
UK Vibe – “Sean’s original music is inspired… the album is a remarkable debut from a young talent” (full review here)
The Jazz Mann - “The playing is of a uniformly high standard throughout and the soloing consistently fluent, inventive and imaginative.” (full review here)
Burns is my debut big band album, released on 11th August 2015. It features compositions of mine inspired by the poetry of Robert Burns, and is performed by the Birmingham Jazz Orchestra (which I founded whilst living in Birmingham). The music aims to capture the warmth, drama and humanity present in Burns’ work, connecting with listeners as the poems do – through compelling narrative and exciting twists and turns.
The album is available for purchase in both physical and digital forms via Bandcamp (click on the player above) or through Itunes, Amazon and Spotify. Scores can be bought here.
Herald Scotland - ”Burns is an undertaking of astonishing maturity” (full review here)
The Jazz Breakfast - “There are so many things to like here including that energy and good humour, that ebullience, that is the hallmark of the young Birmingham jazz scene; the way Sean has encouraged stretching performances not only from his fellow BC recent grads but also from more seasoned players like Lluis Mather; and the terrific music that Sean has written which changes within each piece to give bespoke settings for each solo and considerable satisfaction to all the section players.” (full review here)
All About Jazz - “Burns is a worthy celebration of Burns’ work and a superb debut for Gibbs and the Birmingham Jazz Orchestra” (full review here)
London Jazz News - “All killer, no filler, packed with vibrancy and passion, and bursting with slick soloists and a superbly well-drilled team of players” (full review here)
Jazzwise - “A very welcome debut for both orchestra and their arranger of choice, the writing multi-layered and richly textured” (full review not available online, can be found in October 2015 edition of Jazzwise)
As a sideman
Deepening The River is a suite by saxophonist Paul Towndrow, originally commissioned for the Festival 2018 celebrations accompanying Glasgow’s hosting of the European Championships. It features a star-studded lineup, with a big band alongside traditional Scottish and Indian musicians.
London Jazz News - “The music is riveting, varied, thoughtful and exhilarating, packed with influences and styles and superbly performed by a top-class ensemble” (full review here)
Peter and the Wolf features a newly arranged version of the classic Prokofiev piece by Tommy Smith for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. Acclaimed actor Tam Dean Burn narrates the text, specially adapted to Scots by Liz Lochhead.
London Jazz News - “The new orchestrations from Tommy Smith use the SNJO resources imaginatively and the positively symphonic music springs along with great pace and swagger” (full review here)
The Scotsman - “Virtuosity and ingenuity with unadulterated theatricality… in a delightful collision between folk tale and big-band swing”
Sweet Sister Suite is a piece composed & arranged by Kenny Wheeler, which was commissioned by Tommy Smith for the Scottish National Jazz orchestra. This recording features guest soloists Laura Jurd and Irini Arabatzi. It is available for purchase here.
Herald Scotland - “…the orchestra reels and roams through variously stormy, hypnotic, swinging and gloriously tumbling passages of beautiful writing.” (full review here)
Bebop Spoken Here - “Such is the quality of Scotland’s premier orchestra that the collective contribution is never less than magnificent.” (full review here)
Little Things is the debut album by rock induced brass band Young Pilgrims, released on Stoney Lane records. It features music about imaginary French detective shows, loved ones, drinking establishments and all the little things that get in the way.
The Jazz Breakfast - “Musical Red Bull” (full review here)
Butterflies & Dragons is the debut EP from Trope, featuring myself with Young Pilgrims as special guests on track 3, Let Go. Jumping between soul, jazz & funk, the album is a melting pot of influences reaching as far wide as rock, hip-hop and classical music.
1ncuration - “TROPE’S debut release, Butterflies & Dragons, brought me out of my academic cultural hibernation. This is a hybrid, an inescapable moment of clarity in the art of soundscaping”