Riser (Edition)

Rob Luft

Released July 28, 2017

DownBeat Four-and-a-Half-Star Review






Riser was the debut album from London-born award-winning guitarist Rob Luft. A musician of incredible talent, depth and maturity, Rob Luft is set to become a name to remember. At only 23 years of age his proficiency as a guitarist and composer embodies a level of musicianship and vision well beyond his years. A winner of the prestigious Kenny Wheeler Music Prize as well as placing second in The 2016 Montreux Jazz Guitar Competition, Rob is already garnering praise from critics across Europe. The UK’s Jazzwise Magazine has highlighted his “obvious star quality” and Riser is an album that stands up to scrutiny as one of the finest debut records in many years in the burgeoning creative current UK Jazz scene.

“Riser marks the first occasion on which I’ve released a selection of my original songs. I have always considered myself as being primarily a performer and secondly a composer” says Rob “and feel more at home standing on the kind of “Riser” that can be found in London’s jazz clubs rather than sitting at home writing music.”

Despite this characteristic modesty, Riser is full of hooky and deft tunes and affirms an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness, blending a visceral energy and potent pulse with strong melody and absorbing harmonic movement. The songs are all composed by Rob (bar one co-written with the band), establishing beyond doubt (or self-effacement) his writing credentials and combining intertwining, intricate phrases with a folky lilt, or a more urban ambient vibe and moving effortlessly between saxophone, guitar and organ. These songs are wonderfully fresh and invigorating. Riser is full of the music of affirmation, perfectly matching creativity and collaboration. The band are some of the most interesting and creative young musicians on the scene with strong Edition Records ties. They demonstrate great facility and inventiveness and a mutual respect both for the music and for each others manifold talents.

Track Listing:

1. Night Songs (Rob Luft) 05:20

2. Riser (Rob Luft) 06:15

3. Beware (Rob Luft) 04:44

4. Slow Potion (Rob Luft) 02:33

5. Different Colours of Silence (Rob Luft) 03:40

6. Dust Settles (Rob Luft) 05:04

7. Shorty (Corrie Dick / Rob Luft / Tom McCredie) 03:53

8. Blue, White and Dreaming (Rob Luft) 03:41

9. St. Brian I (Rob Luft) 05:57

10. We Are All Slowly Leaving (Rob Luft) 08:15


Rob Luft: guitar

Joe Wright: tenor saxophone

Joe Webb: Hammond B-3 organ, piano, harmonium

Tom McCreddie: bass

Corrie Dick: drums

Recorded January 9 – 11, 2017, at Real World Studios by Alex Killpartrick & Patrick Phillips

Mixed by Alex Killpartrick

Mastered by Mandy Parnell

Produced by Rob Luft

Executive Producer: Dave Stapleton


23-year-old Londoner Rob Luft has delivered the most fully-realized and rewarding debut album from a guitarist-composer since Julian Lage’s 2009 outing, Sounding Point. Like Lage, Luft was a teen prodigy, performing at age 15 with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra. Eight years later he has concocted a remarkably original statement that highlights his prodigious chops and his singular gifts as a composer-arranger and sonic provocateur. He’s backed in his first effort by an accomplished crew of keyboardist Joe Webb, bassist Tom McCredie, drummer Corrie Dick and secret weapon Joe Wright, whose blustery tenor saxophone infuses these 10 tracks with muscularity and daring. The title track has Luft switching to acoustic guitar and arpeggiating behind Wright’s warm-toned tenor before the piece opens up to an infectious West African Highlife feel, with the guitarist cleverly muting his strings for a kind of kora effect. Luft and Wright unite on some tight unisons on the breezy “Beware,” which features a lyrical, cascading solo by the guitarist. “Dust Settles” is Luft’s power ballad, replete with requisite sparks at the crescendo, and “Shorty” showcases Wright’s audacious tenor skronking. The suite-like “We Are All Slowly Leaving” opens on an introspective note with solo acoustic guitar, then gradually builds to an intense dance pulse with some audacious blowing by Wright and some ambient-noise textures by the intrepid guitarist.

Bill Milkowski (DownBeat)