Dave Bristow Quintet Unknown Unknown debut album recording

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Dave Bristow Quintet Unknown Unknown debut album recording

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'Dave is a great player and composer, making fresh new music with a real connection to the heart of the tradition, I am excited to see where he goes next with his creativity and commitment.'
Kit Downes, Pianist and Composer

'Dave Bristow's music reflects his thoughtfulness and uncompromising honesty. These qualities are reflected as much in his music as in his personality and his way of treating others. His natural curiosity and perfect pitch enable him to synthesize a wide range of influences into his music in really colourful and imaginative ways. The group is both strong and full of character, and the pace never falters!

Yakir Arbib, Pianist and Composer


Photo credit : Anisha Patelita © 2020.

Hello all and welcome! I'm Dave Bristow, a jazz pianist and composer based in Paris and I'm thrilled to introduce to you a musical project I've been working on for several years. It is called 'Unknown Unknown'. How mysterious. 

Why the name?

Late in 2018, I picked up an essay at Foyles in London called 'Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of Not Getting What You Wanted' by Mark Forsyth. The little book documents the pleasure of purchasing books you originally didn't intend to buy upon entering the bookstore but greatly benefit from after buying. It was a charming ode to literary consumerism but that title really grasped my attention. 'Unknown Unknown' - the idea of not knowing about something yet because you don't yet know about it. Independently, that's a fairly heady concept but I enjoy it for a few of reasons:

1. It perfectly sums up the terrifying experience of recording an album for the first time. 
2. It aptly sums up the precarious times we are living in - a world plagued by a devastating pandemic. A very high quota of future unknowns there for sure.
3. More importantly, it sums up the most exciting part of being an improvising jazz musician - grappling with the unknown!

The Music

I'm delighted at the prospect of sharing with you several of my own original compositions. The compositions were penned between 2011 and 2020 and although all were originally conceived at the piano, they have been refined to accommodate the larger instrumentation of my current group: trumpet, alto saxophone, piano, double bass and drums.

For years I'd been composing onto manuscript, but I felt that without the help of other musicians, I couldn't really bring my music to life. What I needed were living musicians who could bring their own personalities and interpretations to the music. After test-running my music with lots of different musicians while I was staying in London, I later decided to move to Paris (a city well known for its cultural pedigree in jazz music). At a 7AM jam session in February 2020 at the jazz club Le Baiser Salé, I met Gabriel Pierre and Guillaume Prévost for the first time. We improvised for about ten minutes over the Great American Songbook Standard 'Cherokee' and I felt an immediate connection of musical empathy with them. We've maintained in close musical contact ever since. It was at the Sunday evening jam sessions at Le Baiser Salé also that I met Christian Altehülhurst and Olga Amelchenko at different times across 2019 and 2020. I was immediately bowled over by their musicianship and took every opportunity I could to play with them. Eventually March 2020 arrived and with it came the wrath of COVID and the rending of the Earth in two. Lots of musicians left Paris to stay with their families or to escape the pressures of the city. By the time we came out of a strict three month lockdown, we were all dying to play music. Guillaume proposed that we play through my compositions at his home studio in Toulouse, so myself, Christian and Gabriel spent the first week of August playing through it (whilst obviously enjoying the summer a bit). Again, the immediate musical connection was there. We knew that we needed to share this music to the world. I just couldn't shake that idea that the music could be even more colourful with another musician. So I asked Olga if she would like to join the group in the January of 2021 and she happily accepted. I'm happy to have the opportunity to be working with four of the most formidably talented musicians I've met to play with for this project. I feel they all have incredibly strong and individual personalities at their instruments. They all have something new to bring to the table and every time I improvise over these songs with them, I feel like the songs are given a fresh coat of paint. They challenge me to explore parts of my compositions which I previously thought never existed - more unknown unknowns!

I think these songs reflect the very best of my current compositional output as a songwriter and are perfect vehicles for the kind of melodic jazz improvisation that I find exciting. The music I aspire to write is on some sort of irregular, self-devised and hard to quantify spectrum between melodic, tightly structured, harmonically adventurous and unpredictably chaotic. To make this analogy clearer I'd like to cite the two large ensemble albums of Thelonious Monk 'Big Band and Quartet in Concert' and 'Thelonious Monk Orchestra at Town Hall', the album 'Directions In Music: Live At Massey Hall' by Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove and Michael Brecker and the 'Final Fantasy VII Original Soundtrack' by Nobuo Uematsu as direct influences to this music. I think these composers and albums more accurately codify the ideals I was aspiring towards in my head when writing.

But more importantly than this, music has been an enduring lifeline for me over many years and especially during this pandemic. I hope that through this recording we can offer some comfort or solace to other musicians, listeners or people that are struggling. Though countless hours of scrutiny and research and experimentation and failure and trial and error has gone into the making, rehearsing and refining of this music, the music is ultimately there to be enjoyed by others and that's my primary motivation for writing it.

There is of course a veritable smorgasbord of music on display here - everything from up tempo burners, to swinging blues compositions, to uplifting sambas and pensive ballads.

If you'd like to check out some of the music, do not hesitate to watch the opening video above or any of the videos below which document our humble beginnings as a quartet:

Video credits: Guillaume Prévost © 2020.

Our intention is to record as much music as possible over a period of two days at the Studio de Meudon just outside of Paris. Below, is a list of all of songs we hope to record in this time:

Proposed Album Track Listing

Opening Theme

So It Goes

Aurora Borealis

Human Is




Jacques (G.Pierre)

No Answer (G.Pierre)

Our Lost


Neo's Descent

Nietzche's Beard

Ending Theme

The Musicians

I am extremely fortunate to be working with a magnificent team of musical comrades. Allow me to introduce them:

Christian Altehülhurst: Trumpet

Photo credit : Laurence Chataigne, 2018

Olga Amelchenko – Alto Saxophone

Photo Credit : Olga Amelchenko © 2018


Gabriel Pierre – double bass

Photo credit : Adrian Chaillou © 2018


Guillaume Prévost – Drums

Photo Credit : Caloé © 2021

Why Support Us?

The primary reason for supporting us is if you enjoy the music! I believe in the value of this music and myself and the band members have worked extremely hard to refine it to an extremely high standard and to make it as exciting as possible for you to listen to! 

By making a contribution, this helps fund the costs of the recording studio, the cost of mixing, mastering and post production, the cost of music licensing and the cost of hiring the musicians.
In return, we have a comprehensive rewards system that treats donors and contributors to exclusive content, music, services and packages. For more details, do take a look at our rewards system.

The costs of professionally recording an album in the 21st century are considerable to independent musicians. There are very few artists that have the luxury of being able to afford this without some form of financial support. Support from you, however much or however little is a signal of direct support for the importance of great art and music in our culture and is a vital lifeline of support to the talented musicians in this project.

We plan to see this project through to complete fruition. With your support, we can do this sooner rather than later and get this music its deserved audience.

Thank you for visiting this page. Please consider contributing and if you are unable to contribute directly, consider sharing this page with your friends, family and acquaintances.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact me via email at davebristowmusic@hotmail.com and I'd be happy to answer any of your questions!

Most graciously yours,
Dave Bristow
Pianist, Composer



Waar dient de collecte voor

Here is a full breakdown of the costs of the campaign within a 6000 euro budget:

2 days with piano tuning, mixing, mastering, final export and all post production at Studio de Meudon: 3144 euros

Payment of musicians: 1600 euros

Recording and publishing licensing with SACEM: 686 euros

Commission Kiss Kiss Bank Bank - 480 euros 

Currently, any additional costs incurred during the campaign are paid for out of pocket but if our campaign surpasses the 6000 euro mark, we also have created stretch goals at the 7000 euro and 8000 euro point.


Here is a full breakdown of the costs of the campaign within a 7000 euro budget:

2 days with piano tuning, mixing, mastering, final export and all post production at Studio de Meudon: 3144 euros. 

Payment of musicians: 1600 euros 

Recording and publishing licensing with SACEM: 686 euros 

CD Manufacture and Distribution: 700 euros 

Guest Musician Appearance: 300 euros

Commission Kiss Kiss Bank Bank: 560 euros



Here is a full breakdown of the costs of the campaign within an 8000 euro budget:

2 days with piano tuning, mixing, mastering, final export and all post production at Studio de Meudon: 3144 euros. 

Payment of musicians: 1600 euros 

Recording and publishing licensing with SACEM: 686 euros 

CD Manufacture and Distribution: 700 euros 

Guest Musician Appearance: 300 euros 

Photography + Video: 650 euros 

Artwork, graphic design and web services: 270 euros

Commission Kiss Kiss Bank Bank: 640 euros

Thank you for taking the time to visit this crowdfunding page and best wishes to all of you!

Dave Bristow

Pianist, Composer and Project Leader

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