Modern Vikings | Tales of the Skald | August 2, 2024

Release: August 2, 2024

The past few years have seen Scotland’s vibrant jazz scene capture well deserved attention from across the UK with the rise of artists including Fergus McCreadie, Georgia Cécile, and Matt Carmichael. 

Drawing on Scotland’s rich folk tradition, and making his imprint on the national dialogue, Ayrshire drummer and composer Stephen Henderson presents the debut release from his quintet ‘Modern Vikings’‘Tales of the Skald’ is set to release on the 2nd of August.

‘Feels Like Home’ is set to release on April 19th on Ubuntu Music.

Born and raised in the rural South-West, Henderson came from a musical family, taking his first steps into drumming at age 9 when he played snare drum in his local pipe band. Most famously known for his long standing role in Mercury Prize nominated pianist Fergus McCreadie’s trio, Henderson’s skills on the kit have gone on to see him perform at some of the UK and Europe’s leading jazz festivals including The North Sea Jazz Festival, Love Supreme, Oslo Jazz Festival and SXSW.

“I’m particularly inspired by jazz musicians who incorporate elements of their own countries’ folk music into their writings and playing. Modern Jazz artists such as Shai Maestro, Avishai Cohen, Lionel Loueke, Leo Blanco and John Scofield have been huge influences on my style more recently.”

Combining the simplicity and warmth of folk music with the urgency, dexterity and groove of the American jazz tradition, Henderson’s writing for Modern Vikingscontains musical depictions of the natural beauty of rural Scotland, of places that inspire him, and of historical events and mythologies.

Evolving fluidly from understated songwriting, delicate musicianship and intricate arrangements to extended passages of high energy, explorative, exhilaratingimprovisation, the record demonstrates the quintet’s honest, fearless and personal approach to Scotland’s distinctive answer to the American artform.

Line up

Stephen Henderson | Drums and Composition
Fergus McCreadie 
| Piano
David Bowden 
| Bass
Graeme Stephen 
| Guitar and Pedals
Konrad Wisniewski 
| Saxophone

Track Listing

Pseudo Power Prelude
Pseudo Power 
Cracks in the Clay
Night Sky
Tales of the Skald
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