“…low slung funk with a top horn section – blowing free and funky with nods to ‘Trane, Miles and The Art Ensemble of Chicago – this is way ahead of most sampladelic outings.” – TimeOut ***
“…some of the baddest, funkiest sounds ever.” – Detroit Illharmonic Symphony
“Funky jazz for the 21st century – I can’t believe how good this is for an indie release – great players… imaginative arrangements… great music.” – Rootdown Radio
MOTIV are a six-piece band with two horns and a dynamic four piece rhythm section, who work at the hard edge of contemporary jazz. Their mix of urban beats, jazz harmony and inspired freedom led one DJ to describe them as “Groove Collective and Yusef Lateef meets Roots Manuva” and “Funky jazz for the 21st. century”
In the five years they have been together, they have stuck close to the principles of collective organisation, and seen remarkably few changes in core personnel. In that time they have released two albums through the music cooperative anotherworldmusic with rave reviews from Time Out and Etherbeat radio. Tracks were included in compilation albums by the Big Issue and New Internationalist.
MOTIV’s dynamic, high-energy live performances have led to re-bookings at leading London venues including The Jazz Café, Vortex, Rhythm Factory and Cargo, and their experimental residencies are legendary for attracting jamming MCs willing to take a chance and make it live! MOTIV are currently working-up and recording new material for a forthcoming album.
Ruard Absaroka – Piano/Keys
Inspired by artists such as Herbie Hancock and McCoy Tyner, Ruard worked his way through his school career and first degree by jobbing as a self-taught jazz pianist. Able to draw also upon classical training on piano, violin and voice, his involvement in jazz solidified further when plunging into the lush jazz-inflected keyboard harmonies and jagged rhythms of London Broken Beat scene, but also through participation in workshops with Barry Harris, and informal mentoring from Jazz Warrior Adrian Reid. A versatile multi-instrumentalist, he regularly undertakes session work in London (e.g. for the BBC 2016 Mekong River TV series), has toured as a fiddler for Ceilidh bands in France, Italy, Greece and Turkey, but also performed as a Korean Samulnori percussionist at venues that include the London O2 and Victoria and Albert Museum. A long-standing scholarly fascination for China led to extensive instruction and performing experience in Chinese music, for instance performing and conducting workshops for the London Jingkun Opera Association (e.g. at the Purcell Room on the Southbank), and in broadcasts for Chinese TV. While attending the Shanghai Conservatory of Music he specialized in jiangnan sizhu instrumental folk chamber music, received training on the qin classical zither, but also dipped into the vibrant Shanghai jazz world, and his work as an ethnomusicologist informs his jazz piano.
Laurence Cliffe – Bass
Laurence has been playing bass and producing music for over 13 years. Whilst at Art College Loz cut his teeth on the East London underground funk and Hip Hop music scene of the mid-nineties. He played bass guitar, produced and recorded for MOTIV and The Urban Jazz Quartet for the anotherworldmusic label and has played a number of music festivals and venues including London’s Jazz Festival The Scala, The Forum and The Jazz Cafe. Along with other members of anotherworldmusic he helped run the seminal ‘Jazz Meets Hip Hop’ club nights at The Clockwork Club in Islington. His playing is heavily influenced by early Hip Hop, 70’s Funk and the Chicago underground Jazz scene.
Mike Hobart – Alto
Mike Hobart is an experienced and soulful saxophonist with a warm tone and fluid technique. His compositions capture the detail of the urban experience as they unfold through sixties shuffles and Blue Note swing to edgy funk and nuanced R’n’B.
Mike’s first steps were private lessons from Evan Parker. He went professional playing soul with the bands of Jimmy James’ Vagabonds and Johnny Johnson’s Bandwagon.
Since then he has worked the European club and festival circuit and London’s session scene, covering everything from Afro-jazz, Latin and reggae to Indie rock, touring and working with the likes of Esther Phillips, Maceo Parker and Pee Wee Ellis, as well as a long stint with Otis Grand on baritone, tenor and alto saxes.
Jazz was always his focus, and long-term group projects have included drummers Sam Kelly and Rick Finlay, founder jazz warrior pianist Adrian Reid and trumpeter Januscz Carmello, and taken in funk, post bop and free-form jazz, though not always in the same band.
Justin Pickett – Drums
Justin studied at Weekend Arts College in London with Ian Carr where he joined London Fusion Orchestra. After Touring with the LFO Justin acted and drummed in the BBC comedy Growing Pains. His London Residencies include: Kindred Spirit – artists: Michelle Escoffery; Ty (Mercury Award Nominee); Vula (Basement Jaxx); Eska; J’nay (MOBO award winner); Nate James; Terri Walker; Elizabeth Troy (Incognito, Artful Dodger); Natalie Williams; Bev Tawiah
Ed Riches – Guitar
Ed Riches studied Jazz at Columbia University in New York, and at Michael Garrick’s Jazz Academy in London. Since completing his studies, he has been working as a session musician in venues and studios across London. Ed has recorded and performed with various artists, including Sophie Barker (Zero 7), the South London Jazz Orchestra, Lazy Chan, Son of Sam, Sara Schiralli, Komla, the Rough Rhythm Junkies, Marilyn David and the Sarah Carter Band. Ed’s favourite artists are Erik Truffaz, John Scofield, Thelonious Monk, Squarepusher and Wes Montgomery.
Steve Sincock – Trumpet
Began playing cornet in a local brass band. Introduced to Jazz via friend’s Count Basie and Buddy Rich records he started playing trumpet in the Cornish Youth Jazz Orchestra.
Steve attended Guildhall Jazz Course 1991, alongside well known jazz musicians Arnie Somogyi and Gareth Williams. He Studied and played with British Jazz Legend Mike Garrick and New York trumpet star Randy Brecker, who stated that Steve had a “great sound”. Playing in a London based Soul and R&B band with members of Geno Washington’s band he wrote and played incidental music for a contemporary dance performance of Gunter Grass’s “The Tin Drum”, the ‘Independent’ described his playing as “beguiling”.
Alongside his primary influence, Miles Davis, Steve has a long abiding passion for the sound world of Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman and the New York loft scene. He has also been heavily influenced by the British Jazz Scene of the 60’s and 70’s, with musicians such as Kenny Wheeler, Evan Parker and Joe Harriott.