Tom was the recipient of the 2017 Kenny Wheeler Prize in association with Edition Records and the Royal Academy of music which lead him to making this debut album alongside esteemed musicians Billy Marrows, Rupert Cox, Dave Storey and Flo Moore.
"We were lucky enough to have the incredible Iain Ballmay on board in the producers chair who's input during the session was invaluable. We also had the amazing Alex Killpartrick engineering the session and mixing the album. I couldn't have asked for a better team of people to record my debut album with!"
Tom's writing for this band has been described by Evan Parker as "wonderfully intricate and demanding and yet is exuberantly listenable". Downbeat also wrote "Excellent compositions". Tom draws on compositional influences such as Mark Lockheart, John Scofield, Brad Mehldau, Chris Potter and Iain Ballamy to create a album of music which stands true to what he was working on at the time.
"A strikingly large new British jazz talent arrives with saxophonist Tom Barford’. - - WRITTEN IN MUSIC, 4 STARS (****)
"A highly accomplished album, “Bloomer” signifies the emergence of a major new talent with Barford impressing both as a soloist and as a composer. As a player he clearly has technique to burn but it’s his writing skills that suggest that he’s going to be a major presence on the British jazz scene for many years to come”
- THE JAZZ MANN, 4 STARS (****)
"There's ample evidence here that the saxophonist-composer is already living up to his billing, with a deep engagement with both mainstream and contemporary jazz sources and a dexterity beyond his years."
- JAZZWISE MAGAINE, 4 STARS (****)
- CHRIS PHILLIPS, JAZZ FM (UK)
“Bloomer is possessed with an overarching and consistent vibrancy which is clearly indicative of even greater things to come from this talented musician.”
- ALL ABOUT JAZZ (UK), 4 STARS (****)
“Bloomer is one of the best!!!!”
- MULTICULT FM (DE)
“...this is an album that excites and intrigues, and leaves the listener looking forward to hearing what’s to follow from this effervescent, gifted new talent.”
- UK VIBE (UK), 4 STARS (****)
“It’s been an absolute pleasure following you this year and watching you develop into a fabulous band leader with a debut album…”
- BBC RADIO 3, JAZZ J to Z (UK)