'Not only are these four powerhouse musicians, but they all happen to be strong and unique composers as well.' This was the impression of the Live Music Report when reviewing a recent Circles Quartet performance. It serves well to summarize what the quartet is about - immersive, energetic, improvisational jazz performance, with an emphasis also on exploring original composition. Through a deep respect for the history of jazz, and an awareness of the current innovations and trends of jazz, music, and beyond, Circles seeks to investigate how these elements can be deconstructed and recombined into new possibilities, with the hope of contributing to the emerging voice of a new generation of young jazz musicians. The Circles Quartet was spearheaded when bassist Matthew Roberts, while studying music at Humber College in Toronto, formed a steady group to explore his original compositions. Soon pianist and classmate Hayoun Lee also began to add his own compositional style to the blend. University of Toronto alumni guitarist Neil Whitford joined in the summer of 2007, and since then the three have contributed equally in presenting a rapidly expanding catalog of original music, in performances described as 'fresh, luminously dark, glorious, delicious, and energetic through any tempo.' In the summer of 2008, Roberts, Lee, and Whitford, with the addition of drummer Nico Dann, along with special guests Alexandra Tait (vocals) and Terry Quinney (saxophone), headed into the studio. The resulting full-length CD showcases the band's wide influences. Listeners may detect the inspiration of Dave Holland in Roberts' How To Walk On Water, or Kenny Wheeler in Whitford's Little Candles, or even Radiohead in the title track, Lee's I Understand. With each performance the quartet's chemistry grows as they continue to create and explore new territory. They plan to expand this growth through a participation in the Banff International Workshop in Jazz and Creative Music, as well as further studio recording, both planned for the summer of 2009. Don't forget to check CirclesQuartet.com to download the original demo, get the hidden track (both free) and learn more about the band. Album reviews: '...demonstrates what happens when four musicians complement each other to create one voice, yet give each other room to move and explore.' - Vue Weekly, December 25th 2008 'All three writers have a very strong and individual voice and Roberts has done a great job producing this into a seamless and cohesive piece of art. [...] This is modern jazz with a penchant for meaningful expression, not trivial musical athleticism.' - The Live Music Report, November 2008.