"a guitarist of enormous technical ability who utilizes his considerable gifts thoughtfully and tastefully, a highly accomplished guitarist and composer.” – Ian Mann, The Jazz Mann
Danish guitarist, Kristian Borring, is often described as an understated virtuoso with a deeply melodic approach, and a “strong rhythmic urgency...a lot of discipline and a compelling drive to the playing” (Marlbank). Kristian is also recognised as having a “contemporary edge whilst never losing his firm grip on the jazz guitar lexicon... a masterful exposition of jazz guitar and the small jazz combo” (Bebop Spoken Here).
After establishing himself early on as a "rising star" (Time Out, London) when moving to the British capital from Amsterdam, Kristian has cemented his name as a melodic contemporary jazz artist, who can be a leader and sideman alike. His British quartet has received much acclaim over the years. The Danish Jazz Magazine, Jazz Special, described the group as delivering “hard swing, lively post-bop and mellow Nordic melancholy to edgy jazz-rock fusion...with great force and a controlled ferocity which suits the quartet well”, and BBC Radio 3 presenter Julian Joseph recognised the group as “a band exercising a strong sense of control and empathy”.
Kristian’s fifth album Out of Nowhere was released in 2021, immediately becoming album of the week on both ABC jazz Australia as well Danish Radio Broadcast P8jazz. It was reviewed as being “creative contemporary jazz at its very best” by Jazz Views, and jazz reviewer Ian Mann described it as: “A typically classy, intelligent & sophisticated offering from Borring” (the Jazz Mann).
Kristian’s collaborative efforts includes his new Australian trio Number Junky (an experimental guitar-led jazz trio and the band Turning Pages – with Sydney-based Drummer Paul Derricott. In the Summer of 2019 Kristian co-released "Make Your Stand" with Acrobat, the British/Scandinavian "cool-grooving organ trio" (AP Reviews), featuring also Will Bartlett (org) and Pat Davey (d). Acrobat's 2nd album was recorded at Steve Winwood's legendary Cotswolds studio. The release was followed by a European tour in early 2020, starting out at Ronnie Scott's Jazz Club, London, and finishing 20 days later in Freiburg, Germany.
In 2018 Kristian released his first live album, recorded at the renowed venue Vortex Jazz Club in Dalston, London. Adrian Pallant from AP Reviews wrote about this album: "A COOL, LUMINOUS BREEZE once again permeates the classy grooves of Danish guitarist Kristian Borring’s original music… The guitarist’s clear improvisatory journeyings, as always, catch the attention." A three weeks tour of the UK and Spain followed featuring the line-up from the album; Rick Simpson (p), Dave Whitford (b) and Jon Scott (d).
Kristian’s third album Silent Storm was released July 2016, recorded on a dark Autumn's day at Curtis Schwartz Studio straight off the back of his quartet’s tour around England finishing in Bristol. The writing on this album is colourful and stylistically diverse, and is concentrated exclusively around his accomplished quartet, putting the sounds of guitar and piano backed by a strong and emphatic rhythm section in the centre of the recording. The group, which featured the inspiring efforts of Arthur Lea (p), Mick Coady (b) and Jon Scott, had been playing together since 2009: “This feels like a ‘proper’ working band throughout, with a flexible and intelligent rapport honed by several years of playing together.” (The Jazz Mann). The synchronicity of the band and the level of the music was noted by Peter Jones at London Jazz News: “This is confident, sophisticated work at every level – composition, arrangement, execution - and a pleasure to listen to throughout.” The Silent Storm tour to follow of England, Wales and Denmark was supported by Arts Council England.
In the period 2014-2016 Kristian also worked extensively in duo with British pianist Bruno Heinen, performing recording and touring, invited amongst others places to perform at Inntoene Jazz Festival in Austria. The duo saw stellar reviews upon their release of Postcards To Bill Evans (2015, Babel) a dedication to the music of pianist Bill Evans. They received four star reviews in both The Telegraph and the Art Desk and The Times reviewer Chris Pearson stated that the duo's "synergy [was] almost on par with that of Evans and of his long time collaborator Jim Hall".
Kristian released his second album as a bandleader in 2014 Urban Novel drawing inspiration from the cityscape as a personal homage to life in the metropolis. The album, his first on Jellymould Jazz Records, features his working quartet as well as British vibraphonist and two time Down Beat Reader’s Poll nominee, Jim Hart, who joined in the creation of a rich sound palette consisting of guitar, piano and vibes. The music on Urban Novel with its strong sense of melody set in a contemporary ‘sound-scape’, has been described as being “clean, cool, precise and contemporary” – (The Scotsman). Jazzwise reviewer Selwyn Harris said, “Borring's set of originals are engaging and their subtle rhythmic and harmonic twists add to the interest”. Commenting on Kristian’s continuous ability as a strong melodic player, All About Jazz ‘s Bruce Lindsey described Kristian’s playing as a “warm, open tone - a welcoming sound that draws and holds the attention”. Lance Liddle from Bebop Spoken Here added “one of the finest, most tasteful and accomplished guitarists on the scene, with Jim Hart - one of the world's great vibraphonists - in the mix, the result is another triumph for the Danish guitarist and his team.” The group received Arts Council England tour support upon the release.
Kristian’s debut album, Nausicaa - a reference to Odysseus’ journey in Homer’s “The Odyssey” - was released in 2011 on Italian label Ultra Sound Records and featured New York based alto saxophonist, Will Vinson. It received wide spread national acclaim and was described by John Fordham (The Guardian) as a “hyper-cool and low-key approach to jazz guitar, but…with warmth, confidence and a rhythmic hipness that's thoroughly contemporary”. Chris Parker from LondonJazz found Kristian’s original compositions “immediately attractive and enduringly impressive”.
Kristian has worked and performed in the UK, Europe and Australia. He currently resides in Perth, WA, where he is teaching guitar, improvisation and composition at the Western Australian Academy of the Performing Arts (WAAPA) and is finishing his practice-led Doctorate research about non-isochronous meter in jazz composition and improvisation.
He has worked as 'session' and 'side-man' with a great variety of groups and performers such as: Archie Shepp, Antonio Zambrini, Tommaso Starace, Laurence Cottle, Zhenya Strigalev, Jamie Oehlers, Will Vinson, Liam Noble Trio, Karen David, Chris McNulty, Tom O'Halloran, Gareth Lockrane, Nia Lynn, Monika Lidke, Ray Quinn, Paul Derricott, Steve Barry, Bryan Abraham, Christine Tobin, The Puppini Sisters, Ed Puddick's Big Band, Mike Garrick, Jim Hart, Ivo Neame, Ben Vanderwal, Lars Dietrich, Daniel Susnjar, Andreas Pichler, Jasper Høiby and many more. Kristian was also associated with the progressive London based jazz collective SE Collective around 2012-2015 through his work with the organ trio Acrobat and saxophonist Jon Shenoy's organ quartet Draw By Four.
Kristian attended studies at Conservatorium Van Amsterdam in The Netherlands and at Guildhall School of Music in London.
More PRESS QUOTES:
intense and cool playing
– Jazz Special
Borring plays with a contemporary edge whilst never losing his firm grip on the jazz guitar lexicon… a masterful exposition of jazz guitar and the small jazz combo
– Bebop Spoken Here
strong rhythmic urgency…a lot of discipline and a compelling drive to the playing
[KB Quartet] swing like the well-established unit they are, sounding slick and hip, but melodic throughout; despite their modernity, they play with one foot anchored in the jazz tradition
– London Jazz News
This is a guitarist who eschews histrionics, Borring’s is an understated virtuosity and he favors a pure, clean sound.
– The Jazz Man
His guitar work, like the overall feel of the music, is clean, cool, precise and contemporary.
– The Scotsman
A good set of well played compositions with a band exercising a strong sense of control and empathy”...“gentle sophistication…
– BBC Radio 3
As the album title implies, Urban Novel is a musical tale of life in the metropolis. Cool and laid back, fast and frantic, tender and reflective, sad and joyous - big city life as we know it whether as commuters, strangers or residents.
– Bebop Spoken Here
The tunes though complex knit well together and there is a convincing clarity to the improvising thought processes at work that represents a strong statement of intent from an artist we’ll be hearing a lot more from with any luck in the future.
(Jim) Hart shares Borring's warmth and fluidity of expression, creating a rewarding partnership.
– All About Jazz
Soothing, ringing tone…
Although unfailingly melodic this is also highly sophisticated music that is well served by Borring’s undemonstrative approach.
– The Jazz Mann
A melodic, precise player with a rounded, open tone. Nausicaa [is] an assured and confident debut, demonstrating Borring's talents as a composer and player. There are some complex time signatures on display, but they're never overdone and the music remains accessible from the get-go. [An] impressive first release.
– All About Jazz
[Kristian] has such a clean and distinctive style and is obviously a great listener. Nausicaa has to be on top of every jazz guitar lovers shopping list, a great CD.
– UK Radio Jazz
Borring is an accomplished but determinedly unflashy player, firmly rooted in the jazz tradition of his instrument.
Borring not only favours a fleet-fingered, hip swinging, soul-bop but draws as well from the subtle, gentle lyricism of guitarists such as John Abercrombie and Pat Metheny… there is an engaging brightness to [his] sound.”