Jim Funnell’s Word Out



“The mystery of the whole life has a great charm. … but when one wants to explain [ it ] words are not adequate.” – Hazrat Inayat Khan, The Power of the Word


Word Out is a modern creative jazz trio at its core (with additional musicians on occasion) led by New York-based pianist/composer Jim Funnell. Attuned to the global beat and in step with the latest harmonic developments, his music is contemporary both in style and language. Finding a resonance with Rilke’s perception of poetry, Jim apprehends jazz composition and improvisation as ideal vehicles for infinite shades of emotion: “Most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered.” (Letters to a Young Poet).

With Word Out, Jim has released two albums (Word Out and Spirit of the Snail), won the Composition Prize in 2011 at the “Trophées du Sunside” (Paris), and toured internationally, appearing at festivals and venues such as ShapeShifter Lab, Rockwood Music Hall (NY), Paris Music Festival, Sunset-Sunside, Improphile, Baiser Salé, Jazz à Vanves, Jazz de Mars, Jazz en Touraine (France), SOMETIME Kichijōji, JZ Brat, Royal Horse (Japan), and the Malta Jazz Festival.

Influenced by Berklee College of Music faculty members JoAnne Brackeen, Laszlo Gardony, Danilo Pérez, David Fiuczynski, Joe Lovano, as well as a handful of stellar visiting artists (Yellowjackets, Meshell Ndegeocello, Dave Douglas, Marcus Miller), whom Jim shared the stage with during his studies in Boston, inspiration from literary sources also often pervades his music (Ellul, Kundera, Musil, Orwell, Saint-Exupéry, Mérimée, Sartre…)

Lineups for Word Out have included: Steve Whipple (Toshiko Akiyoshi, Donny McCaslin, Gregory Porter, Bernard Purdie) / Mátyás Szandai (Archie Shepp, David Murray, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Chris Potter) / Takashi Sugawa (Hino Terumasa) / Oliver Degabriele (Akale Wube) on bass | Peter Traunmueller / Jeff Boudreaux (Wynton Marsalis, Rick Margitza, Niels Lan Doky) / John Betsch (Abdullah Ibrahim, Marilyn Crispell, Steve Lacy) / Ryo Noritake / Thibault Perriard on drums | Akiko Horii (Django Bates, Andy Narell) on percussion | Philippe Lopes de Sa on saxophone | and more…


This music is the singular result of a thorough reflection on rhythms, sounds, and colors.
Guillaume Lagrée, Le jars jase jazz

Led by Anglo-French charismatic pianist and inspired composer Jim Funnell, Word Out offers sophisticated yet accessible worlds.
– Basem Shalabi, L’Echo Républicain

These young musicians (Word Out) are simply fresh, alive, curious, open-minded, joyful, and listening to their music does heaps of good.
Guillaume Lagrée, Le jars jase jazz


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