Pianist James Rhodes is launching a new record label (in association with Signum Classics) called Instrumental Records. The label will be formally launched at a concert at Hinde Street Methodist Church, Marylebone, London, on June 4. The first album, called 'Five', sees Rhodes recording Bach's Partita, BWV825, Beethoven's Piano Sonata No 15, Chopin's Ballade No 3 and Scherzo No 2, Gluck's Orfeo Melody (arranged by Sgambati) and Schumann's Frühlingsnacht (arranged by Liszt). Rhodes says of the new label that 'Even before I started making albums, I had long dreamed of forming my own label. One that had something new to say - great designs, brilliant musicians, thrilling repertoire. I want it to include a big presence on social media, I want to tour as a label and hopefully engage a new kind of musician and listener.'
Rhodes's previous four albums have been well-received in Gramophone. Reviewing Rhodes's 'Now would all Freudians please stand aside' in July 2010, Jeremy Nicholas wrote, 'Behind all this redundant rock-image nonsense is an innovative and imaginative musician of real talent. The CD's subtitle is a quote from Rhodes's hero Glenn Gould and his best playing here is the Bach Partita, outstanding in every way - lightly pedalled, lucidly voiced, with a lithe, rhythmic buoyancy and deeply expressive Sarabande.'
And in reviewing Rhodes's 'Bullets and Lullabies', Jed Distler wrote, 'However you respond to Rhodes’s pop persona – inescapable in the way this disc is presented – the fact is that he’s a pianist who can deliver the goods and has something to say.'