Donald Brown (6 Times Grammy Nominee, Jazz Pianist/Composer/Producer)
These two Japanese/American kids are the real deal! They are twins and make a solid foundation for any rhythm section.
Kirk Whalum (Grammy Winning Jazz Saxophonist)
Their trajectory is all but guaranteed to be upward and very long. These boys take the music very seriously––and still manage to make it fun!
John Clayton (Bassist, Composer, Arranger and Co-leader of a Brothers band)
How can it be that 2 brothers can communicate via their music on such a high level?! It is uplifting to witness Carl and Alan Maguire move up the familial Jazz Ladder as they share their sounds with the world.
Gregory Tardy (Jazz Saxophonist)
Carl and Alan both have bright futures ahead of them. Possessing chops, excitement, and vocabulary, they both have the talent and discipline to become premier artists of their generation...
Keiko Matsui (Jazz Pianist)
Their album is heavy duty but a hearty one. It’s fantastic to have legends like Kirk Whalum with them on their wonderful first step of their career. I felt relentlessly these two new stars’ fighting spirit and the force of them working hard during their apprenticeship.
Manuel Rocheman (Jazz Pianist, France)
Carl & Alan play with such inspiration. They manage to adapt perfectly well to each soloist, They have a wide variety of playing.
Laurence Boo Mitchell (Royal Studios Owner/Grammy Winning Music Producer)
Carl and Alan are talented well beyond their years. They play with an instinct that's normally only seen in veteran musicians. They were an absolute pleasure to work with.
Takashi Yamamoto, Jazz Perspective Editor in Chief, Disk Union Jazz Department Chief, Japan
They are a 21-year-old young Japanese rhythm section, drummer and bassist. What I hear in this album is highly purified hard bop from America. What a great feeling!
Malvin Massey Jr. (WMUR FM92 Memphis Radio General Manager)
This CD is a professional, straight ahead effort worthy of a feature. These guys are off to a great start at an early age, and we are happy to share their talent with the rest of the world.
Toyoshi Narita (Japan's No.1 Jazz Review Blogger)
As a result of their continuous hard work, Carl and Alan have made remarkable progress in a short period of time. I feel their future holds limitless possibility.
Hokuroku Newspaper, Japan
They wowed the audience with their powerful and synchronized performance with authentic technique they obtained where jazz came from (Memphis, Tennessee).
Imagine identical, musically inclined identical twins growing up in Hong Kong, where they seldom heard jazz, and then at 15 moving with their Japanese mother and American father to musically rich Memphis.
Imagine these boys falling head over heels for jazz to the point of devoting their young lives to it—and then, during one of their regular visits to their grandmother in Japan, creating an enthusiastic following for the music in a town that had never been exposed to it.
But that’s not all, folks. Imagine drummer Carl Maguire and bassist Alan Maguire going into the studio with Memphis legend Donald Brown, barely into their twenties, and recording an topflight album with the likes of tenor saxophonist Gregory Tardy, trumpeter Bill Mobley, and pianist Aaron Goldberg.
When, you might ask, was the last time dual careers have gotten off to this kind of start?
It has indeed been a charmed, storybook life for the Maguire Twins, who at 21 have more worldly experience than many musicians acquire in a lifetime. And as signified by the title of their excellent new recording, Seeking Higher Ground, produced by Brown, they have only begun to grow as artists.
“It all goes back to Donald,” says Alan. “He has kept us motivated.”
“Memphis is where most of our musical growing happened,” adds Carl. “I can't imagine us getting to where we are if we hadn’t come here.”
Their second album, Seeking Higher Ground is a stellar showcase for the Maguires, as both players and composers. They contribute two originals each to the program, which includes songs by their illustrious bandmates and producer. And without sacrificing cohesiveness, the songs are stylistically diverse.
Carl Seitaro Maguire and Alan Shutaro Maguire were born on March 19, 1996 in Tokyo, Japan. The family moved to Hong Kong due to their father’s job transfer when the twins were three. While attending a British international school in Hong Kong, the boys heard mostly electronic pop and trance music. When their older brother Kevin started a rock band at the seasoned age of 12, he recruited his 10-year-old siblings. Alan knew was assigned bass. (He also plays piano.)
Carl was tabbed to play drums because he was studying it, along with trumpet. After Kevin quit the band, Alan and Carl kept at it, forming their own bass and drum duo at age 14. “It made everything easy for us,” says Carl. “When we did a gig we only needed to find one player.”
It wasn’t long after the move to Memphis and the Maguires enrolled at the Stax Music Academy that they were playing jazz. Saxophonist Kirk Whalum, then the artist in residence at Stax, had more than a little to do with that. So did Donald Brown, whom they met there when he came to scout students as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville. (They went on to study there with him.)
They learned to improvise listening to musicians at jazz clubs. “The music just took us over,” says Carl. “When I heard a bassist, I would tell Alan about it. When he heard a drummer, he would make suggestions to me based on what he saw and heard. We helped each other out. “We were open to criticism from each other as well as ideas. Friends don’t want to be too harsh, but we can criticize each other as much as we want.”
When the Maguire family made its annual visit to Japan to visit the twins’ maternal grandmother in the inland town of Kitaakita City, the boys performed in various spots, building a following among local musicians as well as fans. Requests for CDs led them to record, at 18, The Sound of Music, a demo-style album released in 2014.
Oddly enough, the Maguires are not the only bass and drum pairing who are identical twins. The exceptional, French-born François and Louis Moutin are charter members of that club. You would expect Carl and Alan to enjoy a special connection on the bandstand, the way twins do in life, but they were less interested in discussing possible extrasensory ties than the benefits of their shared experience.
“Being the same age, taking classes together, playing with each other all the time—we just know each other really well,” says Carl. “We understand how our personalities fit together in terms of the roles we play.”
“We know what we want from each other,” says Alan.
With each tour of Japan and Hong Kong, where they began performing on an annual basis in 2013, their Asian following has grown. So has the talent pool they draw from over there. The twins have performed with artists such as guitarist Yosuke Onuma, trombonist Shigeharu Mukai, pianist Yuichi Inoue, and saxophonist Yosuke Sato in Japan as well as pianist Ted Lo in Hong Kong.
Says Carl, “Now when we go back to Japan, where jazz has been really important to a lot of people for a long time, we do so as individuals who really appreciate this music. It’s been quite an awakening for us, and it keeps getting more fun.”
In June 2018, their second album, 'Seeking Higher Ground' debuted on the US Jazz Week Chart. They were ranked #32 on the chart and stayed on the chart for 5 consecutive weeks.
In November 2018, they had a successful Japan tour and had a concert with Shamisen brothers to 1,000+ audience in Akita, Japan. They performed in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kurashiki, Kyoto and Kobe.