Just 3 years after opening Astar Studios its producer owner scooped a Mercury Prize ‘Album of the Year’, an achievement that has advanced the status of Andy Ross towards the producer premier league, sparking the interest of artists, managers and record companies. ‘Golden’ by the Kit Downes Trio (Basho) was released to critical acclaim receiving 4 stars from the Guardian and Observer jazz critics. The album that was the surprise contender for the prestigious Mercury musical crown alongside artists such as Dizzee Rascal, Paul Weller and Corinne Bailey Rae resulted in widespread recognition for the unique approach producer Andy Ross has taken since opening Astar Studios, where the emphasis is on what matters most – superbly designed acoustics, an outstanding technical spec and engineering and production of the highest possible standard. Andy Ross told us, “When I heard the news I felt totally elated and delighted for Kit and the band who are such talented musicians. Personally I feel so proud that the quality of my recordings and sound from Astar Studios has been judged at the highest level as worthy to sit alongside those of the other more established and big budget album nominees including the legendary Paul Weller.” Andy first met Kit Downes in 2008 when he came to Astar Studios to accompany double bassist Calum Gourlay on a recording for ‘The Yamaha New Jazz Sessions’ with fellow Royal Academy of Music student James Maddren on drums. From that recording The Kit Downes Trio was born, they signed to Basho Records and Kit called Andy to invite him to record the trio’s debut album ‘Golden’. Kit returned to Astar to record a solo piano composition, ‘William Cooper’ for the Yamaha New Jazz Sessions CD series.