Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Celebrating back to the future day in jazz...

Below is my selection of things that happened on the actual Back To The Future days in jazz history/present. Please get in touch (comments, twitter, whatever) if you can think of any more!

12th November 1955: Dexter Gordon Quintet recorded 'I Should Care'

Dexter Gordon!

(My earlier, erroneous entry, which I enjoy too much to delete: Lover Man - Jackie McLean)

Miles had just gone under the knife... but in five days his band were to lay down the first 'Round About Midnight session... but ON THIS DAY, was laid down this gem, recorded at Van Gelder Studio, Hackensack, NJ:

  • Jackie McLean - Alto Sax
  • Donald Byrd - Trumpet (sits out, but yknow, he was there)
  • Mal Waldron - Piano
  • Doug Watkins - Bass
  • Ronald Tucker - Drums

26th October 1985: Freddie Hubbard


This was actually recorded on the 25th, but hopefully the gig went on late enough to count?

21st October 2015: Tonight there's a bunch of stuff happening around London, you should go see some of it...

Huw V Williams' Hon album launch at the Vortex (click flier for more info)....


Or alternatively, the Corrie Dick/Maarten Hogenhuis trio with special guests Miriam Ast and Rob Luft at the Spice of Life.








Saturday, 3 October 2015

Vula Viel remix EP, plus some nerding out on buzzing gourds...

In the run-up to the Vula Viel album launch, taking place at the end of this month (see flyer below) I wanted to give a bit of love to the remix album. There's a wealth of imagination here that bears deep listening. I think it's worth nothing that a couple of the band members themselves have contributed some incredible cut: Dan Nicholls' remix is an absolute brain-melter, and the additional vocals on the Dave De Rose mix really set it apart. It's really interesting to see how different musicians have latched onto different elements of the original piece, and the overall album is incredibly varied - a million miles away from those 6-remix maxi-CDs from 90s/00s chart music (although they are a guilty pleasure of mine... janet jackson anyone? my guiltiest being deliberately tracking down the cheesiest versions of Kelis' Trick Me).

My favourite moments are where the buzzing of the gourds are brought to the front (as they are even in the original mix). I love all that lovely natural distortion, and it seems I'm not the only one. For anyone else out there who's interested, I found this paper about mathematically modelling the Gyil's sound with an aim "to provide performers and composers an audio effect that can be applied to the signal of any mallet percussion instrument" - ultimately spreading something of this joyful sound far and wide. Just look at those frequencies once you add the gourd:



You can listen to / buy the EP below, and the full album is available for pre-order from Vula Viel's bandcamp.





Smiling music



Here's a great video of Corrie Dick's Band of Joy performing live at Oliver's. I just love the energy in this video - really positive vibes and lots of smiles amongst one another. Sharing sincere happiness is one of the things that makes playing music together so enriching, and Corrie has really captured it with this video, gathering a phenomenal lineup of players, and highlighting that intense energy with the dancers Paulina Lenoir and Luke Bullen.

If you're currently too hungover from the con last night to handle percussion and horns at this time of day, here's that Little Lions track again for good measure. In video form this time. Those smiles, though!

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Assorted C&L update: Mark Pringle at the Oxford, Con Cellar on Friday, and *even more* Little Lions



Mark Pringle's Moveable Feast live at the Oxford

Pianist Mark Pringle put together an incredible band for this gig. Pringle's music brought the best out of this quartet - one can only imagine the additional joy had Josh Arcoleo been able to make the date as planned. Joe Wright's tenor tone was just so ridiculous - a flute one minute, a bone-saw the next. James Banner was boxing away so hard at that bass I thought it was going to fall apart in his arms - an exciting player with loads of great musical ideas. He and drummer Euan Palmer were so locked in; even during delightful, clattery, free passages, it was fruitless to try and discern where one player ended and the other began.

Con Cellar line-up for Friday

Ok, so the lineup for Friday is - as usual - awesome. Difference this time is that I should be able to make it *in person* this time. Everyone else should too.

Mark Lewandowski Quartet:
  • Mark Lewandowski – double bass
  • Tom Challenger – tenor sax
  • Liam Noble – piano
  • Gene Caldarazzo – drums
Lloyd Haines Trio:
  • Lloyd Haines – drums
  • Josh Arcoleo – tenor sax
  • Chris Hyson – double bass


More Little Lions to listen to...

This band keeps popping up every so often to lob very pretty music at the internet. This track was recorded live at Dempsey's in Cardiff, and made my Sunday morning just wonderful.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Review: Alex Haines Trio EP launch with Rick Simpson's Klammer


Beautiful ambient country from Alex Haines joined by Alex Munk and Nick Jurd.

The launch was last Thursday at Jazz Nursery. Opening for them was a trio on deck featuring Nick Costley-White and Dave Hamblett, followed by Rick Simpson's Klammer ensemble (which is sounding just burning at the moment - looking forward to the album).

Seeing this band in the belly of the boat (Jazz Nursery takes place aboard the Golden Hinde II on the south bank - I have written about it before somewhere on here...) was an intense experience. Soaring, dusty tunes with delicate, warm textures - a welcome injection of eerily disembodied electric americana into the London scene.


Overall, it was a great night.

I was right on the lower deck for the Klammer set: It was incredible to see so many surprised and delighted faces as Rick writhed through his intensely difficult set. ("I've got to start writing some easier tunes!") They have developed a truly distinct voice, whirling through lines with a kaleidoscopic approach to time and tonality, it's music to focus on and get lost in. Rick warned that one song will "leave you feeling a bit weird". It's true; it's awesome.
Rick brings to the table a keen sense of communication that allows everyone to share in all the fun, beauty, and darkness that his ensemble has to offer. Just excellent.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Conor Chaplin, James Allsopp, Tim Giles live at the Con

Here's a must-listen set of standards recorded live at the Con Cellar. This lineup is great: James Allsopp, Conor Chaplin, and Tim Giles - it sounds incredible, and reminds me how much I miss hanging out at that amazing venue... such magic!

Monday, 3 August 2015

Sam Leak Big Band - Listen now to the entire suite...



This is absolutely mega. Sam Leak has released his whole suite of big band music from last year's London Jazz Festival - intense music. Alec Harper's solo - starting just after the 8 minute mark - is amazing, and backed with just the nastiest storm of big band, eventually giving way to (at first) cleanly stated hymn-like chords from Sam himself. And then it really really swings. The horn entry under Sam's piano after that is almost grimy.
Lluis Mather comes in around 24:30 with a searching, imaginative improvisation - followed by Sam Rapley demonstrating once again (if briefly) that the bass clarinet is a sonic force to be reckoned with even in the context of an entire big band.
I think you just have to listen to it. It's fun, and it's interesting. All in all a mighty fine way to spend 54'23".

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Crushing piano trio magic - ENEMY live in Brighton



Here are Kit Downes, James Maddren and Petter Eldh absolutely killing it live at the Verdict in Brighton earlier this year. This is precise, immersive, and frankly dangerous music - I don't want to touch it; I want to dive headfirst into it. The sense of enjoyment, wonder, and humour is infectious - and all the while, they remain unafraid to present the listener with the magic beauty they've found.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

First gig recording of Simpson/Lewandowski/Glaser trio - UPDATED with Two Rivers Records news...

Whether or not you're familiar with current piano trio jazz, I strongly urge you to check this out - and if you feel like hitting pause at any point - DON'T. It's the first live recording of a trio, and within it, Messrs Simpson, Lewandowski, and Glaser present us with a thunderstorm of ideas - it's the sound of creative energy being squeezed violently out of a toothpaste tube by a thumbless caveman. And it's brilliant.

Rick Simpson - Piano
Mark Lewandowski - Bass
Will Glaser - Drums



UPDATE: Rick has just been signed by Two Rivers Records (Snowpoet, Calum Gourlay, Olie Brice) as well as his buddy, all-round alto-rediculonstrosity Mike Chillingworth. Rick's Sextet album is due out Summer 2016, and Mike's Septet is due in April the same year. If you get bored waiting for the releases, there are C&L posts on related line-ups: a Mike Chillingworth Septet from back in December last year, and Rick Simpson's Klammer back in November.

As I already said on the cellars and lofts facebook page, this label has a daring and exciting roster - one that resembles some of the great roster-cluster-buddy labels of yesteryear (early-70s island, early-60s impulse, etc.). I have that Calum Gourlay album on a loop, and have been bleating about Snowpoet since... december? Anyway. Awesome stuff.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Mixtape download from Dan Nicholls: Brainfeeder, Stones Throw, Warp take note...



Dan Nicholls' mixtape has made me very happy. I think he designed it to momentarily alter my brain. It's working. Proof, if ever it were needed, that labels like Brainfeeder and Stones Throw should be paying close attention to what's going on in / coming out of the studios of these brilliant hip bastards from this London scene...

The line-up of tracks/samples is ridiculous...

Sunday, 26 July 2015

More Brass Mask! ... more Brass Mask?

Off the back of the summer festival circuit, it's great that more recordings of this band keep on surfacing. I'm curious and hopeful as to what a second album might sound like from them. For now, it's crucial that as many people as possible hear and experience their music live. I'm just being greedy and impatient.

There's a track here called "The Bague" which has been part of their live set for a while now, and there's a youtube from Cafe Oto of it floating around - actually I think it's on this blog somewhere - but it's always good to hear more. So much energy, groove - it's raucous and beautiful - perfect festival music! For that moment when the rain gives up, the clouds part, and sun comes crashing down onto the whirling, euphoric masses.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Unofficial Vula Viel dubplate style single:: A: Bewa (Demo) // B: Bewa (Dan Nicholls Remix)


Dan Nicholls just put out this grooving remix of a track from Vula Viel's upcoming album Good is Good.

[Just for comparison / enjoyment / 90s-style single-release nostalgia, here is an earlier demo version of Bewa alongside Nicholls' remix of the studio version...

UPDATE: Only side B available]

Listen: Mike Chillingworth releases an LP worth of Con Cellar bootlegs

The Con Cellar in Camden is an unbelievable venue. It is cramped and ill laid out, with far-from-ideal acoustics. But it's so so vibey. To quote a LondonJazz interview with Con promoter George Crowley:
LJN: And you also promote at the Con and Oxford 

GC: Yes, still plowing on with those - the Con we have a little team running, whereas the Ox is my little project. I've gained an invaluable amount not just performing at those nights, but listening and checking out people's music and work and THE HANG - that's how a scene takes shape, I think, and so to me it's really important to keep nights like that going; in pretty much every respect, I'm just keeping going the good work of the Loop Collective (who started the Oxford) and the late and ever-so-great Richard Turner who made the Con what it is.
Over the last decade, the Con has been home to a rich scene for some of the most engaging and inventive jazz musicians on the planet. One of those is Mike Chillingworth. Having missed his trio live before I am extremely grateful to have the chance to listen to this set from this month's show. All three players are absolutely on fire, and the vibe is palpable!
Here are some tunes from a gig at the Con Cellar Bar on the 5th of June 2015.
All compositions by Michael Chillingworth
Michael Chillingworth - Sax/Clarinet
Sam Lasserson - Bass
Jeff Williams - Drums
 

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Listen: Little Lions 'We'll Meet Again'

Organ bass hook + Purple drank piano + spacey feathery beats. What's not to like?!

Back in April, I posted about these three lads making the kind of music that could quite reasonably be expected to make everyone in the world stop and smile to themselves if only my speakers went loud enough. They just put out a recording of wartime classic 'we'll meet again'. The version that first comes to mind is the hugely touching Johnny Cash version, where a dozen of his friends join in - but this is the perfect choice for Little Lions and something they completely own throughout the track.

Beat drops just over 2 minutes in, and there's no looking back.

These guys have got their thing, and I like it. Apparently they are working with a singer right now, which hopefully means there's more to come soon. Awesome.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Textures and moments: Excerpts from radio recording from Trish Clowes' Trio


Silky, heartbreaking, softly warm but with a cool, crisp, clean sonic palette that sets this trio apart - beautiful textures created from such a small group, without effects beyond Montague's pedal board (which is itself considerably stripped back to a twinkling delay, nothing like his headspinning Troyka kaleidoshred moments).

Trish Clowes has shared some excerpts of some recordings she did back in March for Radio Bremen, and they are well worth checking out. Fingers crossed for an album from this trio...

Short sweet mixtape of London jazz



Short but sweet mixtape of some of the best underground jazz in London right now... courtesy of London bassist Ruth Goller's soundcloud account...

"London Underground is an event which will take place on the 4th of July at Beton Eisack in Brixen/Vahrn as part of Suedtirol Jazzfestival 2015. Great bands form London will be shaping the evening...
  1. Melt Yourself Down
  2. Strobes
  3. Troyka
  4. Brass Mask
and a solo set from sound maverick Alex Bonney."

Friday, 5 June 2015

Listen: new track from Ivo Neame's upcoming album



Ivo Neame is officially one of the classiest, killingest pianists out there (Kairos 4tet, Phronesis, etc.) so I was excited to see a new album on the horizon.

Over the course of the track, Ivo connects with every member of the group in some really hip way You can't really see Dave Hamblett on drums - it's really dark in that corner of the room - but he feels his way to bring his trademark magic to Ivo's solo. Tori's solo is also ridiculous - makes me go from pensive smile to writhing gurn in that awesome way only jazz can do. Everything about this is beautiful. Enjoy!

The album, Strata, is due out on June 15th from Whirlwind Recordings.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

duck-rabbit: interview ahead of tonight's EP launch


Duck-rabbit are a London-based improvising trio made up of Joe Wright, Tom Taylor and James Opstad. They are launching the EP tonight (7:30pm, Saturday 25th April) at the Hundred Years Gallery in Hoxton, where they will be joined by the formidable duo of Aisha Orazbayeva (violin) and Peiman Khosravi (electronics).

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Little Lions - lots of little lushness...


Sneaking in a cover from The Social Network, and using the internet...meta...

So I leave the world of London jazz unattended for like, a month (by 'unattended' I mean only going to gigs and buying records, rather than pumping out propaganda) and suddenly there's loads and loads of more music. Wicked.

This is my jam right now. Three lads - two of whom I've written about before: Corrie Dick and Matt Robinson; one of whom I haven't: Joe Webb - making unabashedly smile-inducing excellent sounding music.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Listen: Loop Collective Live at the Oxford

Atmospheric bootlegs, stunningly immortalised by trumpeter/engineer Alex Bonney. Very grateful. The gig saw drummer Dave Smith (Fofoulah, Robert Plant) putting together a lineup that brought back Robin Fincker (who works mainly outta France these days) alongside the aforementioned Bonney and London-scene wide-boys Tom Challenger and Dan Nicholls. The result is kind of like peering directly into my memories of going up the stairs to an Outhouse gig at the Oxford when I first moved to London. And then having that directed by David Lynch: Living, breathing, improvised music; sly, spacious and surreal.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Embla - Teleport EP


Trip-folk electrothoughts for lovers of Snowpoet and Native Dancer - this new EP from Embla is spacey and sweet, somewhere on that line between alternative pop and improvised music.

London based 4-piece Embla are Emilia Mårtensson (whom you may know from the MOBO winning Kairos 4tet), Rory Simmons (Brass Mask, Jamie Cullum), Native Dancer's Jonathan Harvey, and Vula Viel's Dave De Rose.

Non-ironic synths, driving percussion, vocal lines that dance in the air. The ethereal layers of Simmons' trumpet really give this EP a unique sound, and the songcraft really suits this alien sonic environment that the four of them have created. Dave De Rose mixed the Native Dancer EP too, and the style is here - it's more airy than the Native Dancer stuff, but his love of space is still clear, and fits the material perfectly. (Also, if you haven't checked out his Sick Tapes series on Mixcloud, do.)

Friday, 13 March 2015

Listen: Sam Dunn - Blood Count


Crushing sonic wildfire with rattling, aching harmonies scraped out on 7 strings by Sam Dunn, a guitarist based in Leeds. Love this. Blood Count is the last tune Billy Strayhorn ever wrote, in 1967, on his death bed.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Fabled EP review - storied, dramatic, indie-film jazz


My advocacy for jazz as film soundtrack cannot be understated, and has only been strengthened through the experience of updating this blog: I have campaigned for Troyka to be introduced to J. J. Abrams, and I've been exposed to Tom Challenger's epic sci-fi work with MA.

Fabled, then, is inspired by the other end of the film spectrum. The record - without cliché - hooks onto tropes from more melodramatic indie film soundtracks: shimmering instrumentation, open rising lines, crystal clear suspensions. Rapley's writing combines all of this with just the right elements of contemporary Jazz composition and improvisational space. I'd heard some of the pieces before from Sam Rapley's trio recordings, but they have really been brought to life here in a way that captures his influences from the world of cinematic music.

Friday, 6 March 2015

Theon Cross releases killer trio EP


Theon Cross, who also plays Tuba in Brass Mask, has just released this incredible trio EP featuring Nubya Garcia on bass clarinet and tenor sax, and produced by drummer Moses Boyd.

It shows the power and potential of a trio without any strings or keys. There are hints of carnival, spiritual, and even adventure. Overall I found it hugely moving - somehow it drips with laughter, memories and lessons learned.

The title track is so joyful it's unreal - proof that jazz can brighten up your day without the least bit of cheese.. It has a killer groove, carnival vibes, and an undercurrent of Scratch-style phase and delay (see also the last track, Trouble Trouble)...

Monday, 2 March 2015

Listen: Polar Bear - Don't let the feeling go



These sax lines, anchored to heavy bass and a firm rhythmic roll, are at times characters, and others devices - grittier versions of the tension you might expect from familiar rising cut-offs on a synth. This is the sound of rising cut-offs on a stoned trucker, all the while shouting slow-carnival dub-jazz in your ear. It's a lot of fun, with a nice hook and a very sweet ending. Just let it roll...

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Listen: Dan Nicholls remixes Sandra Kolstad's Zero Gravity


Dan Nicholls, of Strobes (and keys player for Can of Worms, Brass Mask, Vula Viel, etc.) has just released this remix of Norwegian singer Sandra Kolstad. It's typical of the baffling inventiveness that have made his live sets the place to be in the last few months. His beats are made with an unsettling assortment of new and familiar sounds, and the accents and swing are constantly shifting. It makes for a heady rhythmic evolution that develops smartly throughout the track. The bass drops are perfect - heavy, beautifully textured, and drowned in spinning loops.

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Listen: taster tracks from upcoming Phil Robson trio album The Cut Off Point


Have this delicious slice of organ trio from Partisans guitarist Phil Robson. These taster clips from his upcoming album "The Cut Off Point" are ridiculous. It's not exactly surprising given the lineup: Ross Stanley on organ (bubbling under each track is a masterclass in how to use swells, stabs, and spinning chorale to full effect), Gene Calderazzo on drums (the album swings hard, and maintains - in just the right way - enough backbeat and heavy groove, which has always made the organ trio one of the prime media for delivering electric jazz to audiences). It's gritty and melodic with a powerful drive, and more than enough of that tasteful, geometric workout to make it great Phil Robson and great jazz.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Listen to clips of Alex Roth's Otriad


Alex Roth (Blue Eyed Hawk, among many others) has put back up on the internet some burning clips of his band Otriad, recorded live at the Vortex in 2013. I'm not sure this reposting means that there's more to come from this group - they're all busy pushing on with their respective projects (Simon Roth is one half of Vula Viel's drum kit section, James Opstad and Joe Wright are two-thirds of Duck-Rabbit, etc.) but even just these snippets are worth listening to: heavy, narrative electronic jazz.

Saturday, 14 February 2015

mp3 download: Troyka - Troyka Smash (Survival Skills Remix)


Glitchy lo-fi techno via dance/electronica website Data Transmission: never has 4-to-the-floor had such a wide groove to it - this cut is heavy in a simultaneously organic and computerised way. Everything hangs just off centre, maintaining the spirit of Josh's drums, with Kit's organ hooks and Chris's guitar lines looped in trippy little epicycles, each focused well outside where you would expect. A mash of progressive jazz/rock/techno mastery guaranteed to scare the crap out of you.

Listen: 3 bands playing some kind of future-jazz


For those wanting to catch a cross section of the more pop/dance-influenced side of London jazz, I thought the lineup for this gig at the Lexington next month was worth mirroring in a post. Below are three tracks, one from each artist... enjoy!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

video: Snowpoet in session at Fieldgate Studios


Snowpoet just released this video of them playing their new track 'Mermaid' in a live session at Fieldgate Studio. I remember the song from an early duet recording of Chris and Lauren sat at a piano, but here it is fully formed with Matt Robinson, Nick Costley-White and Alex Killpartrick. What? No Dave Hamblett? Rest assured, I hear he'll be on the studio version.

It's a shimmering, minimal song, deceptively simple, with a pattern that rolls along over an intricate, fragile drum loop. Heartbreaking pads swell underneath, and a glacial harmonic motion pushes onward throughout the piece. To see such a dreamscape so masterfully constructed in a live session is really powerful. Sit back, and let the music wash over you...

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

hear this stunning new track from the upcoming Twelves album


This preview track from the upcoming Twelves album is just stunning. Spacey, sliding guitar, bowed bass and a distant washing rumble of drums provide a misty, backdrop for some of the most beautiful, lyrical sax playing you could imagine. For a while, guitar comes to the fore like the memory of a figure emerging from the fog. As the folk melody returns, we are carried away by the creaking harmonics that brought us here.

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Vula Viel and James Maddren Quartet at the Jazz Nursery


This double bill was intense. One word that came up a lot in the after-chat: Vibey. Viby? Vibey. Powerful, creative music resonating from deep within the wooden belly of the 1973 replica of Sir Francis Drake's 16th century galleon, Golden Hinde. Here's a belated write-up of the two bands that played: Bex Burch's Vula Viel and James Maddren's Quartet (minus one).

Saturday, 7 February 2015

Sam Rapley trio recordings - EP soon come


I only just heard Sam Rapley play for the first time a couple of weeks ago. He was in Ralph Wyld's Mosaic at the Oxford. It was a double bill with George Crowley's Can of Worms - the gig itself, probably the best £5 I've ever spent on a Monday. Plus the £5.something for the pint of Lagunitas. George's band was on form. They've been warming up for a launch tour for his upcoming second album, and the new pieces he included sounded incredible. Then came Mosaic, their earlier gig at the Oxford having been cancelled. Out of the whole sextet, Wyld himself was the only one I'd heard play before (in Rick Simpson's Klammer, among others). For me at least, they were a whole new generation of players, and it was pretty hip to be able to check out so many new musicians all in one set.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Seahouses (Rework) - Troyka x Grigori


Troyka has long been screaming out for a vocal remake. In 2009, Micachu's mixtape Filthy Friends was one of the most in-demand albums on the East London scene. Early Troyka's slammin' riffs were the backdrop of one track on that tape, and that was just awesome.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

New live album of epic cinematic electro-jazz from Tom Challenger's MA


I was recently listening to the band MA on youtube. They were a short-lived band that played a sort of spacey electro-jazz thing in 2011/2012. Their 2011 album 'The Last' was received well by critics (including five stars from BBC Music Magazine), and the band - Tom Challenger, Dave Smith, and Matt Calvert - toured for a couple of years after its release (the touring band occasionally included the addition of Ross Stanley on organ, and percussion from John Blease and Ben Bryant).

'Live' is a collection of recordings from this period. We are lucky that they went to the effort of making such high quality recordings of these gigs. Capturing live energy with accuracy is intensely difficult - especially when studio-type sounds are so integral to the composition - but this album from the years that followed 'The Last' accomplishes it perfectly.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Zhenya Strigalev's mouth announces upcoming album


We've all seen plenty of insightful album promo videos. Maybe it has an interview with the artist, some behind the scenes footage of rehearsals and general band banter, etc. Zhenya Strigalev is about to launch the follow up to his 2012 "Smiling Organism Volume 1", and so naturally, he needed one of these videos.

Presumably what happened was that Michael Janisch rang Zhenya up and said "Hey Zhenya, please can you record a video of yourself to help promote the new album?"
"Sure," said Zhenya.
"Oh, and by the way," said Michael, "When you do it, please be sure to make as little sense as possible and zoom in so that we can only see your mouth. Kthnxbi."

Well luckily for Janisch, he got exactly what he asked for. It's brilliant in its own way, and reads like a Beckett script that's had a bit of time to chill out:

Thursday, 15 January 2015

DIY electro-woodwind pioneer returns to bend the limits of the acoustic saxophone


Joe Wright is one of my favourite saxophonists and for years both his playing and his writing have left me mesmerised. He's an out-there musical thinker who went electric ("Judas!") using both solder and code with great results. Recently, he has started to share some solo saxophone recordings he made in a church. Saxophone limits have been stretched by generations of jazz and avant-garde musicians. But ladies/gents/etc... This is how it's done.

Monday, 12 January 2015

London Jazz and West Africa: from 2007 to 2014 and beyond

Here's a small youtube playlist of London Jazz with a connection to West Africa - a lot of great musical things happened in 2014, and I thought I'd put it next to some old recordings of when Outhouse went to the Gambia in 2007... I've no idea if it really happened this way, but it seems like the London scene has developed some of the ideas coming out of those original sessions, with fresh inspiration coming from the likes of Bex Burch (whose band Vula Viel has been a phenomenal live act over the last year - I have high hopes for a 2015 record of some sort) with stunning levels of imagination and energy.

What's it all going to sound like in 2021?