Jennifer Allum is a violinist specialising in improvised and new music. Based in London, Allum studied at York and Goldsmith’s universities, and was a long time attendee of Eddie Prevost’s weekly Friday night workshops. She has a few recordings available, all on Matchless Recordings, the most recent of which was a duo with cellist Ute Kanngiesser, which was recorded in the Bell Tower of Hackney. http://www.jenniferallum.info/
David Toop is a musician, author, professor and Chair of Audio Culture and Improvisation at London College of Communication.
He has published five books including Ocean of Sound, Rap Attack and Sinister Resonance. His first album, ‘New and Rediscovered Musical Instruments’, was released on Brian Eno’s Obscure label in 1975 and he has collaborated with artists ranging from John Latham, Bob Cobbing, Carlyle Reedy and Ivor Cutler to Rie Nakajima, Evan Parker, Max Eastley and Akio Suzuki.
Since their inception 20 years ago The Remote Viewers have released 14 albums of genre-defying music that melds free-improvisation with song form and suite-like compositions, and they conjure up an overall feeling of listening to a soundtrack to an as yet unmade film.
The group has been a mutable beast over the years, but saxophonists Adrian Northover and David Petts have been present as core members throughout. They are joined in the trio version of the group by John Edwards, whose energy and inventiveness on the double bass never fails to impress.
They have a new CD called The Gods Take a Holiday that is released to coincide with this tour, and will be playing all new compositions on the night.
Peter Pick: saxophone Ade Fettucini: guitar / clarinet Tom Roberts: bass James Parsons: drums
Since the 1960s Trevor Watts has been at the forefront of many innovations as a saxophone player, percussionist and composer. He is the only founder member of The Spontaneous Music Ensemble still left – other founder members were John Stevens & Paul Rutherford, and later members included Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, Evan Parker and Derek Bailey. His Amalgam group began in 1967 with bassist Barry Guy and trombonist Paul Rutherford, and he was a founder member of Barry Guy’s London Jazz Composers Orchestra. He was the instigator behind the Moire Music Group and The Drum Orchestra, which involved musicians from North and South Africa and Latin America. He has played with many great US jazz musicians, including Don Cherry, Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Kent Carter, Rashied Ali, Steve Swallow and Bobby Bradford. http://www.trevorwatts.co.uk
Stephen Grew is a pianist and electronic keyboard player based in Lancaster UK. He is in several bands, Grutronic, an electronic improvising quartet, Grew quartet, an acoustic 4 piece, and also plays with violinist Graham Clark, drummer Tony Bianco and saxophonist Evan Parker.
Nothing Here is Perfect
Nothing Here is Perfect is an experimental documentary film about improvised music by Noah Payne-Frank. Featuring a cast of nearly 40 singers and players, fragments of sound and picture from more than a dozen performances at London’s Cafe Oto are woven into an entirely new creation. As the music ebbs and flows, a narrator tells a tale of discovery and resistance. These opaque melodies, performed with the conviction and fervour of worship, will never be perfect. Yet they offer safety and harmony in a frightening and chaotic world.
Featuring Evan Parker, Eddie Prévost, Mats Gustafsson, Thurston Moore, John Edwards, Peter Brötzmann, Chris Corsano, John Tilbury and many more.
This duo brings together the furious sound of Alan Wilkinson (saxophone/bass clarinet) and Andrew Cheetham (drums) for the first time since recording together earlier this year in April. It is a meeting between a stalwart of the UK improvising scene in Wilkinson and one part of a younger generation of improvisers developing in Manchester’s fertile outsider scene. The music will undoubtedly have sustained periods of intensity as Wilkinson pushes the limits and engages with Cheetham’s propulsive stream of rhythm. Alan Wilkinson has collaborated with a huge list of improvisers, such as Peter Brötzmann, Derek Bailey, John Edwards, Chris Corsano, Thurston Moore and many more. Andrew Cheetham is the drummer with an array of bands in Manchester, including Desmadrados Soldados de Ventura, Yerba Mansa and Irma Vep.
Ian Brighton was very active in guitar improvisation in the 70s and 80s, playing solo and with regular groups such as Balance, Spontaneous Music Ensemble with John Stevens and Trevor Watts, the Tony Oxley quartet and co-founder of the Alternative Music Orchestra with percussionist Trevor Taylor. He also played many concerts with the legendary Lol Coxhill.
“Brighton’s work is the too rarely heard characteristic of exploring the possibilities rather than the probabilities of the sounds of his instrument. And that, above all, is what makes this album important.” – Roger Farbey All-About-Jazz
Martin Archer: saxophones and live electronics Kim Macari: trumpet Laura Cole: piano Walt Shaw: percussion and live electronics
Deep Tide Quartet is a new project formed of longterm collaborators Martin Archer and Walt Shaw with trumpeter Kim Macari and pianist Laura Cole. They have recorded a CD and are now planning a tour for the Autumn.
They describe their approach as “open ended jazz playing with no stylistic limits – written scores, graphic scores, improvisation – improvisation which is inclusive of melody and structure – whatever we feel like playing – plenty of space for the music to develop its direction – concentrated and careful listening – ultimately rooted in, and building on the tradition of, pure jazz skill no matter where the music takes us.”
Martin Archer is a composer / improviser who is equally at home on stage or in the studio, and whose distinctive saxophone playing is rooted in AACM jazz.
“Archer’s aesthetic is an intriguing and transformative one—whatever enters his world comes out changed, if not utterly, then beautifully.” – Duncan Heining, All About Jazz
Laura Cole is a pianist and composer, working in the fields of both improvised music and contemporary jazz. Cole leads and writes for her own octet, Metamorphic, and is involved in various different projects and collaborations across the UK music scene.
“Laura Cole has one of the most distinctive compositional voices around.” – Peter Quinn, Jazzwise
Kim Macari is a musician and composer immersed in the jazz and improvised music scene. Whether as a performer, teacher or a producer, her passion lies in the strength of improvised music as a means of expression and a form of empowerment and freedom.
“Kim is one of the young players who will promote jazz and push it to its limit. Her energy is boundless.” – Duncan Lamont
Walt Shaw is a percussionist. Initially he played kit, starting in the sixties in rock and jazz, but over the years this widened into the use of home-made instruments, often made from scrap, amplified objects and low-tech electronics. An interest in playing gongs has always been there. These are bought and home-made, again from found objects. The emphasis is usually on experimentation and improvisation, always searching for new sounds, techniques, and collaborative scenarios to extend his practice.
West Hill Blast Quartet
Ron Caines: saxes Gus Garside: double bass Andy Pyne: drums Dan Spicer: reeds/trumpet/percussion
Ron Caines was, in the late 1960s, a founder member of pioneering UK Prog-psych group East of Eden, and has been a key member of improvising collectives in both Bristol and Brighton. Gus Garside has been active as a musician since the 1970s. He is a mainstay of Safehouse, and is a member of the long-running string trio, Arc, with Sylvia Hallett and Danny Kingshill and of the electro-acoustic duo, Static Memories. Andy Pyne has played drums in a wide variety of contexts, including a duo with Thurston Moore, freak-Improv with The Black Neck Band Of The Common Loon, No-Wave with Medicine and Duty, and punk poetry with Map 71. Dan Spicer is a member of the chaotic improvising sextet, Bolide, one third of the trio In Threads, and a performer of solo spoken word, poetry and improvisation.
West Hill Blast Quartet is where these four individuals come together to make improvised statements informed by a shared love of free jazz and influenced by the spirits of masters such as Art Ensemble of Chicago, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler.They have released two CDs on Foolproof Projects, ‘Blast #1’ and ‘Blast #2.’
Cath Roberts: baritone saxophone, compositions Sam Andreae: tenor saxophone Anton Hunter: guitar Seth Bennett: bass Johnny Hunter: drums
Sloth Racket is a quintet of UK improvisers led by baritone saxophonist Cath Roberts, with Anton Hunter (Beck Hunters, Article XI) on guitar, Sam Andreae (Trio Riot, Silence Blossoms) on tenor saxophone, Seth Bennett (Metamorphic, En Bas Quartet) on bass and Johnny Hunter (Spirit Farm, Nat Birchall) on drums. The group play Cath’s compositions, combining written fragments with graphic notation to explore the balance between freedom and structure. The results range across musical territories from fiery free jazz, to minimal improv textures, to deep grooves.
‘Consider this an important contribution to the debate about spontaneity versus form.’ – Daniel Spicer, Jazzwise ****
‘The Sloth Racket sound is broadly comparable to that of Tim Berne’s Bloodcount, the mid ’90s New York quintet with the same instrumentation, or the earthier, brawnier sound of Chicago as filtered through Peter Brötzmann’s Tentet.’
– Tim Owen, Dalston Sound
‘an agreeably spicy goulash of free improvisation, grumpy riffs and bluesy themes’
– Stewart Smith, The Quietus
‘nobody in their right mind is going to call this row slothful’
– Spencer Grady, Record Collector
Andrew Clare: electric guitar Thomas House: electric guitar Dave Campbell: drums
Vid Drašler, Tom Jackson and Daniel Thompson met for the first time in the spring of 2016 as part of the CRAM Records residency at FriForma in Ljubljana, Slovenia. During the residency the trio had the fortune to play and record as a trio in Vrhnika, Slovenia and immediately vowed to collaborate again.
Vid Drašler / Tom Jackson
Jost Drašler / Vid Drašler / Daniel Thompson
A one-off quartet of: Gardyloo SPeW: sax James Parsons: drums Gus Garside: double bass Al Strachan: cornet / electronics
The Spirit Farm bring quick instincts, an impressive shared understanding and a wealth of idiomatic approaches to the music. The musicians build on the achievements of previous generations of improvisers in fascinating ways; the upside-down use of the bass bow, often heard in free improv, might be used here to beat out a haunting riff like a 21st century diddley bow, or the post-cage piano preparations so common among free pianists might here be applied to a vintage tine piano.
In addition to full-band numbers which can reach stunning climaxes, the group explore smaller combinations, such as duos and trios, ensuring a constantly varied listening experience.
“Devastatingly creative ****” – Jazzwise
“Ecstatic free jazz remains a touchstone on their 2015 debut album, but it’s in the quieter moments that the session is lifted out of the ordinary by a mischievous take on timbre and instrumentation, with gamalan-like toy piano and distorted electric keys circling taut guitar pings and the hollow rattling of saxophone pads” – The Wire
“Hugely Impressive ****” – Jazz Journal
“It’s a set that declares intent, imagination and prowess and as such promises much for the future” – New York City Jazz Record
Adam Bushell: vibraphone and percussion Alice Eldridge: cello
An exciting new duo featuring two stella players that will be familiar to Brighton improv fans.