Free Jazz legends Henry Grimes (bass/violin) and Bobby Few (piano) both return to cafe oto - this time together, and in a quartet completed by vocalist Elaine Mitchener and Mark Sanders on drums.
HENRY GRIMES (acoustic bass, violin, poetry) is a heroic figure, one of the architects of avant-jazz and improvised music, an artist who played, toured, and / or recorded in the 1960s with Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, McCoy Tyner, and many more, and then went through 35 years of very hard times without an instrument to play. He made a triumphant return to the music world in 2003 and has been surpassing himself and all expectations ever since. In recent years, Mr. Grimes has played, toured, and / or recorded with (among others) Marshall Allen, Marilyn Crispell, Andrew Cyrille, Edward “Kidd” Jordan, Roscoe Mitchell, David Murray, William Parker, Marc Ribot, Wadada Leo Smith, and again, Cecil Taylor. Henry also made his professional debut on a second instrument, the violin, with Cecil Taylor at Lincoln Center in 2007, and the first published volume of Henry's poetry, "Signs Along the Road," appeared in print the following year, with more volumes to follow. Henry Grimes can be heard on 90 recordings on various labels.
BOBBY FEW (piano, keyboards), another music hero, was born in Cleveland, Ohio. His father always listened to jazz, his mother played violin, and his uncle was a trumpeter. His grandfather was a Baptist minister, and undoubtedly the spirituality in Bobby's family nourished his music. He was only seven years old when he began studying piano and later musical theory and composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music. At 16, he started playing in Cleveland jazz clubs. One evening he met Ella Fitzgerald, who encouraged him to pursue his path, and soon after, Bobby Few created his own trio and began touring throughout the USA. In the early 60’s, urged by Albert Ayler, Bobby went to New York and soon recorded with Booker Ervin, “The In Between” (Blue Note), and then again with Albert Ayler, “Music Is The Healing Force of the Universe” (Impulse!). Bobby also toured worldwide with Brook Benton and later became Brook’s musical director. Then, concert after concert, Bobby Few joined many prestigious musicians, such as Nat Adderley, Albert Ayler, Kenny Clarke, Bill Dixon, Frank Foster, Joe Henderson, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Steve Lacy, David Murray, Sunny Murray, Woody Shaw, Archie Shepp, and Rev. Frank Wright. Bobby Few is heard on 70 + recordings. He has lived in Paris since 1969 and has directed his own trio and quintet since 1993.
British vocalist ELAINE MITCHENER is noted for her mixture of styles drawing from sources as varied as classical music, gospel, soul, jazz, and experimental/free improvisation. She has recently worked with Steve Beresford, Frederic Blondy, John Butcher, Attila Csihar, Max Eastley, Luc Ex, Luca Francesconi, Heiner Goebbels, Henry Grimes, Christian Marclay, Phil Minton, Lauren Newton, Maggie Nichols, Evan Parker, Hasse Paulsen, Mark Sanders, David Toop and Roger Turner.
Drummer MARK SANDERS has been playing professionally for almost thirty years. His diversity is remarkable, running the gamut from jazz to free improvisation, pop, avant-rock, modern classical, dance, new complexity, dub, and folk. He has played extensively with many renowned musicians, including Derek Bailey, Tim Berne, Peter Brotzmann, Paul Dunmall, John Edwards, Luc Ex, Henry Grimes, Evan Parker, Paul Rogers, Ken Vandermark, and Otomo Yoshihide. Mark also performs frequently in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle and William Parker, and he is currently a member of Matthew Shipp's London Quartet. Possibly his most high-profile engagement so far was with Jah Wobble and his world-dub project, which also included Bill Laswell and musicians from Laos; that tour took Mark around the globe and introduced his playing to many new audiences. One of the key figures of European free improvisation, Mark Sanders is an unostentatiously experimental percussionist, never using exactly the same kit twice, always seeking out new sonic possibilities and musical potential. Precise, propulsive and extraordinarily dynamic, his drumming animates each encounter with fire and beauty.