Tuesday 21 August 2018, 7.30pm
Carolyn Hume / Paul May (duo) + Shark Calmer (Tom Clarke / Peter Marsh) + Charlie Beresford / Sonia Hammond (duo)
This week we’re pleased to be sharing a solo set from composer, improviser, performer and creative polymath, Alex Ward. Predominantly a guitar and clarinet player, Ward is regarded as one of the most technically accomplished performers of both free and composed music, and has recently played shows in the UK and US as part of the phenomenal This is Not This Heat. This 2 piece solo clarinet set is a reminder of what a singular clarinet he is, pulling open the full range of the instrument - from warm trills and woody overtones to overblown, amped up blowouts.
Alex Ward / clarinet, guitar
Recorded live at Cafe OTO on 15.2.2018 by Martyn Larcombe. Mixed by Alex Ward and mastered by James Dunn.
Alex Ward - 15.2.18
In Vol. 2 of Blank Forms' Journal, Maryanne Amacher remains a focal point, with three pieces related to our work with the pioneering sound artist’s archive. The late polymath avant-garde artist Tony Conrad is represented twice, through a selection of handwritten notes and a new transcription of a 1989 phone interview with Alan Licht.
Music from the World Tomorrow includes contributions by Marcus Boon, Catherine Christer Hennix, Patty Waters, Larry J Nai, Limpe Fuchs and Zoro Babel, Akio Suzuki, Amy Cimini, Scott Fisher, Olaf Stapledon, Andrew Lampert, Klaus Lang, Tashi Wada, Dafne Vicente-Sandoval, John Corbett, Annea Lockwood, Crys Cole, Matana Roberts, and Kan Mikami (translated by David Hopkins). Edited by Lawrence Kumpf and Joe Bucciero.
Blank Forms Journal 2: Music From The World Tomorrow Book
The 14 musicians of UMLAUT BIG BAND, mostly from the new jazz guard (Un Poco Loco, ONJ, Duke Orchestra) and European improvisation (Hochstapler, Peeping Tom, Bribes 4, White Desert Orchestra, ONCEIM), have been celebrating together since 2011 the golden age of swing in the tradition of big band orchestras, whether mythical or unfairly forgotten.
In EURO SWING VOL. 2 , the Umlaut Big Band documents another history of jazz in Europe between 1925 and 1940: that of American smugglers. While a first part, "Euro Swing" (Umlaut Records, 2015), was interested in European composers and arrangers, this new opus focuses on the work of American musicians on the old continent. The aim is to shed light on the role of smugglers such as Benny Carter, Duke Ellington, Sam Wooding, Willie Lewis and Fud Livingston, who have been able to play across Europe. Always in search of a surprising and sharp repertoire of music, the Umlaut Big Band exhumes again beautiful treasures forgotten.
The Umlaut Big Band are:
Pierre-Antoine Badaroux / direction and saxophone alto Antonin-Tri Hoang / saxophone alto, clarinet Geoffroy Gesser / saxophone tenor and clarinet Jean Dousteyssier / saxophone tenor and clarinet Benjamin Dousteyssier / saxophone alto and baryton Brice Pichard, Louis Laurain, Emil Strandberg / trumpet Fidel Fourneyron, Michaël Ballue, Nicolas Grymonprez / trombone Romain Vuillemin / guitarBruno Ruder / piano Sébastien Beliah / bass Antonin Gerbal / drums
Recorded 23-27.02.2015, at the Luisant, Germigny-L'Exempt by Ken Yoshida.
Umlaut Big Band - Euro Swing Vol 2
اسم is a name written in ink. A dash through European creative music. A round trip, Berlin – Oxford, via Paris. اسم is Pat, Joel and Antonin in a dotted silence without name. Acoustically, the trio creates abstract forms close of written contemporary music with sounds reminding us of traditional jazz trios. The groove which appears in this music is dense, extreme but always quiet. Music in a continuous flow of high voltage charges. In Arabic, اسم is a way to connect between different cultural and imaginary worlds.
Joel Grip / bass
Antonin Gerbal / drums
Pat Thomas / piano
Recorded at Eglise Saint-Merry, Paris on June 2, 2014.
اسم ism – Nature In Its Inscrutability Strikes Back
Following up from Sektion 1-2, Neuköllner Modelle are joined by pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach. Their music evokes questions on swing: how it is heard today and fed back to us historically. “Neuköllner Modelle is perhaps the first serious attempt to swing once again without playing standards. The musicians develop jazz as a form of instant composition, with the energy of not only the blues but also bebop, and in the classical hierarchy of a rhythm section consisting of double bass and drums. However, all four musicians come from the areas of Free Jazz, of improvised music, or even, in Johansson’s case, of performance and conceptual music.”
The excitement, and here lays perhaps the keys of swing, is connected to the way Neuköllner Modelle voices out the positioning of strong independent and co-existing ideas. Their music is striving towards a common somewhere asserting their differing assumptions and expectations.
Bertrand Denzler / saxophoneJoel Grip / double bassSven-Åke Johansson / drums
Alexander von Schlippenbach / piano
Recorded by Andrew Levine at Sowieso, Berlin, November 2015. Mastered by Werner Dafeldecker. Cover design by Teresa Iten. Liner notes (in german and english) by Bastian Zimmermann. Produced with the support from The Swedish Art Council.
Neuköllner Modelle - Sektion 3 - 7
Grip, Denzler and Johansson, respectively in their early thirties, early fifties and early seventies, found each other through the intertwining scenes between Paris and Berlin. When taking a look at their previous musical activities you will get an exquisite account of the contemporary history of experimental improvised musics (yes, plural!) in Europe. It is a dense heritage in service of forming a new model for a creative process. Emerged through the questioning of methods, Neuköllner Modelle combine bipolar procedures in creating something which could be likened with a retarding ballad of the insistent up-tempo murmur accelerating in the backdrop-world of today.
"Neuköllner Modelle is a gathering of musical ideas which function really good together. Our instruments and unique way of handling them formed the model serving the creation of Neuköllner Modelle. First there was an idea of the music, then there was the band. Our language is individually different and slowly changing, therefore we have something to say when we play. We are common in being different. A common thought is sometimes more reducing than a dissident. Anyway, without tension or friction, no music. In my music these opposing elements are of great importance. "Sektion 1-2" is an ambitious production in the sense that we have made (and make) our best to make it reflect the first idea we had. The questions of our age-differencies are not so interesting for me. It is more of an obvious and natural fact. What is more sad, maybe, is that not so many musicians today work across the invisible generational borders.'' Joel Grip, interviewed on the Free Jazz Blog
"Pairing Denzler, a musician with an astute approach to minimalist saxophone (check out Tenor (Potlatch, 2012)), with Grip, a collocating musician who ties many disparate European improvisational forms together, and Johansson, the Swiss army knife (although he is Swedish) of drummers, is a genius amalgam of musicians." - All About Jazz
Bertrand Denzler / saxophone Joel Grip / double bassSven-Åke Johansson / drums
Recorded by Andrew Levine at Sowieso, Berlin, November 2015. Mastered by Werner Dafeldecker. Cover design by Teresa Iten. Notes by Bastian Zimmermann. Produced with the support from The Swedish Art Council.
Neuköllner Modelle - Sektion 1 - 2