John Edwards

John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.

"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment

Featured releases

A stunning series of duo improvisations from two of the world's finest string players, whose shared dynamism and intensity of purpose produces fluid, powerful music that ranges from dense viscosity to swift effervescence. With all-strings improvisation there's often a danger of pseudo-classicism, of sounding vaguely like modernist chamber music, replete with refined flourishes and familiar motifs. Edwards and Lee don't just avoid this but go nowhere near it, heading off in another direction entirely. White Cable, Black Wires is full of rude vitality, driven by an intensely physical interplay which encompasses growling blocks of noise, subtle melodies, and nimble rhythmic entanglements. "White Cable, Black Wires frontlines two obscenely talented improvisers who can sometimes take a backseat next to the “big names” they keep company with. If you’re anything like me, though, theirs are the names that draw your eye when seeking out exhilarating music. It also marks another resounding success for Fataka, quickly becoming a label to watch on the improv scene." - Dan Sorrells, Free Jazz Blog --- John Edwards / double bass Okkyung Lee / cello  ---Recorded by Sebastian Lexer at The Welsh Chapel, London on 25 May 2011. Mixed by John Edwards. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Music by John Edwards (PRS) & Okkyung Lee (ASCAP). Produced by Trevor Brent. 

White Cable, Black Wires – John Edwards & Okkyung Lee

"it is odd to talk about a piano/bass/drums trio as a radical departure. But it is impossible to think of this meeting between bassist John Edwards, drummer Mark Sanders, and pianist John Tilbury in any other way . . . from the first notes, the three erase any notion of piano trio conventions . . . the three build tensile drama from moments of fractured intensity which break against pools of calm . . . you should jump on this one quickly" - Michael Rosensten, Point of Departure "this one-off encounter is truly an exceptional listening experience" - Burning Ambulance "London has long had a pedigree of crossbreeding improv's various styles and generations, but few have been as successful as this" - Richard Pinnell, The Wire --- In his review of Exta, the critic Brian Olewnick commented that “there's a tendency on the part of [John Tilbury's] younger companions to defer a bit to him”, adding that, in his view, this was not “necessarily a bad strategy”. In this encounter, their first as a trio, John Edwards and Mark Sanders do not defer to Tilbury at all, and it proves to be perhaps the best strategy of all. This is a vigorous music of equals, the democratic clamour of three distinct personalities committed to occupying a common space and working together to create something collective without erasing their differences in the process. There's tension, even friction, at times between Edwards and Sanders' quickness and Tilbury's more measured approach, but it's a productive tension and one that enables all three to explore areas of their playing that perhaps aren't always foregrounded: Edwards' ability to wait and patiently twist long resonant notes out of near nothingness; Sanders' sense of space and sharp delicacy with small sounds; and Tilbury's thunderous density and energetic attack. It's a startling performance and one that, like all great improvisation, exceeds, and perhaps even upsets, expectations. --- John Edwards / double bass Mark Sanders / drums and percussion John Tilbury / bird calls, piano and tape --- Recorded by Katherine Arnold at Cafe Oto on 17 June 2013. Mixed and mastered by Rupert Clervaux at Gray’s Inn Road. Title from Martha Rosler, Culture Class (Sternberg Press, 2013). Music by John Edwards, Mark Sanders and John Tilbury (PRS). Produced by Trevor Brent 

A Field Perpetually at The Edge of Disorder – Edwards / Sanders / Tilbury

This is the first recording made in a series of concerts at The Network Theatre, Waterloo, London, in which Eddie Prévost invited notable saxophonists to make music with him.  --- John Edwards / double bass Evan Parker / tenor saxophone Eddie Prévost / drums  --- Recorded at the Network Theatre, Waterloo, London, on the 30th May 2011 by Giovanni Le Rovere. Mixing and editing by John Butcher. Cymbol photography by Tom Mills. Design my Myuh Chun.  --- Review:   The first was All Told with arch-bassist John Edwards and the huge and brilliant breath of the Bristolian tenor saxophonist Evan Parker. “I want life!” exclaims Prevost of his endless quest for improvisation in the album’s sleeve notes, and “a metamusical approach; one which revels in personal discovery and surprises as well as being sensitive and active towards incoming signals from others.” It is a commentary and metaphor for art as life, and this record is full with it, the three musicians playing as an amalgam, unifying their powerful technical dexterity with an intense and reflective beauty, humanity and generosity towards each other and their listeners. Edwards’s musical mastery is also in every way remarkable, as if he is the pulse of all that we hear, while Parker’s assertion of breath-with-end gives us a simile, an onomatopoeia of continuing life and hope enveloped in aural radiance. As for Prevost, in his drums is an insistence of the real, of the touching, tapping, hammering, striking, pounding, ringing of the detail of work and action which is everywhere in our lives, in every second, awake or asleep, the sonic edge of production. Like his Huguenot forebears, he works in a world of workshops: but his workshops are the workshops of drums.   Chris Searle — Morning Star 26th January, 2016

Meetings with Remarkable Saxophonists Vol.1 - All Told – Edwards / Parker / Prévost

Forthcoming events

Wednesday 3 January 2024

Alan Wilkinson / Steve Noble / John Edwards (trio)

£14 £12 Advance £7 MEMBERS

Wednesday 14 February 2024

Trevor Watts / John Edwards / Tollef Østvang (trio)

£16 £14 Advance £8 MEMBERS

Past events