Mark Sanders

Mark has worked with a host of renowned musicians including Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Mathew Shipp, Evan Parker, Roswell Rudd, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker.

In situations using composition Mark works in a number of projects including Christian Marclay’s Everyday for film and live music and John Butcher’s Tarab Cuts - both projects have performed major festivals throughout Europe and Brazil. He has performed works by guitarist John Coxon in Glasgow and Sydney playing with the Scottish and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. With New York’s ICE Ensemble he has performed John Zorn’s The Tempest in London and at Huddersfield New Music Festival.

Mark also works in the groups of Paul Dunmall including Deep Whole Trio with Paul Rogers, and the ensembles of Sarah Gail Brand, including a long-standing duo. He has a lengthy discography including a solo album, has performed internationally and played at major festivals including, Nickelsdorf, Ulrichsburg, Womad and notably at Glastonbury with legendary saxophonist John Tchicai.

"ubiquitous, diverse and constantly creative, drummer Mark Sanders always outdoes himself, whether playing with restraint or erupting like a dynamo." Bruce L Gallenter, Downtown Music Gallery. NY

Featured releases

Charles Gayle is a saxophonist, pianist, sometimes a clown and radical musical performer wrapped into the body of a humble person living in Downtown Manhattan since the 1960s. As this set attests to, It is sometimes hard to predict what he will do on stage... In all his musical (and personal) life Charles Gayle has remained outside of any form of mainstream, carving his own singular path. There is no player on the scene today with the emotional wallop of Charles Gayle. 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  Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others. Ubiquitous, diverse and constantly creative, drummer Mark Sanders has worked with a host of renowned musicians including Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Mathew Shipp, Roswell Rudd, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Sirone and William Parker. Here we present a 2CD set documenting the two very special sets delivered on the 15th of November, 2017 at Cafe Oto, Dalston, London. In classic ecstatic fashion one would expect from these three stalwarts of blazing transcendence these 2 sets swerve from the sublime to the this is an exquisite document of one of the most exciting trios operating today, Limited to 500 copies packaged in mini gatefold sleeve.

Charles Gayle / John Edwards / Mark Sanders – Seasons Changing

"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

A deeply enigmatic duo of trumpet and drums augmented by live electronics and an expanded percussive array (tam-tam, multiple high hats etc.), Stonecipher is a mesmerising work that operates in the blurred regions between the electronic and acoustic. Dörner's electronics have never been more effective, creating viscous clouds of sound which are illuminated by Sanders' sparse, precise formations, producing a dense fabric of insidious extended tones, gradual inclines and sudden drops, and sounds that slowly fold back into themselves or abruptly open onto unexpected plateaus. There's something wonderfully unhurried about the way that Stonecipher develops, but there's a real quickness bubbling under this apparent slowness that prevents the music from ever completely solidifying: just when you think you're on firm ground something moves and the whole landscape is reshaped. "Understated throughout, the pair fold together softly muted sounds – hissing, breathy escapes of air and their digitally transformed, equally subtle cousins from Dörner, and a masterfully restrained, widely varied palette of soft tones and brief peaking flurries from Sanders. The end result is a slow, naturally fermenting but never boiling-over landscape of beautiful, surprisingly restrained music formed with remarkable understanding." - Richard Pinnell, The Wire  --- Axel Dörner / trumpet, electronics Mark Sanders / drums, percussion  --- Recorded by Rick Campion on 19 June 2011 at City University Music Studios. Mixed by Axel Dörner. Artwork by Jane Millican (detail of Scene, 2010, pencil on paper) Music by Axel Dörner (GEMA) & Mark Sanders (PRS) 

Axel Dörner & Mark Sanders – Stonecipher

Forthcoming events

Sunday 7 July 2024

LAST DREAM OF THE MORNING (John Butcher / Mark Sanders / John Edwards)

£14 £12 Advance £7 MEMBERS

Thursday 25 July 2024

The Flame (Robert Mitchell / Mark Sanders / Olie Brice)

£14 £12 Advance £7 MEMBERS

Past events