Thursday 4 September 2014, 8pm
The Alex Ward Sextet features several of the most exciting London-based musicians currently working in the fields of composed and improvised music. Growing out of an ensemble originally convened to perform Alex's extended composition "Glass Shelves And Floor", the sextet's repertoire encompasses full-throttle ensemble improvisation plus a varied set of compositions by Ward, drawing on contemporary chamber complexity, avant-rock power and dynamics, and an askew-but-fond relationship to the "jazz" tradition.
Hannah Marshall is a cellist who is continuing to extract, invent, and exorcize as many sounds and emotional qualities from her instrument as she can. She has been a regular member of Alexander Hawkins’ Ensembles and has toured in Europe and South America with Luc Ex and Veryan Weston’s ensembles – SOL 6 & 12. She plays with ‘String Terrorists’ - Barrel (a trio with Violinist Alison Blunt & Violist/poet Ivor kallin). And has been invited by Fred Frith and Suichi Chino in their residencies at café Oto. She also plays with Terry Day, Tim Hodgkinson, Roger Turner, Paul May, Kay Grant, and the London Improvisers Orchestra.
Steve Noble is London's leading drummer, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser whose super-precise, ultra-propulsive and hyper-detailed playing has galvanized encounters with Derek Bailey, Matthew Shipp, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Stephen O'Malley, Joe McPhee, Alex Ward, Rhodri Davies and many, many more.
In the early eighties, Noble played with the Nigerian master drummer Elkan Ogunde, Rip Rig and Panic, Brion Gysin and the Bow Gamelan Ensemble, before going on to work with the pianist Alex Maguire and with Derek Bailey (including Company Weeks 1987, 89 and 90). He was featured in the Bailey's excellent TV series on Improvisation for Channel 4 based on his book ‘Improvisation; its nature and practise’. He has toured and performed throughout Europe, Africa and America and currently leads the groups N.E.W (with John Edwards and Alex Ward) and DECOY (with John Edwards and Alexander Hawkins).
Olie Brice is an improvising double bassist from London. He leads two bands - a quintet that plays his original compositions and a freely improvising trio featuring Tobias Delius and Mark Sanders. He has also worked with musicians including Paul Dunmall, Tony Malaby, Steve Swell, Achim Kaufmann, Alex Ward and Ingrid Laubrock.
“Brice makes the entire body of his bass sing. He has the ability to deliver a fractal line that is as purposeful as any by the great jazz bassists, but to do so within an entirely abstract setting” - Brian Morton, Point of Departure
Tom Jackson is a clarinettist and saxophonist active in London and Europe, largely dedicated to the fields of contemporary classical music and free improvisation. He maintains an extensive and eclectic performance schedule and has performed throughout Europe, Australia and Asia.
Tom has worked with various contemporary chamber groups such as Apartment House, Lontano, Plus-Minus, ChampdAction, Ictus and Splinter Cell. He has recently completed a PhD at Canterbury Christ Church University on relational aesthetics and free improvisation.
“Tom Jackson conjured a jaw-dropping array of sonic effects.” – Cusp Magazine
Rachel Musson is a saxophonist, improviser and composer living in London, UK. She is involved with a variety of improvisation projects, and works regularly with Mark Sanders, Pat Thomas, Hannah Marshall, Julie Kjaer, Corey Mwamba, Olie Brice, Alex Ward, Alex Hawkins amongst others. She features on several releases, including a nonet featuring her composition 'I Went This Way' (577 Records), two with Shifa, feat. Pat Thomas and Mark Sanders, (577 Records), one with Mark Sanders and John Edwards (Two Rivers Records), trio with Liam Noble and Mark Sanders (Babel), and Corey Mwamba (Takuroku).
"A free-improviser sensitive to melody-like narrative and dramatic pacing" – John Fordham, The Guardian