Wednesday 11 August 2021, 7.30pm

ALEX WARD SOLO & ITEM 4 (AW/CHARLOTTE KEEFFE/OTTO WILLBERG/ANDREW LISLE)

No Longer Available
Drawing on his compositions from the last four years, Alex Ward will play a set of solo guitar followed by a performance with his quartet Item 4. The debut album by Item 4, "Where We Were", was released by the New York-based label Relative Pitch on March 23rd 2020 (the day the UK entered its first Covid-19 lockdown) simultaneously with Alex's first solo guitar album "Frames". The follow-up to "Frames", entitled "The Trade", was conceived and recorded over the first two months of that lockdown and released by Cafe Oto's Takuroku label in May 2021. The music played both by Alex solo and by Item 4 integrates distinctive, often highly emotive composed material into an open-ended improvisational landscape giving full rein to the performers' individual languages and expressivity.
Alex Ward / clarinet, guitar and compositions
Charlotte Keeffe / trumpet and flugelhorn
Otto Willberg / double bass
Andrew Lisle / drums

Alex Ward

Alex Ward is a composer, improviser, and performing musician, working primarily with clarinet and guitar. His involvement in freely improvised music dates back to 1986, when he met the guitarist Derek Bailey. He subsequently took part regularly in Bailey's Company events, and has gone on to become a major figure in British improvised music. 
His current work includes the avant-rock duo Dead Days Beyond Help in which he plays guitar, sings and co-writes the material; various groups which perform his compositions-for-improvisers including Forebrace, the Alex Ward Quintet/Sextet, and the Item series of ensembles (the first of which, Item 10, debuted at Cafe Oto in September 2017); and improvising collaborations both regular and ad-hoc with musicians including Steve Noble, Dominic Lash, Kay Grant, Joe Morris and Weasel Walter. Besides his own groups and improvisational work, he also performs in ensembles including the Duck Baker Trio/Quartet, Thurston Moore’s recent multi-guitar projects Galaxies and New Noise Guitar Explorations, and Charles Bullen and Charles Hayward’s This Is Not This Heat. He brings a unique energy and inventiveness to all these projects, elevating them far above the ordinary and injecting them with a thrilling sense of danger and possibility. Much of his work is documented on the label Copepod, which he co-runs with Luke Barlow.
 
"...guitarist Alex Ward [is] a compulsively creative polymath... a reliably unpredictable axe-hero for collaborators of all backgrounds." Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times Review

Charlotte Keeffe

British musician, trumpeter/flugelhorn player Charlotte Keeffe’s passion for free improvisation, jazz and experimental music-making sees her performing regularly as a soloist and leading a variety of different ensembles, including her own Quartet.

(The) Charlotte Keeffe Quartet (CKQ) performed a sellout performance at Lancaster Jazz Festival in 2019 and their live recording from Jazz in the Round has been featured on radio shows around the world. Her Quartet is Ashley John Long (Paul Dunmall collaborator) on double bass, Ben Handysides on drums, Moss Freed (Let Spin) on guitar and herself on trumpet and flugelhorn; they explore merging together Charlotte’s more composed music with freely improvising.

Fresh from playing London’s Café OTO, Newcastle, Birmingham, Sheffield and the London Jazz Festival; CKQ are delighted to be continuing their UK tour in 2022, celebrating the release of Charlotte’s debut album, Right Here, Right Now, which features a selection of her improvised works for solo, duo, quartet and (the) London Improvisers Orchestra, it’s out now on the Discus Music record label...[more]

https://www.charlottekeeffe.com/

Otto Willberg

Otto Willberg is a improvisor who lives in London and plays the Double Bass and Bass Guitar. Otto currently plays with include Ashley Pauls trio (ray), Yes Indeed (with Laurie Tompkins), and the band - Historically Fucked. Otto maintains a website called www.bootlegspatialrecall.net which is an open/publicly sourced archive of public space reverbs. He also has a solo recording ‘Barbaric Mystical Bored’ which is released on Why Eye. www.ottowillberg.com

Andrew Lisle

Andrew Lisle is the London-based drummer who performs regularly with saxophonist Colin Webster and guitarist Dirk Serries, with releases on the Raw Tonk and New Wave of Jazz labels. He studied at Leeds College of Music, as well as having a period in Portugal working with some of Lisbon’s veteran improvisers. Now based in London, he works regularly with saxophonist Alan Wilkinson and clarinettist Alex Ward.

http://www.andrewlisle.com
https://andrewlisle.bandcamp.com

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