Saturday 28 April 2018, 3pm
Stephen Davis / percussion
Alexander Hawkins / piano
Hannah Marshall / ‘cello
Rachel Musson / saxophones
Cath Roberts / saxophones
Alex Ward / clarinet
Alexander Hawkins is musician who is ‘unlike anything else in modern creative music’ (Ni Kantu) and whose recent work has reached a ‘dazzling new apex’ (Downbeat).
As a pianist, he has been described as ‘remarkable...possessing staggering technical ability and a fecund imagination as both player and composer.’ Concerning his organ playing, critic Brian Morton recently commented that ‘[t]he most interesting Hammond player of the last decade and more, [Hawkins] has already extended what can be done on the instrument.’
His writing has been said to represent ‘a fundamental reassertion of composition within improvised music’ (Point of Departure), and his voice one of the ‘most vividly distinctive...in modern jazz’ (The Jazzmann).
An in-demand collaborator as well as soloist, composer, and bandleader, Hawkins continues to be heard live and on record with vast array of contemporary leaders of all generations, including the likes of Evan Parker, John Surman, Joe McPhee, Mulatu Astatke, Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Braxton, Marshall Allen, Han Bennink, Hamid Drake, Rob Mazurek, Taylor Ho Bynum, Harris Eisenstadt, Matana Roberts, and Shabaka Hutchings, amongst many others. He has also been noted for a number of years for his performances in the bands of legendary South African drummer, Louis Moholo-Moholo.
Concert appearances have taken him to major club, concert and festival stages worldwide.
“…Hawkins is a really vital link in a long historical chain, and his ability to sculpt his own language from a deeply rooted creative bedrock is compelling” - Jazzwise
“Sounds like all the future jazz you might imagine without ever being able to conceive of the details” - The Guardian
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.
Rachel Musson is a saxophonist, improviser and composer living in London, UK. She is involved with a variety of improvisation projects, including a trio with Hannah Marshall and Julie Kjaer, a duo with vibraphonist Corey Mwamba, and a trio with Mark Sanders and John Edwards. She has released two albums under her own name, one featuring Liam Noble and Mark Sanders (Tatterdemalion, Babel Records), and one featuring her ensemble Skein (Flight Line, F-ire Recorded Music). She also plays with the London Improvisers Orchestra and Alex Ward’s Quintet and Sextet, as well as with a variety of other musicians on the fluid European improvising scene.
Baritone/alto saxophonist Cath Roberts works in a variety of ensembles exploring free improvisation, composed music and the territories that lie between them. Originally from Northamptonshire and based in London for the past decade, she has strong links with improvisers from the north of England. Cath’s compositions for her quintet Sloth Racket combine written fragments with graphic notation to explore the balance between freedom and structure: the ensemble’s debut album ‘Triptych’ was hailed as ‘an important contribution to the ongoing debate about spontaneity versus form’ by Daniel Spicer in Jazzwise.
Cath has a duo with guitarist Anton Hunter called Ripsaw Catfish, and is a member of the Madwort Sax Quartet as well as Anton Hunter’s Article XI, the eight-piece improvising saxophone group Saxoctopus and the collaborative quartet Word Of Moth. Her contemporary jazz septet Quadraceratops released an album on Manchester label Efpi Records in 2014 to critical acclaim, and she regularly appears in other ad-hoc groupings of improvisers. When not performing Cath is active as co-founder of LUME, the platform for original/improvised music that she runs with Dee Byrne. www.cathrobertsmusic.co.uk
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 ranges from the duo Dead Days Beyond Help, in which he plays guitar and sings, his group Predicate who perform his compositions, regular improvising groups with Steve Noble, Kay Grant and others, as well as more ad hoc encounters with musicians as diverse as Thurston Moore, Joe Morris and Duck Baker. 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.
"...guitarist Alex Ward [is] a compulsively creative polymath of indiscriminately omnivorous appetite ... a reliably unpredictable axe-hero for collaborators of all backgrounds." Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times Review