Wednesday 8 June 2022, 8pm
Pat Thomas / piano
Dominic Lash / double bass
Tony Orrell / drums and percussion
The trio pays homage to legendary pianist Paul Bley, drawing on both his tunes and improvisational approach. Bley’s music encompassed latin-inspired grooves, deceptively simple and catchy melodies, as well as freer improvisations. His willingness to collaborate openly with European improvisers as well as being part of the American tradition was an attractive template to follow.
Pat Thomas, Dominic Lash and Tony Orrell grew up in the UK with the children’s tv series Play School and when searching for a name for this album could not resist the pun - the inspiring figure of Bley combined with the element of childlike experimentation.
Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.
"Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a somewhat imperious charisma that’s immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude." - The Jazzmann
Dominic Lash is an improviser and composer. A partial list of musicians he has worked with includes Antoine Beuger, Tony Conrad, Angharad Davies, Jürg Frey, Elizabeth Harnik, James Ilgenfritz, Charlotte Keeffe, Paul Lytton, Joe Morris, Evan Parker, Éliane Radigue, Mark Sanders, Roger Turner, Fay Victor, and Philipp Wachsmann. Best known as a double bass player, he's emerged as a guitarist since the 2020 lockdown, during which he "spent his time developing a very interesting and personal approach to electric guitar... Lash uses the Telecaster's basic yet unique design super-effectively; the biting, percussive nature of the instrument highlighted by the sheer power in his contrabass-trained hands" (Paul Khimasia Morgan).
Tony Orrell is a drummer with a wide range of musical influences. At the heart of this is always improvisation. He has played with Paul Dunmall, Andy Sheppard, Elton Dean, Art Themen, Evan Parker, Jack Walrath, Keith Tippett, Adrian Utley, Will Gregory, Larry Stabbins, Pete McPhail, Matthew Bourne, Jerry Dammers, Ray Russell, Eugene Chadbourne, Slim Gaillard, Marc Ribot,Trevor Watts, Charles Hazlewood, Percy Pursglove and Paul Rogers.