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Wednesday 11 February 2015, 8pm

Photo by Andrej Chudy

“going in a circle, at least not going in a circle” Guillaume Viltard (bass) & Seymour Wright (sax) with Christine Wodrascka (piano) and Mark Sanders (drums)

No Longer Available

Bass, drums and saxophone are the core elements of (what might still be called) ‘free-jazz’. Bassist Guillaume Viltard and saxophonist Seymour Wright are two of the most exciting current developers of this tradition – working way-beyond emulation, using knowledge of the past, extremely physical and new approaches to their instruments they lean against the jazz-past, on, into the future - always doing something different. Since late summer 2013 they have been part of a group of musicians playing, pushing and learning day and night in the OTO Project Space. 

From the new-year into the spring of 2015 Cafe OTO is excited to present a series of concerts each involving them in collaboration with a different drummer (and others). The two have been significant partners since Viltard moved to London in 2007; together they have performed in bass/saxophone/drums trios with Paul Abbott, Tony Marsh, Steve Noble and Eddie Prévost, sometimes with the addition of a second bassist. Each permutation has developed, and challenged those involved, in unique and very different ways. The continuity across these different meetings is fascinating, and the opportunity for this to be made public over a several-month residency a rare and exciting one.

Viltard explains that ‘quoting Samuel Beckett’s Molloy seems (to him) the best introduction to this musical approach: 

“And having heard, or more probably read somewhere, in the days when I thought I would be well advised to educate myself, or amuse myself, or stupefy myself, or kill time, that when a man in a forest thinks he is going forward in straight line, in reality he is going in a circle, I did my best to go in a circle, hoping in this way to go in a straight line (…) And if I did not go in a rigorously straight line, with my system of going in a circle, at least I did not go in a circle, and that was something.”

This classic jazz ‘quartet’ of bass, drums, piano and saxophone will play together for the first time.

Christine Wodrascka is a ‘serious improviser, a musician who places the highest demands on the piano, the audience, and perhaps most of all herself, and who requires that the musical act be charged with meaning’ (Cadence). Her piano playing stretches jazz into and beyond the prepared piano and the prepared piano into and beyond jazz in exciting, elastic, elegant and emotional ways.

Mark Sanders is a great drummer, in fact he has been acclaimed as "the most exciting, original and overwhelmingly powerful drummer alive" (Steve Reynolds, Jazz Corner). His precise and propulsive drumming has graced projects with, to name but a few Jah Wobble, Broadcast, Christian Marclay, Matthew Shipp, John Butcher, Henry Grimes and Otomo Yoshihide.

Other concerts in the series:

March 11 with Steve Noble (drums) // April 8 with Tom Wheatley (bass) and Eddie Prévost (drums)

Guillaume Viltard

An intensely physical double-bassist Viltard was one of OTO’s first associate artists – he has played and performed here with musicians as diverse as Otomo Yoshihide and Kan Mikami, Louis Moholo-Moholo, and Evan Parker. Particularly memorable was a sensational solo set in support of Marc Ribot. Most often his work has been in the ‘classic’ jazz format of saxophone/bass/drums: from trios with the late Tony Marsh and Shabaka Hutchings, to most recently Eddie Prévost and Ken Vandermark.

His uncompromising, physical and rhythmic approach to the double-bass – always acoustic, adamant – connects to jazz learning from sources as diverse as Jean-Jacques Avenel, Barre Phillips, Johnny Mbizo Dyani and Ronnie Boykins. 

His close association with OTO endures, and since late summer 2013 he has been part of a group of musicians playing, pushing and learning day and night in the OTO project space. Most often private, groupings around this new energy these groups are increasingly public, for example Steve Noble’s (new) Quartet.

Video by Helen Petts

Seymour Wright

Seymour Wright’s work is about the creative, situated friction of learning, ideas, people and the saxophone – music, history and technique ­– actual and potential.

His solo work is documented on three widely-acclaimed collections - Seymour Wright of Derby (2008), Seymour Writes Back (2015) and Is This Right? (2017).

Current projects include: abaria with Ute Kanngiesser; [Ahmed] with Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip and Pat Thomas; @xcrswx with Crystabel Riley; GUO with Daniel Blumberg; The Experimental Library with Evie Ward; XT with Paul Abbott; a trans-atlantic duet with Anne Guthrie, and, with Jean-luc Guionnet a project addressing an imaginary lacunae in Aby Warburg's Atlas Mnemosyne.

His writing has been published in C//A, Sound American and The Wire.

www.seymourwright.com

@xcrswx

Photo by Steve Gullick

Christine Wodrascka

Christine Wodrascka is a ‘serious improviser, a musician who places the highest demands on the piano, the audience, and perhaps most of all herself, and who requires that the musical act be charged with meaning’ (Cadence). Her piano playing stretches jazz into and beyond the prepared piano and the prepared piano into and beyond jazz in exciting, elastic, elegant and emotional ways.

http://www.christinewodrascka.com/

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