Monday 21 May 2018, 7.30pm
“When Paal Nilssen-Love and Ken Vandermark take the stage for two uninterrupted sets, you know there's no chance they'll take the easy route. They put themselves on the spot as a duet and as individual performers, asking telling questions about the way their instruments are played; where the boundaries are, sonically, expressively, physically.” – London Jazz News
A (dual) pleasure to welcome back the the sax/drums duo of Ken Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love to OTO. Having played together for more than a decade, the pair continue to use free improvisation to explore all levels of dynamics, density, rhythm, timbre, form and tonality for some of the most intense, exhilarating, and boundary breaking music around.
Vandermark and Nilssen-Love started their collaboration in 2000 when the group School Days was formed. One year later they started FME, a trio with bass player Nate McBride. After this it seemed very natural to define a duo. The first occasion for this format was when they recorded the cd ”Dual Pleasure” in Oslo during the summer of 2002. Shortly after this they performed their first duo concert at Molde International Jazz Festival. “Dual Pleasure” was released by the Norwegian label Smalltown Supersound and has received excellent reviews.
Nilssen-Love has, during the last couple of years, established himself on the international scene as a powerful drummer with high energy and creativity. In 2002 he was "Artist in Residence" at Molde International Jazz Festival, a title Chick Corea and Pat Metheny held in previous years. After 7 days and 9 concerts at the festival, Down Beat stated, "His week at Molde proved a revelation: Nilssen-Love is one of the most innovative, dynamic and versatile drummers in jazz."
Vandermark is also known for the work with his own quintet the Vandermark 5, the Peter Brötzmann Chicago Tentet, the Territory Band, Spaceways Inc., and the DKV Trio. In 1999 Vandermark was awarded the MacArthur Fellowship, previous recipients of this prize in the field of music include Cecil Taylor, Anthony Braxton and Max Roach. He has also been was voted ”Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” in the critic's poll of the American jazz magazine Down Beat, both as composer and as a tenor saxophonist, every year since 2000.
“Vandermark can scorch paint with a sax.” – The Guardian
Butcher is well known as a saxophonist who attempts to engage with the uniqueness of time and place. His music ranges through improvisation, his own compositions, multitracked pieces and explorations with feedback and unusual acoustics. Since the early 80s he has collaborated with hundreds of musicians – including Derek Bailey, Rhodri Davies, Andy Moor (EX), Phil Minton, Christian Marclay, Eddie Prevost, John Stevens’ SME, Gino Robair, Polwechsel, Mark Sanders, John Tilbury, and Okkyung Lee.
Alongside long term projects he values occasional encounters; from large groups such as the EX Orkestra & Butch Morris’ “London Skyscraper”, to duo concerts with Fred Frith, Akio Suzuki, Paal Nilssen-Love, Keiji Haino, David Toop, Otomo Yoshihide, Sophie Agnel and Matthew Shipp.
Recent compositions include “Penny Wands” for Futurist Intonarumori, two HCMF commissions for his own groups, “Good Liquor Caused my Heart for to Sing” for the London Sinfonietta and “Tarab Cuts”, a response to recordings of early Arabic classical music which was shortlisted for a 2014 British Composer’s Award.
“English saxophonist John Butcher may be among the world’s most influential musicians, operating at the cutting-edge of improvisatory practice since the ‘80s. Whenever an acoustic musician starts to sound like a bank of oscillators, a tropical forest, a brook or an insect factory, Butcher’s influence is likely nearby.” – New York City Jazz Record.
Ståle Liavik Solberg (drums/percussion) has established a base for himself as a central part of Oslo's thriving improvised music scene. Working with ensembles VCDC, Will it float? (with John Russell, Steve Beresford & John Edwards), Silva-Rasmussen-Solberg trio and in duos with Fred Lonberg-Holm and John Russell his open and attentive drumming has received many positive responses from musicians and audiences in both Europe and the USA. Solberg is also known as one of the driving forces behind the series Blow Out! in Oslo, and he curates the festival with the same name together with fellow drummer / percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love.