Wednesday 4 November 2015, 8pm
OMMMY 4 is a new quartet that sees legendary South African drummer Louis Moholo Moholo flanked by the often orchestral or other worldly horns and live effects of Oren Marshall (tuba) and Jason Yarde (saxes) with the versatile voice of Elaine Mitchener adding further colour, soul and depth.
Lead by Yarde the group has recorded and prepares to release its debut album having been a long held wish of the composer and saxophonist. This performance marks the first public outing of the group.
"Experience the sensation of being blown away by the waves of emotion, whether overwhelmingly ecstatic or exquisitely refined. And most of all, perhaps, listen to the Louis Moholo Moholo Quartet to understand how, in this music, the individual and the collective can simultaneously attain equal importance: a most elevated state of being." – Richard Williams, The Blue Moment, review of Louis Moholo Moholo Quartet at Cafe OTO
Born in Cape Town, South Africa, in 1940, Louis Moholo-Moholo has been one of the seminal figures in the international creative music scene since his emergence with the legendary Blue Notes in the early 1960s. Since this time, he has been at the heart of countless other classic line-ups, not least the Brotherhood of Breath, and his own projects such as Spirits Rejoice and Viva La Black. Alongside his profile as a bandleader, he has appeared worldwide and on record with a virtual who's who of modern creative music, including Steve Lacy, Cecil Taylor, John Tchicai, Marilyn Crispell, Irene Schweizer, Wadada Leo Smith, Keith Tippett, Kenny Wheeler, and Evan Parker, to name only a tiny number.
In the mid-1960s, Moholo-Moholo toured South American with Steve Lacy, recording with him ‘The Forest and The Zoo’, widely thought to be the first ever fully improvised album. Returning to the UK, he joined Chris McGregor’s newly formed Brotherhood of Breath, a big band which stunned audiences around Europe with their own highly individual sound. Many other high profile groups, all featuring Louis, drew personnel from this iconic band, amongst them Mike Osborne’s Trio (with Harry Miller), Miller’s own Isipingo, Elton Dean’s Ninesense, and various groups led by Dudu Pukwana.
Moholo-Moholo also led one of the most exciting groups of the time – the mighty Spirits Rejoice, featuring Evan Parker, Radu Malfatti, Nick Evans, Kenny Wheeler, Keith Tippett and the twin basses of Harry Miller and Johnny Dyani.
During the eighties Louis toured America with Peter Brötzmann's trio, and continued to work throughout Europe leading his own groups and developing many musical partnerships, including duos with pianists Cecil Taylor in Berlin, and Irene Schweizer in Switzerland.
Another important milestone in Louis's career was the forming in 1990's of his nine-piece band “Viva-La-Black”, which became the first group to tour South Africa, arranged by the British Council, as the lifting of Apartheid and freedom became imminent. More recently, he has been heard in duo with Wadada Leo Smith, as well as leading his ‘Unit’’.
Saxophonist Jason Yarde has already been a veteran of the leader's bands for some two decades. He is himself one of the most sought-after musicians of his generation, and has been a member of groups led by Andrew Hill and Jack DeJohnette, amonst many others. He is also a renowned composer, having been widely commissioned (including by the London Symphony Orchestra).
Oren Marshall is a pioneering player of acoustic tuba and electric tuba who, crossing between classical, jazz, improvised and world music, has collaborated with the likes of Derek Bailey, Charlie Haden, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Moondog, Radiohead, Hermeto Pascoal, The Pan-African Orchestra and the London Philharmonic.
He has played with every major orchestra in London as well as with the Bolshoi Theatre Soloists, the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Canadian Ballet. As a member of London Brass (whom he joined in 1987) he has made numerous recordings, toured worldwide several times, played 6 Proms concerts and performed for The Queen, Prince Charles, the German Chancellor, the President of China and The Pope.
Amongst the many Duos Oren has played are performances with Jazz pianist John Taylor, New York Beatboxer Adam Matta, UK Beatboxers Shlomo and Hobbit, Prepared-Piano player Hauschka, Percussionist Evelyn Glennie and multi award-winning vocalist, Bobby Mcferrin.
As a solo artist, Oren has played all over the world and his ground-breaking solo work lead to multiple nominations for the BBC Innovation in Jazz Award.
He has also shared the stage with artists such as Gil Scott Heron, Roy Ayers, Moby, Vinicio Caposella, Murcoff, Tomasz Stanko and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. He leads and writes for the Charming Transport Band, bringing together master musicians from Ghana and Nigeria and innovators from London’s jazz and improvised music scenes. Oren is currently Head of Brass Studies at Trinity Laban Conservatoire, London and teaches on the Leadership course at the Guildhall School of Music and on the Jazz course at the Royal Academy of Music.
Elaine Mitchener is a contemporary vocalist, movement artist and composer working between the worlds of contemporary new music, experimental jazz / free improvisation and visual arts. She is founder of collective electroacoustic trio The Rolling Calf (with Jason Yarde and Neil Charles) and her sound works are held in a curated collection by George E Lewis at Darmstadt Festival. Recent recordings includes Some Good News – a live album with Hamid Drake, William Parker, Orphy Robinson and Pat Thomas (OTOROKU label) – and a special radio commission for Sons d’Hiver (Paris), and she is one of 50 selected exhibiting artists featured in the British Art Show 9 touring exhibition 21/22 and is a Wigmore Hall Associate Artist.
"Any attempts at categorisation are doomed to fail" – The Wire
"Mitchener is a genre crossing virtuoso" – Financial Times
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).