Thursday 27 July 2017, 7.30pm
We're delighted to present a four-day residency with one of the greatest living UK-based improvisers - Pat Thomas. Criminally unheralded, Pat is a fearless and uncompromising player who – despite coming from a background of free improvisation and new music – can feel as close to the worlds of noise and experimental music. His performances range in approach and texture from fearsome cacophony that can sound like a piano having its guts ripped out, with Pat thumping discordant clusters of keys with his fists or rattling the exterior wooden frame; to delicately soothing passages where his fingers glide over the keys, creating microscopic tones and resonant melodies that can hold an entire sonic landscape.
The residency coincides with the release of Pat's new LP - The Elephant Clock of Al Jazari - on our own in-house OTOROKU label, which comprises four typically genre-defying and sonically dexterous pieces from one of the UK's most extraordinary pianists.
"I can't quite think of anyone else who sounds quite like this: it is in a class of its own." - Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
"Thomas runs the gamut of techniques, splashing clusters, weaving contrapuntal lines and building elaborate structures from the inside out. Despite their variety, they share a fundamental quality – they truly sound like spur of the moment creations, not the final draft of ideas mulled over for weeks, if not months on end." - Bill Shoemaker, Point of Departure
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
Phil Minton comes from Torquay. He played trumpet and sang with the Mike Westbrook Band in the early 60s - Then in dance and rock bands in Europe for the later of part of the decade. He returned to England in 1971, rejoining Westbrook and was involved in many of his projects until the mid 1980′s.
For most of the last forty years, Minton has been working as an improvising singer in lots of groups, orchestras, and situations. Numerous composers have written music especially for his extended vocal techniques. He has a quartet with Veryan Weston, Roger Turner and John Butcher, and ongoing duos, trios and quartets with above and many other musicians.
Since the eighties, His Feral Choir, where he voice-conducts workshops and concerts for anyone who wants to sing, has performed in over twenty countries.
“Phil Minton is best known for his startling vocal improvisations. On his new solo CD, this sensible looking man proffers 37 thin slices of his unfettered soul. Not long ago these croaks, burps, high-pitched exhalations, deep-throated drones and shreds of garbled half-language would have seen Minton either burnt or hailed as an emissary of God.” – Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times
Over decades Roger Turner has brought the renowned volcanic power and finely honed precision of his drum work to ensembles that have often forged real connections with musicians both sides of the Atlantic. In addition he has worked extensively in the microscopic laboratory of the acoustic duo situation where he acquired a highly developed sense of detail and of dynamic control. One of that select group of world-class players who have collectively redefined the language of contemporary percussion. In Turner's hands minute inflections of tension can shape the group's musical direction and galvanise a new level of audience experience.