Monday 14 July 2014, 8pm
Which is the more productive situation for improvisation: the shock of the first time encounter, unhindered by history or habit; or the long-term association and the evolution of more complex interactions? It's an unresolved, perhaps even undecidable, question. This event brings together four improvisers together in a multi-layered and hopefully productive situation which combines multiple permutations of the untried and the familiar. The four have never all played together before but the quartet contains various histories between individuals, with associations ranging from the established and ongoing (Lytton/Wooley, Prévost/Wright) and the emerging (Wooley/Wright) to the long dormant (Lytton/Prévost) and the as yet uncommenced (Lytton/Wright, Prévost/Wooley).
It's undoubtedly an interesting situation, but one that is made even more so by the people involved: this is not just a theoretical experiment but a meeting of four individuals with distinct musical personalities and attitudes.
Paul Lytton and Eddie Prévost were key figures in the emergence of free improvisation as a distinct form of musical practice. Both transformed the role of percussionist from that of the jazz drummer and expanded their kits to include electronics, massive gongs, found objects, and other unusual items. Lytton's early duo recordings with Evan Parker, which still sound abrasively fresh today, reveal a mobile and inventive musical intelligence, overflowing with ideas and energy. Prévost is best known for his work with AMM, a radical improvising collective which transmutes ideas and practices from contemporary composition, philosophy and politics into a soundworld that is by turns meditative and shocking.
Nate Wooley and Seymour Wright are two of the most interesting of a younger generation of improvisers who have grown up with improvised music as a pre-existing, if unstable, entity. Both share a deep knowledge of improvised music's various pasts (musical and non-musical, improvised and otherwise); this historical awareness does not operate as a burden and a barrier to spontaneity but enriches their music, adding extra layers of anticipation and suspense. Wooley's recent projects include solo performance, multi-part drone composition, and re-workings of the early works of Wynton Marsalis. Wright has recently been active with groups arising out of Eddie Prévost's workshop, llln (a trio with Paul Abbott and Daichi Yoshikawa), duo sessions with John Butcher, and the preparation of a new series of solo recordings. Wooley and Wright's first duo CD, About trumpet and saxophone, was released last year on Fataka, and was described as a recording which “might enrich or impoverish a listener in a new way." - Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure.
Seymour Wright lives in London. His practice is about the creative, situated friction of learning, ideas, people and the saxophone – music, history and technique – actual and potential. This is an on-going, rigorous and exhaustive exploration of imaginations, instrument, spaces and strucutures. The energy of this learning is applied to various collaborations and contexts to access/share what he has called the ‘awkward wealth of investigation’.
His solo work is documented on three widely acclaimed self-released collections Seymour Wright of Derby (2008), Seymour Writes Back (2015) and Is This Right? (2017).
His current collaborations include: abaria with Ute Kanngiesser; a duet with Crystabel Riley; [Ahmed] with Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip and Pat Thomas; GUO with Daniel Blumberg; The Experimental Library with Evie Ward; XT with Paul Abbott; lll人 with Daichi Yoshikawa and Paul Abbott, a 'new jazz' trio with John Chantler and Steve Noble; an on-going inter-textual quartet with Paul Abbott, Cara Tolmie and Will Holder; a trans-atlantic duet with Anne Guthrie, and, with Jean-luc Guionnet a project addressing an imaginary lacunae in Aby Warburg's Atlas Mnemosyne. Bits of his writing has been published in C//A, Sound American and The Wire.
Nate Wooley is one of the rising stars of the American experimental scene, a trumpet virtuoso whose musical explorations have taken him through ecstatic jazz, free improvisation, drone composition, and noise into a place very much his own, characterised by intense dynamics, an acute awareness of space, and a complex and organic sense of structure. Recent collaborators include John Zorn, Chris Corsano, Akron/Family, Peter Evans, Wolf Eyes, Joe Morris, and Evan Parker.
“A word or two is in order about Wooley’s approach to his instrument. While the spatial innovations of Bill Dixon and Wadada Leo Smith are certainly referenced, the humor of Lester Bowie is also in evidence, and I even hear the chronologically disparate but equally luscious tones of Tony Friscella and Arve Henrikson on occasion. An extraordinary listen.” - Marc Medwin, Dusted Magazine
Eddie Prévost plays with immense fire, grace and invention. Founder of the essential AMM, collaborator of the greatest improvisers internationally, since the 60's he has kept a continuous contact with the scene and always manages to invent anew his contribution to "meta-music".
“Prévost's free drumming flows superbly making use of his formidable technique. It’s as though there has never been an Elvin Jones or Max Roach.” - Melody Maker
“Relentlessly innovative yet full of swing and fire.” – Morning Star
Paul Lytton (born 8 March 1947, London) is an English free jazz percussionist. He began on drums at age 16 and played jazz in London in the late 1960s while taking lessons on the tabla from P.R. Desai. In 1969 he began experimenting with free improvisational music, working in a duo with saxophonist Evan Parker. After adding bassist Barry Guy, the ensemble became the Evan Parker Trio. He and Parker continued to work together into the 2000s; more recent releases include trio releases with Marilyn Crispell in 1996 (Natives and Aliens) and 1999 (After Appleby).
A founding member of the London Musicians Collective, Lytton worked extensively on the London free improvisation scene in the 1970s, and aided Paul Lovens in the foundation of the Aachen Musicians' Cooperative in 1976. Lytton has toured North America and Japan both solo and with improvisational ensembles. In 1999, he toured with Ken Vandermark and Kent Kessler, and recorded with Vandermark on English Suites. As well Lytton collaborated with Jeffrey Morgan (alto & tenor saxophone) with whom he recorded the CD "Terra Incognita" Live in Cologne, Germany.