Thursday 29 January 2015, 6.30pm, OTO Project Space
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. 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 notably with Steve Noble, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser.
The continuity across different meetings is fascinating, and the opportunity to welcome Brussel based saxophonist Audrey Lauro in public is quite exciting.
Seymour Wright & Audrey Lauro, sax
Steve Noble, drums
Guillaume Viltard, double-bass
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.
Steve Noble is London's leading drummer, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser whose super-precise, ultra-propulsive and hyper-detailed playing has galvanized encounters with Derek Bailey, Matthew Shipp, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Stephen O'Malley, Joe McPhee, Alex Ward, Rhodri Davies and many, many more.
In the early eighties, Noble played with the Nigerian master drummer Elkan Ogunde, Rip Rig and Panic, Brion Gysin and the Bow Gamelan Ensemble, before going on to work with the pianist Alex Maguire and with Derek Bailey (including Company Weeks 1987, 89 and 90). He was featured in the Bailey's excellent TV series on Improvisation for Channel 4 based on his book ‘Improvisation; its nature and practise’. He has toured and performed throughout Europe, Africa and America and currently leads the groups N.E.W (with John Edwards and Alex Ward) and DECOY (with John Edwards and Alexander Hawkins).
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.
Audrey Lauro is an alto saxophonist with a wealth of experience in the Belgian experimental music scene, having played with Marc Ribot, Veryan Weston, Peter Evans, Carlos Zingaro, Javier Carmona, Sabu Toyozumi and Daysuke Takaoka amongst others. Her first CD in 2008 on the Brussels label by-records - Mrs Okkido - featured Pierre Vervolesem and since then Lauro has focussed mostly on free improvised music. In 2012 she curated the festival Wolves Stories dedicated to the female improv scene.