Friday 24 February 2023, 8pm

Photo by J.Henriot (crop)

The Flame - feat. Robert Mitchell, Mark Sanders, Neil Charles

No Longer Available

The Flame. A trio whose powerful debut at Cafe OTO last year is being released this year - as a live album on the fantastic US label 577 Records (NYC). These are urgent, intense, improvised flights. A sound of complete commitment to the spirit of now. Mark, Neil and Robert have a vast array of approaches born out of their collective and individual experiences and contributions over several decades. This show will feature music, poetry, the acoustic, the electronic, the collective and the individual perspectives from a trio in rapid evolution.

Neil Charles / bass
Mark Sanders / drums
Robert Mitchell / piano

Robert Mitchell

Robert Mitchell is an award winning pianist, composer, bandleader, teacher, and poet. He has released 13 albums, and has leads the bands Epiphany 3 and TRUE THINK. His latest release in 2024 is a solo piano improvisation ep - A Study (In The Key Of Now) on 577 Records (NYC). He has worked with (amongst many) - Billy Harper, Phil Ranelin, Steve Coleman, Courtney Pine, Julien Lourau, Dayme Arocena, Alicia Olatuja, Bournemouth Symphony Chorus, Ty, Shirley Smart, Orphy Robinson, Basement Jaxx, Matana Roberts, Jhelisa Anderson, Soweto Kinch, Empirical and Norma Winstone. He has won the Hamlyn Award for Composition, A Broadcast Award (as MD on Jazz 625 Live BBC4) and has composed commissions for the London Sinfonietta and Jazz South. His large scale work Invocation was performed at the QEH in 2014 with the BSC, Goldsmith Big String, Panacea and combined youth chorus. Robert is a Piano Professor at the Guildhall School Of Music & Drama, YMM and a mentor at Black Lives In Music. Robert is a Steinway Artist. His second collection of poems - City Of Sanctuary - was released in 2023 (on Common Tone Press - Seattle). He is an Artist-In-Residence at Morley College.

'There are two poems by Mr. Mitchell included in the liner notes, both of which show him to be a wonderfully thoughtful, articulate and probing poet of the highest order.' – Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery NYC

Photo by J.Henriot

Neil Charles

Neil Charles is one of the most in-demand musicians on the scene, with a huge array of credits to his name, including Jack DeJohnette, the Sun Ra Arkestra, Mingus Big Band, Jose James, Jerry Dammers, Courtney Pine, and Terence Blanchard. His own projects have included Zed U, with Shabaka Hutchings and Tom Skinner, and the more recent ensemble Dark Days, dealing with the work of James Baldwin. Most recently, he has been heard across the international scene with Gabriels. As well as being known as a bass player with a huge sound and immaculate sense of time, he is equally renowned as a producer, going by the alias Ben Marc.

"Bassist Neil Charles went flying, from the first moment filling the space with the sound of his mighty wings Henning Bolte," – Europe Jazz Media Chart

Mark Sanders

Mark has worked with a host of renowned musicians including Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Mathew Shipp, Evan Parker, Roswell Rudd, in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker.

In situations using composition Mark works in a number of projects including Christian Marclay’s Everyday for film and live music and John Butcher’s Tarab Cuts - both projects have performed major festivals throughout Europe and Brazil. He has performed works by guitarist John Coxon in Glasgow and Sydney playing with the Scottish and Sydney Symphony Orchestras. With New York’s ICE Ensemble he has performed John Zorn’s The Tempest in London and at Huddersfield New Music Festival.

Mark also works in the groups of Paul Dunmall including Deep Whole Trio with Paul Rogers, and the ensembles of Sarah Gail Brand, including a long-standing duo. He has a lengthy discography including a solo album, has performed internationally and played at major festivals including, Nickelsdorf, Ulrichsburg, Womad and notably at Glastonbury with legendary saxophonist John Tchicai.

"ubiquitous, diverse and constantly creative, drummer Mark Sanders always outdoes himself, whether playing with restraint or erupting like a dynamo." Bruce L Gallenter, Downtown Music Gallery. NY