Chessex, Noble, Edwards, Thomas – 24.4.19

Textures Festival returned to OTO back in April, opening with a ferocious new quartet featuring Swiss composer and saxophonist Antoine Chessex together with free music giants Pat Thomas, Steve Noble and John Edwards. Dissonance dominates and condenses the quartet to near saturation, then respirates - chopped up by Thomas' hammered clusters and shaken down by Steve Noble into a grinding tenor saxophone and double bass texture. This is a wonderfully paced and fierce first meeting.  

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Antoine Chessex / saxophone

John Edwards / double bass

Steve Noble / drums

Pat Thomas / piano

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Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Sunday 12th December, 2016. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski. 

Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC  

Antoine Chessex

Antoine Chessex is a composer, saxophonist and sound artist whose works assume a wide diversity of forms, crossing the boundaries between noise, modern composition, improvisation and electronic music. His live performances are characterized by textural density and microtonal tensions often resulting in sound masses exploring the physical dimensions of spaces. Chessex presents his works worldwide and has collaborated extensively with Zbigniew Karkowski, Valerio Tricoli, Apartment House and Jérôme Noetinger among others. He is a founding member of the noise band Monno.

www.soundimplant.com/achessex
www.soundcloud.com/antoine-chessex

Steve Noble

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). 

Pat Thomas

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 

John Edwards

John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.

"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment