Nii Noi Nortey / David Panton / Mark Sanders – 03.01.16

Ghanaian sculptor, inventor, and avant-garde multi-instrumentalist Nii Noi Nortey performs solo and in trio with Mark Sanders and David Panton. Nii Noi’s solo soundscapes a vivid journey through West Africa using traditional instruments, before adding his own adaptions and afrifon inventions in the trio. Although this is the first time Nii Noi and David have improvised with Mark the trio immediately find an unerring natural groove that moves effortlessly through free-improvisation, free-jazz, world music and African inspired melodic and percussive patterns.   


Nii Noi Nortey / nu waterpipe, atenteben flute, gonje fiddle, algaita oboe, ngoni harp/lute, afrifon reeds

David Panton /  piano (keyboard & strings), soprano saxophone, bagpipe (without drones)

Mark Sanders / drums, percussion


Recorded on Sunday 3rd January 2016 by Shaun Crook. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn.

An edited version of a separate recording made by Panton Music of this performance is scheduled for release in June 2016 on disc as PM3116 Nii Noi Nortey with David Panton & Mark Sanders. See details on the Panton Music website

Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC  


1. Set 1 (30.36) Nii Noi Nortey

2. Set 2 (36.46) Nii Noi Nortey / David Panton / Mark Sanders 

Nii Noi Nortey

Nii Noi Nortey is a multi-instrumentalist performing on both African instruments (e.g., alghaita, gyil, gonje, ngoni, seprewa) and Western ones (saxophones and flutes), as well as unique instruments of his own invention (afrifons, alboita). He is also a sound sculptor, author, educator, and arts library administrator whose base these last twenty-five years is Anyaa Arts Library, outside Accra, Ghana. In the UK Nii Noi is known for his performances and recordings with, among others, Dade Krama, African Dawn, David Panton, and Misty N Roots. In Ghana he has worked with well-known local artists like Ghanaba (Guy Warren), Pan African Orchestra, and Nii Otoo Annan, as well as visiting artists from Europe and the US. Some of his work of the last ten years is documented on the Accra Trane Station DVDs and CDs on the Voxlox label and in the book Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra by Steven Feld. Among written publications, he has recently produced Afrifonix: The Windpipes of Nii Noi Nortey, which chronicles the evolution of his afrifon inventions.

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

David Panton

Multi-instrumentalist, improviser, composer David Panton, veteran of the Little Theatre Club, UK avant-garde/free-jazz scene of the 1970s/80s, returns after a long break. ‘A wide ranging musician…’ (Peter Riley, Coda), he played with John Stevens’ Entourage, John Russell, Roy Asbury, and in the more structured setting of his One Music Ensembles, with Stevens, Harry Beckett, Maggie Nichols and, while teaching him saxophone 1978-79, Nii Noi Nortey.  Some music was published/released on his Nondo/Panton Music labels, broadcast, and assisted with Arts Council bursaries. ‘Panton plays with real imagination…’(Barry McRae, Jazz Journal), ‘…paces his solos well…’ (Robert Ianapollo, Cadence).