Alex Ward's debut release, out on Derek Bailey's Incus! Having first played together at Derek's Company Week in the late 80s, the pair clicked on a punk tip, recorded this, and went on to found trio N.E.W. with with John Edwards, who have also enjoyed fantastic releases on Bo'Weavil & Dancing Wayang.
1. 8th & HOW - 6:51
2. 6th & WHY - 6:15
3. 4th & WHO - 5:35
4. DOUBLE TROUBLE - 6:09
5. SHAKIN TONGUES - 10:50
6. SAW & CLARINET - 4:17
7. 1/4 TO 3 - 2:44
8. YA BOO, REEL & RUMBLE - 7:43
9. FIN - 5:23
Alex Ward / clarinet, alto saxophone
Steve Noble / percussion
Produced by Derek Bailey & Steve Noble. Post Production by John Haddon. Design by Steve Noble & Karen Brookman. Photos by Anne Clvin & Gerald Wright. Tracks 1 to 3 recorded at HOW studio, 11 March 1989; tracks 4 to 9 recorded at PING PONG studio 1 July 1990.
Available as a 320k MP3 or 16bit FLAC download.
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).
Alex Ward is a composer, improviser, and performing musician, working primarily with clarinet and guitar. His involvement in freely improvised music dates back to 1986, when he met the guitarist Derek Bailey. He subsequently took part regularly in Bailey's Company events, and has gone on to become a major figure in British improvised music.
His current work ranges from the duo Dead Days Beyond Help, in which he plays guitar and sings, his group Predicate who perform his compositions, regular improvising groups with Steve Noble, Kay Grant and others, as well as more ad hoc encounters with musicians as diverse as Thurston Moore, Joe Morris and Duck Baker. He brings a unique energy and inventiveness to all these projects, elevating them far above the ordinary and injecting them with a thrilling sense of danger and possibility.
"...guitarist Alex Ward [is] a compulsively creative polymath of indiscriminately omnivorous appetite ... a reliably unpredictable axe-hero for collaborators of all backgrounds." Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times Review