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Various Artists
Freedom of the City 2006

Various Artists: Freedom of the City 2006 (Emanem)
Label: Emanem    
Released in: Great Britain    

"The 2006 FREEDOM OF THE CITY festival, London curated by Evan Parker, Eddie Prévost and me, consisted of four concerts on two consecutive days at the Red Rose in north London. As in previous years, the music was generally of a very high standard and well received by the audience.

Some of the performances from the 2006 festival have appeared on other CDs: The trio of Eddie Prévost, Alan Wilkinson and Joe Williamson can be heard on ALONG CAME JOE (Matchless 69); the duo of Terry Day and Charlotte Hug is on Day's 2006 DUOS (Emanem 4137); the nine-piece Quaqua can be heard on John Russell's ANALEKTA (Emanem 4138) along with the guitarist's duos with Chefa Alonso and Garry Todd from Mopomoso gigs; and the Chris Burn Ensemble's set will probably be released alongside other Ensemble concerts.

The opening trio on this CD comprises two musicians from Spain and one from New Zealand who have been based in London for a few years. They are all fairly frequent members of the London Improvisers Orchestra. Note that, in this trio, Chefa Alonso sticks to the soprano saxophone, and manages to find her own space in an already crowded field - in other contexts she can also be heard on percussion. Javier Carmona uses a fairly standard drum set, but with some interesting deviations, and must be rated as one of the best free percussionists. In such company, it's not surprising that David Leahy has found his own voice on the bass.

The following quartet came from Brussels just for the festival, although they all have previously performed in London in other combinations. Guy Strale was perhaps the pioneer free improviser in Brussels - he is someone who can play just about any instrument. Jean-Michel van Schouwburg is one of the most prolific writers about music as well as being a vocalist of note. The husband-and-wife team of guitarist Jan Hub Nas and flautist Adelheid Sieuw are both very distinctive and non-conformist performers on their respective instruments.

The final quartet on this CD comprises four veteran London-based improvisers who have been part of the London scene for decades. The instrumentation may suggest jazz, but the actual music is group improvisation. Tenor saxophonist Garry Todd, the instigator of this quartet, has not been heard much in public over the years, but has maintained his capabilities in private. Violinist Nigel Coombes has also kept a low profile since his long tenure with the Spontaneous Music Ensemble. Bassist Nick Stephens was another long-term associate of John Stevens - he is now releasing his music on his Loose Torque CDR label. Drummer Tony Marsh has become fairy ubitiquous - including being heard on most of Evan Parker's recent trio and quartet gigs at the Vortex.

There may not be any 'household names' on this CD, but all the musicians surely deserve to be much better known. Listen with an open mind, and you will hear some superb music."-Martin Davidson, from the sleeve notes

See all items in the EMANEM & psi category

Related Categories of Interest:

EMANEM & psi
Improvised Music
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
April 2007
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Free Improvisation

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Price: $18.95
In Stock


Shipping Weight: 5.00 units

Quantity in Basket: None

Product Information:

UPC: 5030243413928

Label: Emanem
Catalog ID: 4139
Squidco Product Code: 8014

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2007
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Jewel Tray
Digital concert recordings by Sebastian Lexer at the Freedom Of The City Festival in London's Red Rose, April 30, 2006 and May 1, 2006.


Chefa Alonso-soprano sax

David Leahy-double bass

Javier Carmona-drum set, percussion

Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg-voice

Adelheid Sieuw-flutes, voice

Jan Huib Nas-guitar

Guy Strale-clarinet, piano, percussion

Garry Todd-tenor sax

Nigel Coombes-violin

Nick Stephens-double bass

Tony Marsh-drums et

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Track Listing:

1. Cháchara - 26:12

Jean-Michel Van Schouwburg-voice

Adelheid Sieuw-flutes, voice

Jan Huib Nas-guitar

Guy Strale-clarinet, piano, percussion

2. Okgnig I - 17:29

Garry Todd-tenor saxophone

Nigel Coombes-violin

Nick Stephens-double bass

Tony Marsh-drum set

3. Stipple - 32:12

Total time 76:19