Simon H. Fell, Steve Noble, Pat Thomas and Han Bennink performing the works of Mancini scored for a jazz piano trio, plus 'sound manipulation artist' and prerecorded tapes.
Mancini Project, The
Views of Mancini
Released in: Great Britain
"Ever been disappointed by a recording or concert where avant-garde / creative / experimental artists pay tribute to a key mainstream figure? I know I have (but of course I'm naming no names). All too often, it seems the experimentalists are so seduced by playing 'normal' music (or perhaps are keen to demonstrate that they can play 'properly') that their avant-garde credentials appear to wither away.
Not so here, I'm glad to say. The Mancini Projecthas the specific intention of combining a love of the familiar with a relish of the experimental, squaring that particular circle and hopefully producing a true fusion; a meeting of musical minds (and generations) rather than a simplistic and fashionable nod to mainstream accessibility.
My Composition No. 49: Views Of Mancini was originally written for London's Club Room as part of their Departure Lounge season in the Summer of 1999. The piece was scored for a jazz piano trio, plus 'sound manipulation artist' and prerecorded tapes, and used a combination of free improvisation, contemporary jazz, experimental sound manipulation and electroacoustic composition to reflect upon a series of well and less well known Mancini compositions. (For many years my experimental work has been subsidised by my playing more 'commercial' music, and I had long wanted to write a piece which reflected my love of both repertoires.) The suite as recorded here (some 4 years later) includes partly-notated partly-improvised organic reconstructions of Mancini originals, pieces in which found objects are combined with layers of improvisation and notation, and free improvisations using Mancini as raw sonic material. To put it in a nutshell, these are all great tunes, and it just so happened that I felt I'd like to try play- ing this repertoire with 'experimental' musicians in an 'avant-garde' way - and this is what came out. At least we didn't pull our punches..."-Simon H. Fell
• Show Bio for Pat Thomas
"Born 27 July 1960; Piano, electronics. Pat Thomas started playing at the age of 8 and studied classical music and played reggae. He began playing jazz at sixteen after seeing Oscar Peterson on television then listened to snatches of jazz on the radio before, in 1979, playing his first serious improvised gigs. From 1986 he played with Ghosts which was Pete McPhail and Matt Lewis.
In addition to programming his keyboards, Pat Thomas also utilises prerecorded tapes. He told Chris Blackford (1991), 'As far as the tapes are concerned I'll probably just sit in front of the TV and tape whatever's going on and so some editing afterward to decide what might be useful. ...But I don't actually put a label on each tape saying what's on there, so when I come to use them I don't know what I'm going to be playing. That obviously prevents me from setting things up. I pick them at random and see what happens. So I'm just as surprised as anybody else at what comes out'.
In 1988 he was awarded an Arts Council Jazz Bursary to write three new electroacoustic compositions for his ten-piece ensemble, Monads: Roger Turner and Matt Lewis, percussion; Pete McPhail, WX7 wind synthesizer; Neil Palmer, turntables; Phil Minton, voice; Phil Durrant, violin; Marcio Mattos, bass; Jon Corbett, trumpet; Geoff Searle, drum machines. The intention was to feature different aspects of electronics using improvisation so, for example, one piece - Dialogue - featured Pete McPhail and Neil Palmer, another concentrated on the interaction of percussionists and drum machines, and a third piece had Phil Minton and Jon Corbett improvising with a computer. The pieces were performed at the Crawley Outside-In Festival of new music in 1989.
Pat Thomas was invited by Derek Bailey to play in Company Week in 1990 and 1991 and he also took part in the Ist International Symposium for Free Improvisation in Bremen with the guitarist. He has been a member of the Tony Oxley Quartet (documented on Incus CD 15) and played in Oxley's Angular Apron along with Larry Stabbins, Manfred Schoof and Sirone at the 8th Ruhr Jazz Meeting and in the percussionist's Celebration Orchestra. He plays with Lol Coxhill in a range of combinations from duo to being a member of 'Before my time', is a member of Mike Cooper's Continental Drift, and he has a well established duo with percussionist Mark Sanders and a trio with Steve Beresford and Francine Luce. In 1992 Pat Thomas formed the quartet Scatter with Phil Minton, Roger Turner and Dave Tucker; funded by the Arts Council they toured the UK in 1993 and again at the beginning of 1997.
On the 'Festival circuit', Pat Thomas has appeared at: the Young Improvisors Festival at the Korzo Theatre, Den Haag (with Jim O'Rourke, Mats Gustafsson and Alexander Frangenheim); Angelica 95 in Bologna, Italy; the Stuttgart 5th Festival of Improvised Music 96 (with Fred Frith, Shelly Hirsch, Carlos Zingaro and others); and the 3rd International Festival 96 in Budapest (with Evan Parker, Phil Minton, John Russell and Roger Turner).-EFI (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/mthomas.html)
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• Show Bio for Han Bennink
"Drummer and multi-instrumentalist Han Bennink was born in Zaandam near Amsterdam in 1942. His first percussion instrument was a kitchen chair. Later his father, an orchestra percussionist, supplied him with a more conventional outfit, but Han never lost his taste for coaxing sounds from unlikely objects he finds backstage at concerts. He is still very fond of playing chairs.
In Holland in the 1960s, Bennink was quickly recognized as an uncommonly versatile drummer. As a hard swinger in the tradition of his hero Kenny Clarke, he accompanied touring American jazz stars, including Sonny Rollins, Ben Webster, Wes Montgomery, Johnny Griffin, Eric Dolphy and Dexter Gordon. He is heard with Gordon on the 1969 album "Live at Amsterdam Paradiso" (on the Affinity label) and with Dolphy on 1964s "Last Date" (PolyGram). At the same time, Bennink participated in the creation of a European improvised music which began to evolve a new identity, apart from its jazz roots. With fellow Dutch pioneers, pianist Misha Mengelberg and saxophonist Willem Breuker, he founded the musicians collective Instant Composers Pool in 1967. Bennink anchored various bands led by Mengelberg or Breuker, and appeared in their comic music-theater productions.
Bennink attended art school in the 1960s, and is also a successful visual artist in several media, often constructing sculpture from found objects, which may include broken drum heads and sticks. He has designed the covers for many LPs and CDs on which he appears. Bennink is represented by Amsterdam's Galerie Espace, and has been the subject of several one-man shows, including one at the Gemeente Museum in the Hague in 1995.
In 1966, Bennink played the US's Newport Jazz Festival with the Mengelberg quartet. From the late 1960s through the '70s Bennink collaborated frequently with Danish, German, English and Belgian musicians, notably saxophonists John Tchicai and Peter Broetzmann, guitarist Derek Bailey and pianist Fred van Hove. Bennink, Broetzmann and van Hove had a longstanding trio well documented on FMP Records. There Bennink also showcased his talents on clarinet, trombone, soprano saxophone and many other instruments, also featured in a series of solo albums he began in 1971.
Bennink's many recordings from the 1980s include sessions with Mengelberg's ICP Orchestra (where he remains), South African bassist Harry Miller, soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy, trombonists Roswell Rudd and George Lewis, and big-bandleaders Sean Bergin and Andy Sheppard.
From 1988 to'98 Bennink's main vehicle was Clusone 3, with saxophonist and clarinetist Michael Moore and cellist Ernst Reijseger, a band noted for its free-wheeling mix of swinging jazz standards, wide-open improvising, and tender ballads. Clusone played Europe and North America, West Africa, China, Vietnam and Australia, and recorded five CDs for Gramavision, hat Art and Ramboy.
Nowadays he is frequently heard with tenor saxophonist Tobias Delius's quartet and in a trio with pianist/keyboardist Cor Fuhler and bassist Wilbert de Joode, and he still collaborates occasionally with jazz luminaries such as Johnny Griffin, Von Freeman and Ray Anderson.
A conspicuous feature of Bennink's musical life since the 1960s is the spontaneous duo concert with musicians of many nationalities and musical inclinations; in the '90s he recorded in duo with among others pianists Mengelberg, Irene Schweizer and Myra Melford, guitarist Eugene Chadbourne, trumpeter Dave Douglas and tenor saxophonist Ellery Eskelin.
Since 2008 Han Bennink has his own Han Bennink Trio consisting of Han Bennink, Joachim Badenhorst on clarinet and Simon Toldam on piano."-Han Bennink Website, Kevin Whitehead (http://www.hanbennink.com/music/biography/biography.php)
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• Show Bio for 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)."-https://www.cafeoto.co.uk/artists/steve-noble/ (Cafe Oto Website)
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At The Squid's Ear!
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London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
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Shipping Weight: 3.00 units
Quantity in Basket: None
Catalog ID: FMR 263-0808
Squidco Product Code: 11986
Country: Great Britain
All music composed by Henry Mancini, arranged by Simon H. Fell except Improvisation 1 and Improvisation 4 composed by Pat Thomas/Simon H. Fell/Han Bennink/Steve Noble. Recorded at Barefoot Studios, Brixton, London, 28th January 2003 Engineered by Simon H. Fell Produced by Steve Noble & Simon H. Fell.
Simon H. Fell-double bass, prerecordings
Steve Noble-turntables, manipulations
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1. The Days Of Wine And Roses 9:07
2. Charade 4:59
3. Moon River/Dreamsville 4:05
4. Peter Gunn 5:23
5. Improvisation 1 6:20
6. The Pink Panther 4:28
7. Improvisation 4 6:23
8. A Shot In The Dark 5:54