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London veteran improvisers, saxophonist Lol Coxhill and clarinetist Alex Ward, met at the Incus HQ in 2010 to record these 7 extraordinary dialogs, described as a 1 Act work in 2 scenes with 6 characters!
 

Coxhill / Ward
Old Sights New Sounds

Coxhill / Ward: Old Sights New Sounds (Incus)
Label: Incus    
Released in: Great Britain    


"Recorded at Incus HQ, London, in October 2010, this duo is a delight that should refresh even the most jaded ears. Lol Coxhill and Alex Ward are both veteran improvisers and regular participants on the London scene, so it was inevitable that they would eventually play together as a duo. As evidenced below by YouTube, that happened in August 2010 at John Russell's annual Fete Qua Qua; the pairing was repeated the following month at Sybil Madrigal's monthly Boat Ting gig on the Thames (on the occasion of Madrigal's birthday, actually). After they repeated the success of their previous meeting, it was clear that the two should record together-so Karen Brookman asked them if they would for Incus; without hesitation, they each agreed.

The pairing of Coxhill and Ward is a far from obvious one. Despite Coxhill being the senior partner by over forty years, without forewarning it would be difficult to tell that from their music; both sound remarkably spry and lively-one of the joys of the duo. Just as important to its success is the instrumentation; Coxhill's soprano saxophone and Ward's clarinet are close enough in pitch to be highly compatible, yet their timbres are different enough for the two to be easily distinguishable, their individual contributions easy to separate. In addition, each plays their instrument straight, with no electronics or other effects, meaning that this is a text book example of good old-fashioned improv."

Coxhill and Ward have playing styles that are remarkably similar, making them highly compatible as improvising partners. They each play free-flowing lines, seeking to compose spontaneous melodies, something at which they are often successful. For much of the time on these seven tracks, the two improvise simultaneously, following parallel paths that intertwine and interact, with neither leading nor following the other. By the slightest of adjustments they respond to and accommodate each other in subtle ways, giving the strong impression that telepathy is at work. A delight from start to finish."-John Eyles, All About Jazz



"George Lowen Coxhill (19 September 1932 - 10 July 2012), generally known as Lol Coxhill, was an English free improvising saxophonist and raconteur. He played the soprano or sopranino saxophone. Coxhill was born to George Compton Coxhill and Mabel Margaret Coxhill (née Motton) at Portsmouth, Hampshire, UK. He grew up in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, and bought his first saxophone in 1947. After national service he became a busy semi-professional musician, touring US airbases with Denzil Bailey's Afro-Cubists and the Graham Fleming Combo. In the 1960s he played with visiting American blues, soul and jazz musicians including Rufus Thomas, Mose Allison, Otis Spann, and Champion Jack Dupree. He also developed his practice of playing unaccompanied solo saxophone, often busking in informal performance situations. Other than his solo playing, he performed mostly as a sideman or as an equal collaborator, rather than a conventional leader - there was no regular Lol Coxhill Trio or Quartet as would normally be expected of a saxophonist. Instead he had many intermittent but long-lasting collaborations with like-minded musicians.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was a member of Canterbury scene bands Carol Grimes and Delivery and then Kevin Ayers and the Whole World. He became known for his solo playing and for work in duets with pianist Steve Miller and guitarist G. F. Fitzgerald. He was thought to have largely inspired Joni Mitchell's song "For Free", while busking solo on the old footbridge which formed part of the Hungerford Bridge between Waterloo and Charing Cross. Coxhill collaborated with other musicians including Mike Oldfield, Morgan Fisher (of Mott the Hoople), Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath and its musical descendant The Dedication Orchestra, Django Bates, the Damned, Hugh Metcalfe, Derek Bailey and performance art group Welfare State.

He often worked in small collaborative groups with semi-humorous names such as the Johnny Rondo Duo or Trio (with pianist Dave Holland - not the bassist of the same name), the Melody Four (characteristically a trio, with Tony Coe and Steve Beresford), and The Recedents (with guitarist Mike Cooper and percussionist Roger Turner), known as such because the members were (in Coxhill's words) "all bald", though the name may additionally be a play on the American band the Residents. Typically these bands performed a mix of free improvisation interspersed with ballroom dance tunes and popular songs. There was humour throughout his music but he sometimes felt it necessary to tell audiences that the free playing was not intended as a joke. Coxhill was compere and occasional performer at the Bracknell Jazz Festival, and a raconteur as well as a musician; he often would introduce his music by saying the words, "what I am about to play you may not understand". It was following a performance at Bracknell that he recorded the melodramatic monologue Murder in the Air."

-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lol_Coxhill)
2/25/2017

"Alex Ward was born in 1974. He is a composer, improviser, and performing musician. His primary instruments are clarinet and guitar, and he has also performed in public and on recordings on alto sax, piano/keyboards, bass guitar, and as a vocalist. He was based in Oxford from 1992-2000, and since then has lived in London.

His involvement in freely improvised music dates back to 1986, when he met the guitarist Derek Bailey. As an improviser, he was initially principally a clarinettist (sometimes also playing alto sax), but since 2000 he has also been active as an improvising guitarist. On both instruments, hIs longest-standing collaborations in this field have been with the drummer Steve Noble.

From 1993 to 2001, most of his activity as a composer took place in collaboration with Benjamin Hervé, mainly in the context of the rock band Camp Blackfoot. From 2002-2005, his writing was mostly done solo, and was primarily focused on songs. Since 2006, he has been heavily involved in both solo and collaborative composition, predominantly (though not exclusively) of instrumental music. Much of his writing and performing during this time has been done with Dead Days Beyond Help, a duo with drummer Jem Doulton. He also currently leads a number of bands including Predicate, Forebrace, The Alex Ward Quintet/Sextet, and Alex Ward & The Dead Ends.

He has been a member of many other groups including ensembles led by Eugene Chadbourne, Simon H. Fell and Duck Baker, and has also done various work as a session musician and in collaboration with other media. Since 2005, he has co-run the label Copepod Records with composer/performer Luke Barlow. He does the recording, mixing and/or mastering of most of his own music, and for many of the groups he plays in."

-Sites.Google.com (https://sites.google.com/site/alexwardmusician/biography)
2/25/2017





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Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
European Improv, Free Jazz & Related
Incus
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
Duo Recordings


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Price: $17.95
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Product Information:

Label: Incus
Catalog ID: CD61
Squidco Product Code: 14671

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2011
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Cardstock 3 page foldover
Recorded at Incus HQ London on October 14th, 2010.

Personnel:

Lol Coxhill-soprano saxophone

Alex Ward-clarinet

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Track Listing:

1. Establishing Shot 7:03

2. Back Story 7:53

3. Angle On 4:07

4. Slug Life 8:51

5. Tight On 4:39

6. Pull Back 5:08

7. Dissolve 5:03