As close to straight-ahead improvisation as you'll hear from audio explorer Mark Wastell, in an authoritative quartet of free improvisers, with both Olie Brice and Dominic Lash on double bass, Alan Wilkinson on alto sax, and Wastell himself on violoncello.
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Catalog ID: ccs 50
Squidco Product Code: 21300
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: CD in a tin case
Recorded at the Hundred Years Gallery, London on April 17th, 2015, by WTC Productions.
Alan Wilkinson-alto saxophone, bass clarinet
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1. Huntington Ashram Monastery 36:55
2. Lonely Woman 35:32
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London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
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sample the album:
"I had a strong urge to acknowledge my jazz listening. I've never been in a group or come close to playing anything remotely resembling jazz or free jazz in the twenty years I've been performing. Yet, I've listened to jazz since I was sixteen years old. That was the beginning of my serious musical studies. I didn't go to university, I went to Ronnie Scott's for my education, beginning at seventeen. I was lucky enough to be of a certain age that still meant a lot of the greats were still alive and touring; Art Blakey, McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Elvin Jones, Horace Silver, Jim Hall, George Coleman, Wayne Shorter, Ornette Coleman, Kenny Burrell, Dewey Redman, Mal Waldron, Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Lacy, Cecil Taylor and so many more, that's just the tip of the iceberg.
I've made no secret that the formation of the new Quartet is directly influenced by a group led by Albert Ayler on a piece called 'For John Coltrane' from 1967. It featured Albert on alto, two double bassists, Alan Silva and Bill Folwell and Joel Friedman on cello. I've listened closely to that piece for thirty years and it continues to captivate me. It was time to put myself into a completely different arena. I'd worked previously with Dom and Olie in other - none jazz - situations.
The saxophone position was more complex and took a lot of consideration. Alan creates the perfect blend of jazz articulation spiced with a free improvisers sophistication and integrity of line. Our debut concert was recorded and became the release on Confront. The first notes you hear on the album were the first we'd made together, no rehearsal, just straight in. I'd suggested the Coltrane piece to Olie and he got the bass intro under his fingers, the rest of the arrangement fell into place as we played, such is the skill of these guys. I knew Alan had an attraction to Ornette's 'Lonely Woman' and we played it that night in celebration of his recent 85th birthday. Around the time of our second concert a few weeks later, Ornette had just passed away, so at Alan's suggestion we played a version of 'Sadness'.-Mark Wastell
• Show Bio for Dominic Lash
"Born Cambridge, England, in January 1980; played bass guitar since 1994; studied with Hugh Boyd and Pascha Milner and at Basstech (London) with Rob Burns, Terry Gregory and others. Played double bass since 2001; basically self taught, with grateful thanks to Simon H. Fell. First class BA in English Literature from Oxford University (2002). Received MA Composition from Oxford Brookes University in 2003, having studied with Paul Whitty, Ray Lee and others. Received PhD from Brunel University in 2010, having studied the work of Derek Bailey, Helmut Lachenmann and JH Prynne and been supervised by Richard Barrett and John Croft."-Dominic Lash Website (http://dominiclash.blogspot.com/p/dominic-lash_5.html)
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• Show Bio for Mark Wastell
"Mark Wastell Born 1968; cello.
Much of Mark Wastell's relationship with his chosen instrument is concentrated on the tactile, textural and sonic possibilities of both violoncello and bow. He is increasingly interested in working with extreme elements drawn from frequency, timbre and pitch.
His early activity was consciously and subconsciously influenced by a variety of improvising musicians including John Stevens, Barry Guy, Phil Durrant and John Russell. Subsequent exposure to contemporary composers lead to a greater understanding and appreciation of the works written for strings by Feldman, Cage, Nono, Lachenmann and Sciarrino. The use of live electronics and music concrete by Tudor, Parmegiani, Xenakis and others was another important early influence.
Wastell's current instrumental material primarily focuses on using abstract principles of space and texture - encompassing elements of new London silence, pro-instrument minimalism, new complexity and electro-acoustics. Because of the very nature of his chosen instrument, he tends to favour 'chamber' style ensembles and is a member of a number of regular groups:• Chris Burn's Ensemble, with John Butcher, Rhodri Davies, John Russell, Matt Hutchinson
• Derek Bailey's Company - with, for example, Will Gaines, Simon H. Fell and Rhodri Davies
• Evan Parker's String Project, with Peter Cusack, Hugh Davies, Rhodri Davies, Phil Durrant, John Edwards, Kaffe Matthews, Marcio Mattos, John Russell
• Assumed possibilities, with Chris Burn, Rhodri Davies and Phil Durrant
• The Sealed Knot, with Burkhard Beins and Rhodri Davies
• Necessaire with Alessandro Bosetti, Ignaz Schick and Burkhard Beins
• IST with Simon Fell and Rhodri Davies
• Quatuor Accorde with Tony Wren, Phil Durrant and Charlotte Hug
• Broken Concort, a duo with Rhodri Davies
Mark Wastell has also performed with many other leading musicians including John Zorn, Keith Rowe, Peter Kowald, Hugh Davies, Roger Turner, Veryan Weston, Lol Coxhill, Mark Sanders, Axel Dorner, Hans Koch, Phil Minton, Max Eastley and Steve Beresford.
As a soloist he has played at the Micro-classical Festival (London 1996), LMC Festival (London 2000) and the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (2000). He has travelled extensively with various groups, performing on tour and at festivals in the USA, France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Greece. Other work includes the launch in 1996 of his own record label, Confront Recordings. Wastell is also joint co-ordinator of the concert venue All Angels, together with Rhodri Davies."-European Free Improv (EFI) (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/musician/mwastell.html)
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• Show Bio for Alan Wilkinson
"Born Ilford,East London, 22 August 1955; soprano, alto and baritone saxophones, voice.
After a short period in Manchester, deciding that the possibilit of a career in librarianship was not for him, Alan Wilkinson moved to Leeds in 1975 to undertake a Fine Arts degree, concentrating on painting. Shortly after completing his degree he began playing the alto saxophone and joined the group Crow with Mathew Coe (aka Xero Slingsby), Richard Ward, and long-time associate, drummer Paul Hession. Following a short tour of Belgium and Holland, he decided to quit painting and concentrate on the saxophone. In 1979 he formed the group Art, Bart & Fargo with Hession and tenor sax player Pete Malham,experimenting with playing a wide range of other instruments, mainly percussion, and mixing composition with pure improvisation. After playing in England, Belgium and Germany the trio disbanded after three years.
In 1982 Wilkinson attended the Improvised Music Summer School in South Wales and this introduced him to musicians such as Peter Brötzmann, Barry Guy, Fred Van Hove, Keith Tippett, Phil Wachsmann and Radu Malfatti among others. This led directly to gigs on the London improvised music scene, a trio with Paul Hession and Japanese pianist Akemi Kuniyoshi, and many gigs with drummer Steve Hubback in a wide variety of combinations. In 1983, in duo with Hession, he appeared at the 10th annual Free Music festival in Antwerp, Belgium and at the Holland Art Initiative in Eindhoven. The same year he was among the original organisers of the Termite Club in Leeds, specialising in improvised and experimental music and performing arts. A trio with Steve Noble and Tony Moore existed from 1985 to 1988, having toured in Britain, Belgium, Holland and Denmark and in 1985 Wilkinson also joined the large improvising ensemble The Ubiquity Orchestra. From 1987 to 1989 Wilkinson's activities included a widely toured quartet with Willi Kellers, Christoph Winckel and Alex Maguire (through to 1992); a tour of England and Wales with Phil Durrant, Thebe Lipere, Will Evans, Louis Moholo and Keith Tippett; gigs with Mick Beck's large group Feet Packets; and a tour of England with Alex Maguire's nine-piece Cat o'Nine Tails.
Alan Wilkinson has been invited to play in Derek Bailey's Company on a number of occasions, firstly in 1987 on a tour of Switzerland and Italy with Steve Noble, Barre Phillips and Ernst Reijseger; again in 1988 at the ICA in London in a Company Week which included Dennis Palmer, LaDonna Smith, Gregg Bendian and Milo Fine; and in 1993 he helped organise and participated in Company Week at the Place Theatre with, among others, Don Byron, Robyn Schulkowski, Ikue Mori and Phil Minton. Other associations have included a stint with the John Law Quartet; playing with the London group Ya Basta; Real Time, with artist Gina Southgate and drummer Mark Sanders joined occasionally by Maggie Nicols or Susanna Ferrar. He has also played solo gigs since 1991.
Alan Wilkinson is probably best known as a member of the take no prisoners Hession/ Wilkinson/Fell trio formed with the addition of Simon Fell to the longstanding duo in 1989. Though perhaps correctly typified as a high energy power trio - starting loud and then opening the throttles - and the recorded evidence goes some way to support this proposition, there are not only areas of respite in the playing but also an interest in fitting the group into new situations. For example, in 1996 a short UK tour took place in June with US guitarist Joe Morris (with a CD forthcoming on Incus); and in November the trio appeared in an incendiary, ear-numbing, exhausting and hugely enjoyable interchange with Derek Bailey at the annual Termite Festival in Leeds: a gig that the organiser's attempted unsuccessfully and on several occasions to end prematurely (this being Sunday night in a pub in the UK), finally resorting to flashing the room lights and talking loudly; Derek Bailey, having been sat head down in concentration for the uninterrupted 40 minutes of the second piece then looking up blinking, seemingly surprised at the near panic. The following night, Wilkinson and Fell undertook a four date tour of the UK with a quartet completed by Peter Brötzmann and Willi Kellers, reprising a similar tour by the same musicians in 1994."-EFI (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/mwilkins.html)
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