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Thomas, Pat

Plays The Music Of Derek Bailey & Thelonious Monk

Thomas, Pat : Plays The Music Of Derek Bailey & Thelonious Monk (FMR)

Pianist and keyboardist Pat Thomas plays transcriptions of Derek Bailey's early recordings, and the music of Monk performed at the 2007 Cohesion Festival at Oxford.

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product information:

UPC: 649849983121

Label: FMR
Catalog ID: FMR 259-0508
Squidco Product Code: 11387

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2008
Country: Great Britain
Packaging: Digipack
Bailey pieces: Recorded at the Holywell music Room, Oxford 2005 by Tim Fletcher. Monk Pieces: Recorded at The Jacqueline Du Pré Music Building, St Hildas College Oxford as part of Cohesion 2007 Festival on 27th October 2007 by Chris Trent.


Pat Thomas-piano, keyboards

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Artist Biographies:

"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 (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. Extract 1 3:45

2. Extract 2 6:02

3. Lets Call This 5:31

4. Extract 3 6:08

5. Pannonica 5:20

6. Extract 4 4:10

7. My Foolish Heart 6:58

8. Extract 5 3:17

9. In Walked Bud 6:18

10. Along Came Betty 6:20

11. Lets Cool One 4:38
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The Derek Bailey Transciptions were performed at the Holywell music room in October 2005 as part of a concert organised by Fran Ryan, who wanted to hear me play piano in a more composed setting. I agreed to play music based on Derek Bailey's early recordings and brilliantly transcribed by Chris Burn, which he had sent me, I was interested in the challenge and the obvious contradiction of performing free improvisations as compostions, especially Derek's, knowing his view on the use of transcriptions I decided just playing them as pieces would be pointless. But using extracts from the material, could be a great starting point for further development as improvising material. What I wanted to express was the great clarity in Derek Baileys improvisations, and his great knowledge of the Webern system of using tone rows, also his great melodic sense, in fact some of the most tuneful sections are actually taken from the transcriptions, I felt that ironically the piano could highlight this aspect of his playing more effectively, and I made a decision not to emulate any of the harmonics Derek would use to disguise a note on the guitar. I also decided to play the Standard 'My Foolish Heart', applying the concepts used in his transcriptions, and closer to the Guitar style of Derek, and is my tribute to him. The addition of the compostion 'Along Came Betty' written by Benny Golson was an encore piece.

The Monk Pieces were recorded in October 2007 as part of the Cohesion festival put on by the Oxford Improvisers, supported by The Asian Cultural Centre,and New Dawn Enterprises and were played in the afternoon. The reason for using Monks music, was first, I love it, second, I would be performing his music in a music theatre show at Riverside Theatre in November called 'Misterioso' (directed by Filomena Campus) and would be a good chance to try out some ideas. I decided to play pieces not played solo like 'Lets Call This', and 'Lets Cool One', and better known pieces like 'In Walked Bud'. The challenge with Monks music is how to find your own voice without losing the distinctive shape of a Monk composition. The pieces were recorded by Chris Trent,and played on a new Steinway they had just bought at the Jacqueline du Pre Room. My thanks to him, and also to Tim Fletcher who recorded the Bailey set."-Pat Thomas

This album has been reviewed on our magazine:

The Squid
The Squid's Ear!
Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Bailey, Derek
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
FMR Records

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