The Squid's Ear Magazine


Ward, Alex Item 4: Furthered (577 Records)

An assertive album of compositional jazz from clarinetist & guitarist Alex Ward's Item 4 with London improvisers Charlotte Keeffe on trumpet & flugelhorn, Otto Willberg on double bass and Andrew Lisle on drums, a dynamic album that elicits exciting solos from all players around unusual structures that surprise in quick turns and changes of mood; inspiring!
 

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product information:

Personnel:



Alex Ward-clarinet, electric guitar

Charlotte Keeffe-trumpet, flugelhorn

Otto Willberg-double bass

Andrew Lisle-drums


Click an artist name above to see in-stock items for that artist.




UPC: 755491252598

Label: 577 Records
Catalog ID: CD-577R-5921-1
Squidco Product Code: 32473

Format: CDR
Condition: New
Released: 2022
Country: USA
Packaging: Digipack
Recorded at Snorkel Studios, in London, England, UK, on November 29th, 2019, by Frank Berg.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"Furthered is the new album by Alex Ward Item 4. The quartet's music is the fullest realization of Ward's long-standing desire to create a context where his compositional concerns can coexist with improvisation of the most unfettered stripe. Given a line-up which would be perfectly capable of creating compelling music without recourse to pre-written elements at all, Ward's compositions aim to function as another "personality" within the overall mix, subject to the same spontaneous interrogation, negotiation and transformation that would naturally go on between the participants in a freely-improvised performance.

The musicians in Item 4 are amongst the most exciting and distinctive in the current London scene, and their rapport pays testament to the close working relationships they have developed in this and numerous other ensembles. The bold angles and asymmetrical construction of "Cypherned"'s opening theme are quickly broken open by Ward's splintered guitar attack and Andrew Lisle's hyperactively virtuosic drumming, initiating a multi-faceted group improvisation which navigates diverse territories before resolving to a subdued yet ominous conclusion. This paves the way for the elegiac "The Cusp", in which Ward switches to clarinet to join with Charlotte Keeffe's broad-toned yet fleetly inventive trumpet in a plangent front-line. Once again the improvisation deftly balances collective and soloistic activity, including an unearthly unaccompanied arco passage from bassist Otto Willberg. Finally, the extended suite that comprises tracks 3 & 4 ("Our/Hours" and "Ours") encompasses unpredictably twisting thematic statements, high-energy soloing from horns and drums, mysterious collective abstractions, and an epic, swelling final section which takes the album into almost post-rock territory without jettisoning the interactive spontaneity which underpins all of the quartet's music."-577 Music


Artist Biographies

"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)
6/19/2024

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

"Trumpeter Charlotte Keeffe's unique approach and passion for improvised, experimental and jazz music has seen her performing regularly across the UK and internationally as a soloist and as part of several ensembles, duos and trios. Her music has been featured on BBC Radio 3, Resonance FM and Jazz FM and recent appearances with her quartet include Jazz In The Round and a sell-out performance at Lancaster Jazz Festival. Other recent highlights include being featured as a performer and composer/arranger on Sheffield-based Martin Archer's latest project, Anthropology Band, performances with Alex Ward's Item 4 and regular appearances and conductions with the London Improvisers Orchestra.

Inspired by the likes of Miles Davis and Polish artist Tomasz Stańko, Charlotte studied Jazz Performance at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama before going on to become a scholarship recipient at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama and a Help Musicians UK Award Winner. With her Quartet, Charlotte explores the relationship between her compositions and experimental improvisation, producing a unique musical experience inspiring creative freedom of expression. Bassist Ashley John Long, drummer Ben Handysides and guitarist Moss Freed join Charlotte in this latest collaboration.

Charlotte is also a performer with The Brass Monkeys, Moss Freed's Union Division and Calum Gourlay's Big Band. She took part in the Summer Studios Artist Residency 2019 with drummer Andrew Lisle and bassist Otto Willberg in Andrew's trio project at The Sage, Gateshead. Charlotte played in Marin Alsop's Taki Concordia Orchestra at the World Economic Forum 2019 playing to world leaders and celebrities including Sir David Attenborough. She's performed at several music festivals including Brecon Jazz as part of Steve Waterman's Big Band, Glastonbury and Wilderness alongside Liane Carroll, Charlotte Church, Laura Mvula, Kate Nash, Camille O'Sullivan and Will Young."

-Charlotte Keeffe Website (https://www.charlottekeeffe.com/biography)
6/19/2024

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

Otto Willberg is a professional double bass and bass guitarist, with considerable experience playing both jazz, classical and popular music. He has toured Europe and the US with different groups, and has a strong passion for sharing his skills and knowledge of music. He has worked with Alex Ward, Andrew Cheetham, Colin Webster, Andrew Lisle, Toshimaru Nakamura, Sam Andreae, Ashley Paul, Hannah Marshall, Dirk Serries, Ianncu Dumitrescu, &c. &c.

-Squidco 6/19/2024

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

"Andrew Lisle is a drummer from Northumberland, UK, currently based in London. In 2008 he began studying Jazz at Leeds College of Music and soon discovered a passion and talent for free improvisation. It was during his time at LCoM that he co-founded the band Shatner's Bassoon with five like-minded musicians (and fellow graduates) Johnny Richards, Michael Bardon, Oliver Dover, Craig Scott and Joost Hendrickx. To date the band have recorded two studio albums (receiving wide-spread critical acclaim) and have toured the UK extensively.

After graduating in 2011 he moved to Lisbon, Portugal where he had the opportunity to further develop his musicianship. He spent much of his time at the Clean Feed Records' base of operations Trem Azul playing with the city's veteran improvisers including Rodrigo Pinheiro (Red Trio), Hernani Faustino (Red Trio), Rodrigo Amado and Luis Lopes among others.

Since moving to London in 2013 his virtuosity and musicality has established him as a sought-after drummer on the Jazz and improvised music scene, performing and recording with some of the most innovative musicians in the UK and beyond. These include Colin Webster, John Edwards, John Dikeman, Alex Ward, Dirk Serries, Alan Wilkinson, Matthew Bourne, Rachel Musson and Mark Sanders.

On-going projects to date include: Orbits, Kodian trio, Colin Webster/Andrew Lisle, ​Ales Ward Item 10, Dikeman/Lisle/Serries/Webster to name a few."

-Andrew Lisle Website (http://www.andrewlisle.com/biography.html)
6/19/2024

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


Track Listing:



1. Cypherned 12:05

2. The Cusp 12:53

3. Our/Hours 23:51

4. Ours 9:25

Related Categories of Interest:


Improvised Music
Jazz
Free Improvisation
London & UK Improv & Related Scenes
Quartet Recordings
Staff Picks & Recommended Items
New in Improvised Music
Recent Releases and Best Sellers
Top Sellers for 2023 by Customer Sales
Jazz & Improvisation Based on Compositions

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577 Records.


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