Barry Guy / bass, director (GB) Agusti Fernandez / piano Evan Parker / sax (GB) Per Texas Johansson / sax, clarinets
Hans Koch / sax, clarinets (CH) Herb Robertson / trumpet (USA) Johannes Bauer / trombone (DE) Per Åke Holmlander / tuba (SE) Paul Lytton / percussion (GB) Raymond Strid / percussion (SE) Trevor Watts / saxophone (GB)
Maya Homburger / baroque violin (CH)
Barry Guy is one of the world's leading bass soloists and improvisers. Well known as director and founder of the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, also as a composer of new music for chamber ensembles and symphony orchestras, he founded the Barry Guy New Orchestra in the mid 90's.
This all-star band brings together the biggest names in the world of contemporary Jazz and Improvisation from America, England, Sweden, Switzerland and Germany, and their 3-day residency here at OTO will be their first ever performance together in London.
Supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.
Evan Parker's discography is so extensive that it has been published in book form and lists over 150 albums recorded over a period of more than three decades (Publisher Bandecc hi&Vivaldi by Francesco Martinelli) this will soon be updated since he has recorded a vast number of new CDs in the past few years.
"Evan Parker may be the most formidable saxophonist since John Coltrane. He plays Trane's instruments, tenor and soprano, and lists Coltrane as one of his principal influences. Parker is emphatically not an "entertainer," but a true artist who has developed an entirely new way to play the saxophone. He has developed the possibilities of unpremeditated music more deeply than almost anyone, creating a personal vocabulary that is simultaneously instantly recognisable and adaptable to the most varied of situations ..." - Robert Spencer
Born and educated in Zurich, Switzerland, Maya Homburger moved to England in 1986 to join John Eliot Gardiner’s English Baroque Soloists, Trevor Pinnock’s The English Concert and other period instrument groups. Ever since meeting the composer and solo bassist Barry Guy - on the occasion of an extended concert tour with Christopher Hogwood’s Academy of Ancient Music in 1988 - she has devoted her time developing her own personal style on the baroque violin as well as managing Improvised and New Music projects and running her own CD label MAYA recordings.
The idea to perform baroque solo works in the context of free improvised music and newly commissioned pieces sparked off the Homburger/Guy Duo and together Maya Homburger and Barry Guy have given concerts in many major Jazz, New Music and Baroque Music Festivals all over Europe and in Canada. New works in her repertoire include Barry Guy’s compositions Celebration, Inachis, Aglais and Lysandra for solo violin, Ceremony for violin and tape, Bubblets for violin and harpsichord and compositions for baroque violin and double bass by Buxton Orr, Roger Marsh, Benjamin Dwyer, Garrett Sholdice, Benedict Schlepper-Connolly and Simon O’Connor.
After living in Ireland for nine years where they contributed both to the early as well as the contemporary music scene, they have moved to Switzerland in 2006. Recent recordings include the Duo CDs “Ceremony” (ECM) and “Dakryon” (Maya Recordings), Bach/Guy solo works (Maya Recs.) and “Folio” (ECM) where she appears as violin soloist together with the Munich Chamber Orchestra. The latest Homburger/Guy Duo CD has appeared on the Intact Records Label and is called “Tales of Enchantment”.
Agustí Fernandez is one of the most important explorers of avant garde music in Spain. Agustí combines thorough knowledge of the 20th century modern classical piano with jazz free improvisation to a unique and powerful style. Agustí considers himself as a self trained musician, though he studied in Palma de Mallorca's Conservatory and extended his studies at the Darmstadt Summer Courses. He has recognised that in his music there are influences from Cecil Taylor and Iannis Xenakis.
In 1985 he released his first solo piano recording, "Ardent", which marks the start of his career as a free improviser. His continuous collaborations with international free improvisers became fundamental for his maturity and progression, as well as for a later recognition inside this scene. Among many others, Agustí has played with Tom Cora, Peter Kowald, Carlos Zingaro, Barry Guy, Evan Parker and Marilyn Crispell.
Nowadays, in addition to his solo work, Agustí is maintaining several stable projects: Trío Local (with Joan Saura, sampler and Liba Villavecchia, saxophones); a duo with german violinist Christoph Irmer and a permanent collaboration with spanish Butoh dancer Andrés Corchero. He is a member of the Butch Morris work in progress "Folding Spaces". In the summer of 2000 he received the "Altaveu 2000" award (Spain).
PER TEXAS JOHANSSON
Per Texas Johansson studied Saxophone and Clarinet at the music Conservatory in Stockholm. In the 90's he started to play with scandinavian musicians such as Fredrik Ljunglvist, Paul Nilsen Lowe, Ingebrigt Haaker Flaten and Esbjörn Svensson, before forming his own Quartet with which he made records and toured in scandinavia, Europe and North America. In the beginning of 2000, Johansson a longer break to work with Anaesthesia but is now back on full time music and exploring microtonal music with pianist Klas Nevrin, working on a duo with Vibraplayer Mattias Ståh, working with Pianist Cecilia Persson and is also a member of trombone player Mats Äleklints Qurtet with Joe Williamsson. Has worked in England With Trumpet player Goran Kajfes and also played clarinet with some of trumpet player Guy Barker's larger projects.
Hans Koch worked first as a solo clarinettist in Winterthur and performed widely as a soloist and chamber musician. In the early Eighties he became involved in Jazz being influenced by musicians like John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Anthony Braxton and Evan Parker. In his first trio with Martin Schütz and Marco Käppeli he began to experiment more and more with a mixture of composition and improvisation.
Since then his career as a free improviser and composer has brought him together with Cecil Taylor with whom he played in the "European Big band", Shelley Hirsch, Butch Morris, David Moss, Andrew Cyrille and many of the leading European improvisers. With Barry Guy he has played as a Duo partner and his collaboration with the Swiss musicians Werner Lüdi, Stephan Wittwer and Fredi Studer has lead to numerous albums on the Intakt label and others.
"A brilliantly virtuosic, independent saxophonist and bass clarinettist with a beautiful, clear and convincing tone, a first class improviser, differentiated, powerful, rich in ideas and many-facetted" - Christian Rentsch
Herb Robertson is internationally renowned as an innovative instrumentalist, composer, and arranger in traditional and avant-garde jazz and new music. He has performed and recorded with Tim Berne, Mark Helias, John Zorn, George Gruntz, Bobby Previte, London Jazz Composers Orchestra, Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, and Bill Frisell. He has also recorded five albums under his leadership for JMT.
"Herb Robertson has a voracious appetite for the jazz past, with an eye toward the future ... He forced runs of superhuman length, power and density from his horn, yet his tone was amazingly clear and crisp. He used a range of half-values, split tones and mutes to introduce a breadth of tonal colourations to his performance. " - NY Times
Johannes Bauer is best known for his work with his brother Connie Bauer and the bands "Doppelmoppel" and "Slawterhaus", he is one of the most dramatic and articulate trombone players in the German improvising music scene and has made a substantial contribution to free and new music since the Seventies as a soloist, composer for improvising musicians and in various ensembles. He is instantly recognisable by his amazing sound, rhetoric and the seamless blend of highly theatrical and lyrical playing.
PER ÅKE HOLMLANDER
Per Åke Holmlander is one of the leading exponents of the new generation of improvisers and new music performers in Sweden. He is known both in the new music and free improvising scene as a virtuoso on the tuba with an amazing range of colours and dynamics. He is a member of Mats Gustafsson's NU Ensemble and Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra amongst others, and is also well know for his contribution to music theatre.
Paul Lytton, one of the first members of the experimental British free-improvising avant-garde in London during the Sixties and early 1970s, was a founder member of the London Musicians Coop and the Aachen Musicians Cooperative.
He has been building own instruments since 1969 (Incus 14 features Evan Parker on the lyttonophone), and had an exhibition of the equipment in Wuppertal in 1980. Since 1975 has lived in Belgium. Founded Po Torch Records in 1976 with Paul Lovens, with whom he has recorded three duo albums.
Perhaps most well known in the UK and US as a member of the Parker/Guy/Lytton trio and, prior to that, for working in duo with Evan Parker. However, there are many recorded contributions to other groupings, most notably the London Jazz Composers Orchestra and King Ubu Orchestru, also recently ECM released a duo recording with Paul Lytton and Philipp Wachsmann called Some other Season.
Raymond Strid is one of the leading figures in the Swedish improvising scene. He regularly performs with Mats Gustafsson, Marilyn Crispell, Barry Guy in their respective trio and quartet formations. He is also in demand all over Europe and America to play in various larger ensembles.
"Raymond Strid is an explorer of sounds with an extremely sensitive ear, a percussionist who creates sonic rooms." - Jazz Review
Trevor Charles Watts is an English jazz and free-improvising alto and soprano saxophonist. He is largely self-taught, having taken up the cornet at age 12 then switched to saxophone at 18. While stationed in Germany with the RAF (1958–63), he encountered the drummer John Stevens and trombonist Paul Rutherford. After being demobbed he returned to London. In 1965 he and Stevens formed the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, which became one of the crucibles of British free improvisation. Watts left the band to form his own group Amalgam in 1967, then returned to SME for another stretch that lasted until the mid-1970s. Another key association was with the bassist Barry Guy and his London Jazz Composers' Orchestra, an association that lasted from the band's inception in the 1970s up to its disbandment in the mid-1990s.