Thursday 9 June 2016, 8pm
Specialists have been trying to define what is (not) jazz since one century at least, writing books and reviews, etc. This history describes a serie of revolutions and exclusions : an on-going opposition between avant-garde and classical conservatism, schools and influences. Might be just a quest-for-profit side effect. Something to be sold has to be clearly defined whereas music with a human meaning and a social environment is simply said to be traditional, although it is continuously moving and growing.
This quartet will perform traditional music on traditional instruments : alto saxophone, piano, double-bass and percussions.
An intensely physical double-bassist Viltard was one of OTO’s first associate artists – he has played and performed here with musicians as diverse as Otomo Yoshihide and Kan Mikami, Louis Moholo-Moholo, and Evan Parker. Particularly memorable was a sensational solo set in support of Marc Ribot. Most often his work has been in the ‘classic’ jazz format of saxophone/bass/drums: from trios with the late Tony Marsh and Shabaka Hutchings, to most recently Eddie Prévost and Ken Vandermark.
His uncompromising, physical and rhythmic approach to the double-bass – always acoustic, adamant – connects to jazz learning from sources as diverse as Jean-Jacques Avenel, Barre Phillips, Johnny Mbizo Dyani and Ronnie Boykins.
His close association with OTO endures, and since late summer 2013 he has been part of a group of musicians playing, pushing and learning day and night in the OTO project space. Most often private, groupings around this new energy these groups are increasingly public, for example Steve Noble’s (new) Quartet.
Pat Thomas studied classical piano from aged 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style - embracing improvisation, jazz and new music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91) and in the trio AND (with Noble) – with Tony Oxley’s Quartet and Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill.
"Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a somewhat imperious charisma that’s immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude." - The Jazzmann
Steve Noble is London's leading drummer, a fearless and constantly inventive improviser whose super-precise, ultra-propulsive and hyper-detailed playing has galvanized encounters with Derek Bailey, Matthew Shipp, Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, Stephen O'Malley, Joe McPhee, Alex Ward, Rhodri Davies and many, many more.
In the early eighties, Noble played with the Nigerian master drummer Elkan Ogunde, Rip Rig and Panic, Brion Gysin and the Bow Gamelan Ensemble, before going on to work with the pianist Alex Maguire and with Derek Bailey (including Company Weeks 1987, 89 and 90). He was featured in the Bailey's excellent TV series on Improvisation for Channel 4 based on his book ‘Improvisation; its nature and practise’. He has toured and performed throughout Europe, Africa and America and currently leads the groups N.E.W (with John Edwards and Alex Ward) and DECOY (with John Edwards and Alexander Hawkins).
Seymour Wright – saxophonist, investigator, artist – lives in London. His practice is about the saxophone – music, history and technique – actual and potential; an on-going, rigorous and exhaustive exploration of the instrument. The energy of this learning is applied to various collaborations and contexts to access/share what he has called the ‘awkward wealth of investigation’. His work is documented on three widely acclaimed self-released collections Seymour Wright of Derby (2008), Seymour Writes Back (2015) and Is This Right? (2017).
As well as XT, his current collaborations include lll人 (with Daichi Yoshikawa and Paul Abbott), abaria (with Ute Kanngiesser), [Ahmed] (with Antonin Gerbal, Joel Grip and Pat Thomas), GUO (with Daniel Blumberg), S.T.E.P.S. (with Evie Ward), an on-going ‘quartet’ collaboration with Paul Abbott, Cara Tolmie and Will Holder, and, a trans-atlantic collaboration with Anne Guthrie.