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Chessex / Noble / Edwards – 12.12.16

Composer, saxophonist and sound artist Antoine Chessex is usually known for playing through distorting stacks of guitar amplifiers to create monolithic walls of noise and texture, but on 12.12.16 he teamed up with free music giants John Edwards and Steve Noble to play an all acoustic trio -  an attempt to deconstruct the ‘classic’ formula of the tenor sax, bass and drums. Right off the bat Chessex's extended technique reaches combustable energy levels, and Edwards and Noble push pace and space to a taut intensity. Fresh, fierce and always under control - we very much hope this trio returns. For now though, dig in to this.  


Antine Chessex / saxophone

John Edwards / double bass

Steve Noble / drums


Recorded live at Cafe OTO by Shaun Crook on Sunday 12th December, 2016. Mixed and mastered by James Dunn. Photo by Dawid Laskowski. 

Available as 320k MP3 or 24bit FLAC  


1. 12.12.16 - 40:49

Antoine Chessex

Antoine Chessex is a composer, saxophonist and sound artist whose works assume a wide diversity of forms, crossing the boundaries between noise, modern composition, improvisation and electronic music. His live performances are characterized by textural density and microtonal tensions often resulting in sound masses exploring the physical dimensions of spaces. Chessex presents his works worldwide and has collaborated extensively with Zbigniew Karkowski, Valerio Tricoli, Apartment House and Jérôme Noetinger among others. He is a founding member of the noise band Monno.


Steve Noble

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). 

John Edwards

John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.

"I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz." - Richard Williams, The Blue Moment