Parker, Evan / John Russel / Ian Brighton / Phillip Wachsmann / Marcio Mattos / Trevor Taylor
Live From Cafe Oto
London's Cafe Oto organized a reunion of String Thing, guitarist Ian Brighton's project with violinist Phillip Wachsmann, bassist Marcio Mattos, & Trevor Taylor on percussion and electronics, adding guitarist John Russell and saxophonist Evan Parker, here capturing an impressive night of improv, and Brighton's first public appearance in nearly 40 years.
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Catalog ID: FMRCD430-1116
Squidco Product Code: 23345
Recorded at Cafe Oto in London, England, on august 14th, 2016 by Trevor Taylor and Shaun Cook.
Evan Parker-soprano saxophone
Trevor Taylor-percussion, electronics
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1. Here, And Hear 6:35
2. Why Did We Leave It So Long? 31:36
3. Walthamstow Cheesecutter 15:53
4. What Else Did You Expect? 15:43
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sample the album:
"On August 14th 2016 Cafe Oto staged a reunion of a group of old friends, the group String Thing featuring Ian Brighton Electric Guitar, Philip Wachsmann Violin, Trevor Taylor Percussion and electronics and Marcio Matttos cello, with Evan Parker saxophone and John Russell acoustic guitar. String Thing had not recorded through circumstances since 1988 when they recorded Eleven years from Yesterday (FMR02), coincidently only the second CD in the FMR catalogue"-FMR
"We're very happy to welcome the return of the UK veteran improvising guitarist, Ian Brighton, making his first public performance in nearly 40 years alongside old friends, following on from the release of his new album, Now and Then on Confront Recordings."-Cafe OTO concert announcement
"Finally it has been released. REUNION live from Café OTO and it sounds absolutely great. What a complete thrill it was to play there with old friends including Evan Parker, John Russell, Philipp Wachsmann, Marcio Mattos and of course Trevor Taylor who produced the album. Special thanks go to all the people at Oto who helped with recording and made us feel so welcome. It's been nearly 40 years since we played together as a sextet and it was without doubt a night to remember, captured brilliantly on this FMR album ( FMR CD430)
Also a lot of credit goes to the recording and production team for the way the music is recorded and presented. On this album Trevor Taylor and Shaun Crook recorded it, Paul Brighton and Trevor Taylor mixed it and Kevin Smith of Foundry Music Studios at Portsmouth did the final mastering. Considering it was a live recording the results are beautifully clear."-Ian Brighton Facebook page
• Show Bio for Evan Parker
"Evan Parker was born in Bristol in 1944 and began to play the saxophone at the age of 14. Initially he played alto and was an admirer of Paul Desmond; by 1960 he had switched to tenor and soprano, following the example of John Coltrane, a major influence who, he would later say, determined "my choice of everything". In 1962 he went to Birmingham University to study botany but a trip to New York, where he heard the Cecil Taylor trio (with Jimmy Lyons and Sunny Murray), prompted a change of mind. What he heard was "music of a strength and intensity to mark me for life ... l came back with my academic ambitions in tatters and a desperate dream of a life playing that kind of music - 'free jazz' they called it then."
Parker stayed in Birmingham for a time, often playing with pianist Howard Riley. In 1966 he moved to London, became a frequent visitor to the Little Theatre Club, centre of the city's emerging free jazz scene, and was soon invited by drummer John Stevens to join the innovative Spontaneous Music Ensemble which was experimenting with new kinds of group improvisation. Parker's first issued recording was SME's 1968 Karyobin, with a line-up of Parker, Stevens, Derek Bailey, Dave Holland and Kenny Wheeler. Parker remained in SME through various fluctuating line-ups - at one point it comprised a duo of Stevens and himself - but the late 1960s also saw him involved in a number of other fruitful associations.
He began a long-standing partnership with guitarist Bailey, with whom he formed the Music Improvisation Company and, in 1970, co-founded Incus Records. (Tony Oxley, in whose sextet Parker was then playing, was a third co-founder; Parker left Incus in the mid-1980s.) Another important connection was with the bassist Peter Kowald who introduced Parker to the German free jazz scene. This led to him playing on Peter Brötzmann's 1968 Machine Gun, Manfred Schoof's 1969 European Echoes and, in 1970, joining pianist Alex von Schlippenbach and percussionist Paul Lovens in the former's trio, of which he is still a member: their recordings include Pakistani Pomade, Three Nails Left, Detto Fra Di Noi, Elf Bagatellen and Physics.
Parker pursued other European links, too, playing in the Pierre Favre Quartet (with Kowald and Swiss pianist Irene Schweizer) and in the Dutch Instant Composers Pool of Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink. The different approaches to free jazz he encountered proved both a challenging and a rewarding experience. He later recalled that the German musicians favoured a "robust, energy-based thing, not to do with delicacy or detailed listening but to do with a kind of spirit-raising, a shamanistic intensity. And l had to find a way of surviving in the heat of that atmosphere ... But after a while those contexts became more interchangeable and more people were involved in the interactions, so all kinds of hybrid musics came out, all kinds of combinations of styles."
A vital catalyst for these interactions were the large ensembles in which Parker participated in the 1970s: Schlippenbach's Globe Unity Orchestra, Chris McGregor's Brotherhood of Breath, Barry Guy's London Jazz Composers Orchestra (LJCO) and occasional big bands led by Kenny Wheeler. In the late 70s Parker also worked for a time in Wheeler's small group, recording Around Six and, in 1980, he formed his own trio with Guy and LJCO percussionist Paul Lytton (with whom he had already been working in a duo for nearly a decade). This group, together with the Schlippenbach trio, remains one of Parker's top musical priorities: their recordings include Tracks, Atlanta, Imaginary Values, Breaths and Heartbeats, The Redwood Sessions and At the Vortex. In 1980, Parker directed an Improvisers Symposium in Pisa and, in 1981, he organised a special project at London's Actual Festival. By the end of the 1980s he had played in most European countries and had made various tours to the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan. ln 1990, following the death of Chris McGregor, he was instrumental in organising various tributes to the pianist and his fellow Blue Notes; these included two discs by the Dedication Orchestra, Spirits Rejoice and lxesa.
Though he has worked extensively in both large and small ensembles, Parker is perhaps best known for his solo soprano saxophone music, a singular body of work that in recent years has centred around his continuing exploration of techniques such as circular breathing, split tonguing, overblowing, multiphonics and cross-pattern fingering. These are technical devices, yet Parker's use of them is, he says, less analytical than intuitive; he has likened performing his solo work to entering a kind of trance-state. The resulting music is certainly hypnotic, an uninterrupted flow of snaky, densely-textured sound that Parker has described as "the illusion of polyphony". Many listeners have indeed found it hard to credit that one man can create such intricate, complex music in real time. Parker's first solo recordings, made in 1974, were reissued on the Saxophone Solos CD in 1995; more recent examples are Conic Sections and Process and Reality, on the latter of which he does, for the first time, experiment with multi-tracking. Heard alone on stage, few would disagree with writer Steve Lake that "There is, still, nothing else in music - jazz or otherwise - that remotely resembles an Evan Parker solo concert."
While free improvisation has been Parker's main area of activity over the last three decades, he has also found time for other musical pursuits: he has played in 'popular' contexts with Annette Peacock, Scott Walker and the Charlie Watts big band; he has performed notated pieces by Gavin Bryars, Michael Nyman and Frederic Rzewski; he has written knowledgeably about various ethnic musics in Resonance magazine. A relatively new field of interest for Parker is improvising with live electronics, a dialogue he first documented on the 1990 Hall of Mirrors CD with Walter Prati. Later experiments with electronics in the context of larger ensembles have included the Synergetics - Phonomanie III project at Ullrichsberg in 1993 and concerts by the new EP2 (Evan Parker Electronic Project) in Berlin, Nancy and at the 1995 Stockholm Electronic Music Festival where Parker's regular trio improvised with real-time electronics processed by Prati, Marco Vecchi and Phillip Wachsmann. "Each of the acoustic instrumentalists has an electronic 'shadow' who tracks him and feeds a modified version of his output back to the real-time flow of the music."
The late 80s and 90s brought Parker the chance to play with some of his early heroes. He worked with Cecil Taylor in small and large groups, played with Coltrane percussionist Rashied Ali, recorded with Paul Bley: he also played a solo set as support to Ornette Coleman when Skies of America received its UK premiere in 1988. The same period found Parker renewing his acquaintance with American colleagues such as Anthony Braxton, Steve Lacy and George Lewis, with all of whom he had played in the 1970s (often in the context of London's Company festivals). His 1993 duo concert with Braxton moved John Fordham in The Guardian to raptures over "saxophone improvisation of an intensity, virtuosity, drama and balance to tax the memory for comparison".
Parker's 50th birthday in 1994 brought celebratory concerts in several cities, including London, New York and Chicago. The London performance, featuring the Parker and Schlippenbach trios, was issued on a highly-acclaimed two-CD set, while participants at the American concerts included various old friends as well as more recent collaborators in Borah Bergman and Joe Lovano. The NYC radio station WKCR marked the occasion by playing five days of Parker recordings. 1994 also saw the publication of the Evan Parker Discography, compiled by ltalian writer Francesco Martinelli, plus chapters on Parker in books on contemporary musics by John Corbett and Graham Lock.
Parker's future plans involve exploring further possibilities in electronics and the development of his solo music. They also depend to a large degree on continuity of the trios, of the large ensembles, of his more occasional yet still long-standing associations with that pool of musicians to whose work he remains attracted. This attraction, he explained to Coda's Laurence Svirchev, is attributable to "the personal quality of an individual voice". The players to whom he is drawn "have a language which is coherent, that is, you know who the participants are. At the same time, their language is flexible enough that they can make sense of playing with each other ... l like people who can do that, who have an intensity of purpose." "-Evan Parker Website (http://evanparker.com/biography.php)
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• Show Bio for John Russell
"John Russell got his first guitar in 1965 while living in Kent and began to play in and around London from 1971 onwards. An early involvement with the emerging free improvisation scene (from 1972) followed, seeing him play in such places as The Little Theatre Club, Ronnie Scott's, The Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Musicians' Co-Op and the London Musicians' Collective. From 1974 his work extended into teaching, broadcasts (radio and television) and touring in the United Kingdom and, ever extensively, in other countries around the world . He has played with many of the world's leading improvisers and his work can be heard on over 50 CDs and albums. In 1981, he founded QUAQUA, a large bank of improvisers put together in different combinations for specific projects and, in 1991, he started MOPOMOSO which has become the UK's longest running concert series featuring mainly improvised music."-John Russell Website (http://www.john-russell.co.uk/biography/)
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• Show Bio for Ian Brighton
Ian Brighton is a free improvising guitarist, known for the bands Balance, Spontaneous Music Ensemble, and Spontaneous Music Orchestra.-Squidco 6/14/2017
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• Show Bio for Phillip Wachsmann
"Phil Wachsmann (born 5 August 1944) is an African avant-garde jazz/jazz fusion violinist born in Kampala, Uganda, probably better known for having founded his own group Chamberpot. He has worked with many musicians in the free jazz idiom, including Tony Oxley, Fred van Hove, Barry Guy, Derek Bailey and Paul Rutherford, among many others. Wachsmann is especially known for playing within the electronica idiom."-Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phil_Wachsmann)
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• Show Bio for Marcio Mattos
"Marcio Mattos was born Rio de Janeiro, 20th March 1946; double bass, 'cello.
Studied acoustic guitar in early teens, switching to double bass and cello, mainly self-taught, after becoming interested in Jazz. Later entered the Villa-Lobos institute where he became involved in improvisation and electronic music. Since coming to Europe in 1970 has performed, recorded and broadcast both in Britain and abroad in groups including John Surman, Evan Parker, John Stevens, Keith Tippett, Derek Bailey's Company, Dewey Redman and Marylin Crispell amongst others. Has also worked with dance companies such as Ballet Rambert and The Extemporary Dance Theatre Company, and in electro-acoustic music groups such as the West Square Electronic Music Ensemble.
A long- standing member of the Eddie Prevost Quartet and various Elton Dean groups. Other current British projects include the "Bardo State Orchestra", Chris Burn's Ensemble, "Wooden Taps" with Maggie Nicols, "Embers" with John Butcher and others, "Lines" with Phil Wachsmann/Jim Denley and others, and "Full Monte" with Chris Biscoe, Brian Godding and Tony Marsh . International projects working in Europe have included Georg Graewe's Grubenklang Orchestra, Stefano Maltese's "Open Music Ensemble", Tony Oxley's Celebration Orchestra, "AXON"- trio with Phil Minton and Martin Blume , bass/cello and shakuhachi duo with Shiku Yano, and in Japan various groupings with Sabu Toyozumi and Keiko Midorikawa.
Also trained as a Ceramic artist at Goldsmiths college and continues to make and exhibit work in clay."-EFI (http://www.efi.group.shef.ac.uk/mmattos.html)
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