“…a curious beauty, where melodies have the ephemeral quality of dreams and harmonies like their lingering aftereffect upon waking, slowly and greeted by soft daylight, and the motion of the music is fitful and anxious, as if children unable to sit still in church pews during a morning service.”
“These two first releases on his own Madwort label show Tom Ward to be a highly creative musician with an excellent technique on a variety of reed instruments. He’s also a skilled and consistently interesting composer and a highly fluent and intuitive improviser. This is serious music that doesn’t take itself too seriously, always a winning combination in my book, and although it may be a little esoteric for some ears there is still much here on both recordings for the adventurous listener to enjoy.” – Jazz Mann
Out Front was brilliant! We had a great Menagerie gig, even though we had two deps (Alice Eldridge on cello, and Cath Roberts on bari sax depping for trombone) everyone rose to the music to great effect and the band felt like it really took a step forwards!
For the first time in many years, I cracked out a big band arrangement for Paulo Duarte’s Overground Collective which we played at the Others in April. I’d forgotten quite what it’s like standing in front of such a massive powerhouse of musicians all going for it & such a privilege to have musicians of such calibre playing my music… Might have to do some more of it…
New Dark Art
We also did another two gigs – Derby & London – playing Corey Mwamba’s New Dark Art with the Eb Sax Quartet (myself & Chris Williams on alto sax, Cath Roberts & Colin Webster on bari sax). The gigs were a bit different but equally great!
Sunday Jan 25th – Madwort Sax Quartet @ Jazz at the Salisbury, Green Lanes
This band’s first gig was at Jazz at the Salisbury way back in Sept 2012, I think the acoustic really suits this line-up so it should be a great gig.
Thursday Feb 26th – Ti/om @ LUME, Long White Cloud, Hoxton
A return to LUME for Ti/om featuring Tim Fairhall on double bass and myself on bass clarinet, this time possibly with a special guest.
Friday March 13th – Madwort’s Menagerie @ St Paul’s Sessions, Rossmore Road, London, NW1 6NJ
Part of a series of gigs Chris Dowding is putting on at St Paul’s church near Marylebone, I’m really excited to progress the menagerie band & compositions here and not at all phased that it’s on Friday the 13th… Oooo-eerrrr….
Wednesday March 25th – Anton Hunter’s Article XI @ Family Album, Derby
I’ll be substituting for the amazing Simon Prince in Anton Hunter’s large ensemble project Article XI.
Thursday March 26th – Andreae/Knight/Ward @ LUME, Long White Cloud, Hoxton
A brand-new trio project for 2015, featuring Sam Andreae on tenor saxophone, Richard Knight on no-input mixer & myself on alto saxophone, this unique line-up provides a fascinating palette for improvisation.
Thursday April 9th – Fairhall/Rolfsson/Ward @ Foley Street
Another new trio featuring Matilda Rolfsson playing a unique bass drum & percussion setup, alongside Tim Fairhall on double bass & myself on bass clarinet/flute. This group builds on and extends the sonic palette that Tim & I have been working on as Ti/om.
“After a momentary glimpse in a misfiring big band rehearsal, Tom Ward has been bugged by an overheard snippet of a weird quartet comprising bass clarinet, flute, trumpet and trombone. Transmogrifying some of his compositions for sax quartet, hybridising this with his free improv duo Ti/om and finally balancing woodwind, brass and strings with the addition of a cello, Tom is proud to present Madwort’s Menagerie. Featuring some incredible improvising musicians with a full spectrum of credits ranging from the London Improvisers Orchestra through Brass Mask, the Overground Collective, Quadraceratops and The Imaginary Delta to Sinfonia Cymru and the London Tango Orchestra.”