The Saxoctopus / Sax Squid was sounding great last night! Now feeling very inspired to write some music for the ensemble’s debut gig this winter… Featuring Sam Andreae, Mette Rasmussen, Rachel Musson, Colin Webster, Julie Kjaer, Dee Byrne, Cath Roberts and myself! Photo by @mike__sands
Sunday March 2nd – Madwort’s Mechanical Mindset @ Jazz at the Salisbury, 8:30pm
The Mechanical Mindset featuring Dave O’Brien will be hitting North London’s Salisbury Hotel on Green Lanes, alongside the Josef Stout Sextet.
8:30pm at The Salisbury Hotel, 1 Grand Parade, Green Lanes, London N4 1JX
Monday March 24th – Trio Riot featuring the Saxoctopus @ Vortex, 8:30pm
A new collaboration has its first outing at Trio Riot‘s Vortex gig. After Trio Riot’s set, they will be augmented by a further six saxophone players (including myself) for a total of eight saxophones. Chaos ensues.
Tuesday April 22nd – Ti/om @ Servant Jazz Quarters, Dalston
Ti/om will be playing at Dalston’s Servant Jazz Quarters as one of three Brockley-centric improvising duos. With the other duos Ripsaw Catfish (feat. Anton Hunter & Cath Roberts) & the duo of Colin Webster with Graham Dunning it promises to be a great night!
Thursday April 24th – Ti/om @ LUME at the Long White Cloud, Hackney
May – Philip Clouts Quartet
- Fri 2 May @ Honiton, east Devon
- Sat 3 May @ Stogumber, north Somerset
- Wed 21 May @ Pembrokeshire
We had a great time playing the developing Mechanical Mindset set to a lovely crowd at the Vortex!
Photo by Cath Roberts
On the playing side, Cath Roberts‘ Quadraceratops had a brilliant gig at Lume back at its old home Hundred Crows Rising opposite Dee Byrne‘s Entropi. There was a really good audience and the band continues to go from strength to strength. Despite being a South London resident these days, I also depped on bass clarinet & bari sax with the e17 large ensemble, which was a good chance to dust off the bass clarinet and get stuck in…
On the listening side, Wadada Leo Smith at Cafe Oto was immense. Incredibly powerful, expansive, engaging music, although the night that we were there the string quartet didn’t play a very large role. The visuals at that gig were also brilliant, it really felt like another member of the ensemble adding an extra dimension to the experience. Troykestra seemed like a great idea in principle, but was hampered by pretty poor sound in the Purcell Room.
Here’s what I’m up to in the near future:
Sept 4th – Madwort Sax Quartet @ Vortex Downstairs (early set 7-8pm)
A short after-work gig at the Vortex, curated by Chris Dowding.
Sept 12th – Jeff Chambers Variable n-tet @ Lume (Venue: 100 Crows Rising, Angel)
The n-tet has been rehearsing for a while, this is the gig!
Sept 17th – Quadraceratops @ Vortex (supporting ReDiviDeR)
Including a one-off collaboration between the two bands…
Sept 26th – Madwort Sax Quartet @ Lume (Venue: TBC!)
October 6th – Quadraceratops @ Union Chapel (afternoon: 3pm)
The recording of the Sax Quartet gig from Ryan’s bar sounded so nice (aside from a slightly shaky first 30secs…), that I’ve put the entire gig online. Lovely playing by everyone! Listen here:
I have a couple of nice gigs in the coming months:
5th June 2013 – Madwort Sax Quartet @ Ryan’s Bar
We’re playing at Ryan’s Bar in Stoke Newington, supporting SPILL KIT.
24th June 2013 – Quadraceratops @ Jazz In The Round
Cath Robert’s Quadraceratops will be a set as part of Jez Nelson’s Jazz In The Round series, at The Cockpit, Gateforth Street, Marylebone, London NW8 8EH.
30th July 2013 – Ti/om @ Collisions
A new improvising duo project with myself and Tim Fairhall (double bass) will be doing a double-bill with the Colin Webster/Mark Holub duo at a new night run by Cath Roberts & Dan Paton.
We had a great time playing at the Salisbury pub, and Geoff Winston has written a very kind review of the band on the LondonJazz blog:
“Ward was not to be typecast – there were strong echoes of Moondog’s spiky, unyielding structures and the mathematical syncopations of Reich and Glass, as well as the joyous intensity of the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble, but maybe at the core was a link back to Les Six and Francaix’s fleet and agile saxophone pieces. The group’s sychronisation, the engaging, rounded brass sound and the impressive ease with which the four musicians blended to dish out a significantly distinctive musical proposition made for a perfect opening sortie, and suggested that we may well be hearing much more from them.”
Thanks to a cancellation, our new saxophone quartet has its first gig this Sunday, courtesy of Jazz @ The Salisbury! We’ve one half of a double-bill, it starts at 8:30pm, and it’s £5 to get in.
A couple of weeks ago, the sax quartet went down into the underground music bunker that is House of Strange to do a spot of recording, ably assisted by Ash Gardner and Dave O’Brien. Watch this space for the results!