“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
Coming up at Hundred Years Gallery in a couple of weeks, my improvising chamber sextet are launching our debut album! Pre-orders are open too, have a listen below:
Menagerie at Baby People, part of Out Front’s The Week. Photo by Edward H Kitchen.
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!
It’s been a busy old time here at Madwort HQ, recent exciting activities have included:
Madwort’s Menagerie at St Pauls Sessions
This gig was amazing, the band played the **** out of my tunes, and a really appreciative audience.
— Dee Byrne (@deebyrnesax) March 13, 2015
Anton Hunter’s Article XI in Derby
— Cath Roberts (@cathrobots) March 25, 2015
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!
Eb sax quartet sounding amazing! pic.twitter.com/gxUBR2FnWs
— LUME (@lumemusiclondon) May 14, 2015
Rodrigo Constanzo’s Improvisation Analytics
A few nice concerts in the coming months:
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
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.
We had a wonderful time playing the new Menagerie charts to a packed & receptive Vortex audience!
— LUME (@lumemusiclondon) August 3, 2014
Also, Alya Al-Sultani was there who reviewed the gig for LondonJazz. She said:
“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.”
Sunday Aug 3rd – Madwort’s Menagerie @ The Vortex, Dalston
The first outing of a brand new line-up comprising flute, cornet, trombone, bass clarinet, cello & double bass! More details to follow…