Top ten albums of 2007: Nate Dorward, Coda
Top ten albums of 2007: John Sharpe, All About Jazz
‘a no-holds-barred approach to playing music grounded in the original seminal free spirit of jazz’
(John Sharpe, All About Jazz)
‘Here’s a band that truly understands how to ride the edge of inside/outside, at times dulcetly melodic, at other times quite prickly; they’re always doing something unexpected, weaving their way through collective counterpoint, lyrical solos, and bracing free interludes’
(Michael Rosenstein, Paris Transatlantic)
‘a fundamental reassertion of composition within improvised music’
(Stuart Broomer, Point of Departure (US))
‘a subverted organisational approach that results in a sustained sense of open-mouthed surprise’
(Martin Longley, BBC Music)
‘an international cast of highly-regarded improvisers…a study in contrasts…truly a convergence of musical ideas…ambience, finesse, power and intricately devised subtleties’
(Glenn Astarita, eJazznews.com (US))
‘The telling exploitation of contrast (both stylistic and dynamic) is perhaps the band’s greatest collective strength …but individually, too…the band rivet the attention’
(Chris Parker, The Vortex)
‘many profound moments of listening’
(Paul Serralheiro, Squid’s Ear)
‘Its members hail from three different countries, but it is the convergence of four distinct artists and the uncommonly compelling results achieved that make the name truly resonate.‘
(Matthew Miller, All About Jazz, New York)
‘a perfect example of the richly varied nature of free improvisation…full of lightning responses from all the players and moments of magical innovation’
(Paul Medley, The Oxford Times)
‘The Convergence Quartet put their collective shoulders to the free compositional wheel and give it a massive shove over the edge…Wow!’
(Edwin Pouncey, The Wire)
‘The Convergence Quartet make exciting music. Their new live CD brings together a variety of approaches – the well-planned and the unpredictable, the forceful and the intricate, expressive solos and cogent group interactions. They come together, play everywhichway – and it’s a convergence of riches.’
(Graham Lock, author Forces in Motion: Anthony Braxton and the Meta-Reality of Creative Music)
‘Following in the footsteps of artists such as Dave Brubeck and Anthony Braxton: first-world third-stream composers with one eye on the deeper river of free jazz and African and American traditional music…their sound is fiercely contemporary. If you wonder where Jazz is at today, where it has evolved to, then here’s one answer.’
(Tim Owen, The Jazzmann.com)
‘Highly unpredictable and thought-provoking music to savor with endless room for future consideration.’
(Jay Collins, Cadence (US))
‘A powerful example of 21st-century musical catholicity, uninhibitedly mingling improv, contemporary-classical
composition, old jazz references and new abstractions’
(John Fordham, The Guardian)
Taylor Ho Bynum is a performer on cornet and various brass instruments, composer, bandleader, and interdisciplinary collaborator with artists in dance, film, and theatre. Alongside work with his own groups, Bynum regularly performs with some of the most innovative figures in creative music, such as Anthony Braxton (by whom he has been labelled ‘[o]ne of the most brilliant of the new third millennial masters of his generation’), Cecil Taylor, and Bill Dixon, and has ongoing collaborations with such artists as Bill Lowe, Jason Kao Hwang, Joe Morris, Miya Masaoka, Stephen Haynes, Kwaku Kwaakye Obeng, Nate Wooley, Tomas Fujiwara, and the Fully Celebrated Orchestra. Wire magazine described his music as “the shape of jazz to come”.
‘Taylor Ho Bynum seems committed to defying those for whom music needs to be neatly compartmentalized…sure to intrigue those unafraid to have their music travel to unexplored places’ (John Kelman, All About Jazz)
Harris Eisenstadt works as a drummer, percussionist, composer, bandleader and educator in a wide variety of musical settings. From ad hoc improvised music groups with renowned musicians such as Conrad Bauer, Steve Beresford, John Butcher, Nels Cline, Lol Coxhill, Elton Dean, Mark Helias, Peter Kowald, Tony Malaby, James Newton, Sam Rivers, Paul Rutherford, ROVA, Graham Haynes, Tristan Honsiger, Wayne Horvitz, Phil Minton; projects with John Bergamo, Big Black, Bobby Bradford, Les Claypool, Mark Dresser, Marty Ehrlich, Bennie Maupin, Bernie Worell; large ensembles led by Vinny Golia, Barry Guy, Butch Morris, Adam Rudolph, Yusef Lateef, Wadada Leo Smith; ensembles with musicians from Bali, Gambia, Ghana, Morocco, Iran and Senegal, to film scores for major and independent motion pictures such as The Wedding Crashers, The Hebrew Hammer, and Dahmer, Eisenstadt continues to defy categorization as an artist.
‘Listen and you will know: The future of creative improvised music will be written by people like Harris Eisenstadt’ (Matthew Sumera, One Final Note)
Alexander Hawkins Born in Oxford in 1981, Alexander Hawkins is a pianist described as having a “breathtaking technique” and a “wizard’s touch”. Indeed, a recent interview commented that he is “just emerging as one of the most striking voices of his generation, both with unique things to say and unique ways of expressing them” (David Grundy, Eartrip). He leads his own “Ensemble” (‘an incredible record’, Clifford Allen, Bagatellen). Other projects include “Barkingside” (album appeared in two top ten albums of 2008 lists), and Ntshuks Bonga’s “Qwati” (featuring Bonga, Claude Deppa, Oren Marshall, and Mark Sanders). He has also recently worked both in trio and quartet with Evan Parker, and with legendary South African drummer Louis Moholo-Moholo. As an organist, Hawkins plays in a trio with Steve Noble and John Edwards (album forthcoming on Bo’Weavil Recordings). Other more ad hoc collaborations have included with musicians such as Tom Arthurs, Tony Bevan, Gail Brand, John Butcher, Lol Coxhill, Otto Fischer, Will Gaines, Eddie Prevost, John Russell, Pat Thomas, Alan Wilkinson, Steve Williamson, and Jason Yarde, amongst many others. He has also played with the Pendulum big band, the London Improvisers Orchestra, and the Oxford Improvisers Orchestra.
‘a suitable omen for the future of the music’ (Phil England, The Wire)
Dominic Lash is active in musical genres from jazz to funk to rock. Free improvisation is his central focus. One of the busiest players on the UK scene, his ‘endless efforts to veer left of every known note or chord’ have seen him collaborate with a huge range of musicians, including Kieran Hebden, Philipp Wachsmann, Steve Reid, Mark Sanders, Evan Parker, Pat Thomas, Lol Coxhill, Mark Wastell, Alex Ward, Eddie Prevost, John Butcher, John Russell, and many more. He has performed in the UK, Austria, France, Germany, Norway and Switzerland, and on a number of television and radio broadcasts.
‘Lash’s dextrous bass playing teems with energy, corralling the rest of the players into coherence’ (Stuart Fowlkes, Nightshift)
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