Reviews that mention Tony Bevan

October 7, 2013

Various Artists

Just Not Cricket: Three Days of Improvised Music in Berlin
Ni-Vu-Ni-Connu nvnc lp001/004

Erik Carlsson & All Stars

Swedish azz Volume 1 & Volume 2

NotTwo MW 901-1A/ NotTwo MW 901-1B

Thomas Lehn, Michel F. Côté, Éric Normand

Invisible

Tour de Bras DL #1

Malcolm Goldstein/Thomas Lehn

Sources

Tour de Bras DL #2

Something In the Air: Good Music Comes In Many Forms and Formats

By Ken Waxman

Standardization is a thing of the past when it comes to recorded music and listeners who get too far ahead of or behind the curve are likely to miss interesting sounds. Just as the production of movies didn’t cease with the acceptance of television, so the manufacture of LPs continued even as the CD became the format of the moment. As artisans continue to craft fine furniture despite the availability of mass-produced items, so too LPs are being created in limited quantities. This situation appears tailor-made for experimental sounds. Similarly since advanced players are often as impecunious as they are inventive, the ubiquity of the Internet means that some music is only sold through the Web. The option of not having to create a physical product is a boon for non-mainstream performers. MORE

April 16, 2013

Tony Bevan/Joe Morris/Tony Buck/Dominic Lash

Tony-Joe Bucklash
Foghorn FOGCD 016

NoReduce

Jaywalkin’

nWog Records NWOG 005

Pumped up past the expected, despite the common saxophone-guitar-bass-drums configuration are these CDs. Although each features an American playing with a European unit, the path to quality is achieved by different routes.

In one case perhaps visiting Boston guitarist Joe Morris could be the spark plug for the extended go-for-broke improvising on Tony-Joe Bucklash, since the three other British players have singly and together frequently recorded outstanding work in the past. Besides Morris, known for his association with the likes of bassist William Parker and saxophonist Joe Maneri, Oxford-based reedist Tony Bevan is not only one of the (few) masters of the bass saxophone, but equally proficient on tenor and soprano. Berlin-based Aussie drummer Tony Buck is a long-time member of the Necks; while bassist Dominic Lash is busy in both New York and London. Rather than Morris being the only special guest, this CD also marks the first recorded meeting by Bevan with both bassist and drummer. MORE

September 26, 2012

Bevan/Bourne/Buck/Phillips

Everybody Else But Me
Foghorn Records FOG CD 015

Urs Leimgruber/Jacques Demierre/Barre Phillips

Montreuil

Jazz Werkstatt JW 125

Now 78, bassist Barre Phillips is one of those Americans who transferred the investigational skills he intuited playing with the likes of reedists Eric Dolphy and Jimmy Giuffre to Europe in the late 1960s. Like most Jazzmen, he was looking for steady work, but since that time he has helped create a distinctive European improv aesthetic. Based in southern France for the past 40 years, Phillips has worked with nearly every major European musical innovator from saxophonist Evan Parker to fellow bassist Joëlle Léandre. MORE

December 25, 2011

Sunny Murray/John Edwards/Tony Bevan

I Stepped Onto a Bee
Foghorn FGCD 014

Justly praised as a master improviser on bass saxophone – to be honest, competition is very slim – Oxford-based Tony Bevan is also a first-rate tenor saxophone soloist, something that hasn’t often been showcased in recent years. I Stepped Onto a Bee rectifies this omission with Bevan exercising his tenor chops on a six-part invention, working in tandem with London-based bassist John Edwards and legendary Free Jazz drummer Sunny Murray now domiciled in Paris.

Edwards who has played with everyone from saxophonist Evan Parker to the Stellari String Quartet adds jabs, plucks and strums to the tracks here, while Murray, whose list of associates starts with pianist Cecil Taylor and saxophonist Albert Ayler and goes on from there, is sympathetic in his backing, ranging from martial rat-tat-tats to bounces, ruffs and slaps. Above all though, it’s Bevan’s show, as he weaves variation after variation, using legato and extended techniques. MORE

June 10, 2011

Festival Report:

Freedom of the City 2011
By Ken Waxman

Electronics, percussion and home-made instruments were prominently featured in many contexts during London’s annual Freedom of the City (FOTC) festival, April 30 to May 2. In spite of this, some outstanding performances involved the hyper-traditional piano or saxophone.

A snapshot of contemporary, mostly European, creative music, FOTC encompassed sounds as different as electronic processing from the likes of Adam Bohman and Lawrence Casserley; rarefied ensemble minimalism; unabashed free jazz from saxophonist Lionel Garcin’s and pianist Christine Wodrascka’s quartet; an entire evening devoted to the massive London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO); and pianist John Tilbury’s and bassist Michael Duch’s interpretations of Cornelius Cardew and Morton Feldman compositions. MORE

January 8, 2011

Sunny Murray/John Edwards/Tony Bevan

Boom Boom Cat
Foghorn FGCD 011

By Ken Waxman

Although Sunny Murray, the dean of American free jazz drumming, is the best-known player here, the success of Boom Boom Cat depends as much on the contributions of the other two musicians, who are more than mere sideman. Bassist John Edwards and saxophonist Tony Bevan are both an integral part of London’s free music scene, working with everyone from saxophonist Evan Parker to drummer Steve Noble.

Veterans of thrash-rock ensembles as well as low-key improv combos, the two confidently partner Murray, who now lives in Paris, every time he visits Great Britain. Despite being children when Murray redefined drumming in the mid-1960s with pianist Cecil Taylor and saxophonist Albert Ayler, Edwards and Bevan are as confident in this context as any other. Bevan’s floor-vibrating bass saxophone gets a major workout on the shorter “Ballad for G”. But his deft manipulation of all its timbres, as well as those of the tenor and soprano saxophones, is brought into starker relief on the nearly hour-long title track. MORE

November 21, 2010

Tony Bevan/Paul Obermayer/Paul Marks/Dominic Lash

A Big Hand
Foghorn FCGD012

Credited for having rescued the bass saxophone from the clown role in which it has been relegated since the 1920s, British saxophonist Tony Bevan usually works in the all-acoustic area with the likes of drummer Sunny Murray or guitarist Derek Bailey. While he has toyed with electronics in the past, A Big Hand is watershed recording for all concerned, since everyone involved is fully conversant with electro-acoustic improv. Bevan, who plays soprano, tenor and bass saxophones plus flute here, lined up a novel – for him– group of associates for the CD. For a start, electronic manipulator Paul Obermayer is in the long-established electro-improv duo FURT. Besides his acoustic work, drummer Phil Marks is also one-third of electronic combo Bark alongside Obermayer; while busy bassist Dominic Lash has recently been recording as part of a microtonal duo. MORE

August 3, 2009

Avram Fefer Trio

Ritual
Clean Feed CF 145 CD

Tony Bevan/Chris Corsano/Dominic Lash

Monster Club

Foghorn FGCD 010

Keune-Schneider-Krämer

No Comment

FMP CD 133

Pedants who classify Free Music according to countries or areas of origin will likely be flummoxed by this trio of saxophone-bass-drums sessions from the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany. While each is striking, not one traffics in the clichés associated with regionally based sounds.

British improvisation, for instance, is often described as “insect music”, made up of miniscule, understated gestures and sounds. Monster Club – note the in-your-face title – is anything but that. Lead by reedist Tony Bevan, who has collaborated as much with pioneering Free Jazz drummer Sunny Murray as Free Music forefather guitarist Derek Bailey, the sounds on the CD’s four tracks are often rip-snorting and riotous. Part of this may be attributed to Bevan’s young associates. Oxford-based bassist Dominic Lash not only works regularly with lower-case improvisers such as violinist Angharad Davies, but also with outgoing North Americans like cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and percussionist Harris Eisenstadt. Uncompromising saxophonist Paul Flaherty is a frequent playing partner for drummer Chris Corsano, part of the Sunburned Hand of Man avant-rock band. MORE

August 3, 2009

Tony Bevan/Chris Corsano/Dominic Lash

Monster Club
Foghorn FGCD 010

Keune-Schneider-Krämer

No Comment

FMP CD 133

Avram Fefer Trio

Ritual

Clean Feed CF 145 CD

Pedants who classify Free Music according to countries or areas of origin will likely be flummoxed by this trio of saxophone-bass-drums sessions from the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany. While each is striking, not one traffics in the clichés associated with regionally based sounds.

British improvisation, for instance, is often described as “insect music”, made up of miniscule, understated gestures and sounds. Monster Club – note the in-your-face title – is anything but that. Lead by reedist Tony Bevan, who has collaborated as much with pioneering Free Jazz drummer Sunny Murray as Free Music forefather guitarist Derek Bailey, the sounds on the CD’s four tracks are often rip-snorting and riotous. Part of this may be attributed to Bevan’s young associates. Oxford-based bassist Dominic Lash not only works regularly with lower-case improvisers such as violinist Angharad Davies, but also with outgoing North Americans like cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and percussionist Harris Eisenstadt. Uncompromising saxophonist Paul Flaherty is a frequent playing partner for drummer Chris Corsano, part of the Sunburned Hand of Man avant-rock band. MORE

August 3, 2009

Keune-Schneider-Krämer

No Comment
FMP CD 133

Tony Bevan/Chris Corsano/Dominic Lash

Monster Club

Foghorn FGCD 010

Avram Fefer Trio

Ritual

Clean Feed CF 145 CD

Pedants who classify Free Music according to countries or areas of origin will likely be flummoxed by this trio of saxophone-bass-drums sessions from the United Kingdom, the United States and Germany. While each is striking, not one traffics in the clichés associated with regionally based sounds.

British improvisation, for instance, is often described as “insect music”, made up of miniscule, understated gestures and sounds. Monster Club – note the in-your-face title – is anything but that. Lead by reedist Tony Bevan, who has collaborated as much with pioneering Free Jazz drummer Sunny Murray as Free Music forefather guitarist Derek Bailey, the sounds on the CD’s four tracks are often rip-snorting and riotous. Part of this may be attributed to Bevan’s young associates. Oxford-based bassist Dominic Lash not only works regularly with lower-case improvisers such as violinist Angharad Davies, but also with outgoing North Americans like cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum and percussionist Harris Eisenstadt. Uncompromising saxophonist Paul Flaherty is a frequent playing partner for drummer Chris Corsano, part of the Sunburned Hand of Man avant-rock band. MORE

July 30, 2008

Gyldene Trion

Live at Glenn Miller Café Ayler Records aylCD-079

Sunny Murray/John Edwards/Tony Bevan

The Gearbox Explodes!

Foghorn FGCD 009

Stark examples of the fissure that in many cases separates younger musicians from slightly older ones, the ironic situation pinpointed in these releases is that in some cases it’s elders who are willing to try more experiments in their playing than their junior counterparts.

Both of these saxophone-bass-and-drums CDs provide interesting listening, but if one is expanding the improvised music tradition, the other is merely extending it. What’s paradoxical is that The Gearbox Explodes! includes sounds from a saxophonist in his fifties, a bassist in his forties and a drummer heading for his seventy-first birthday. Meanwhile members of the Gyldene Trion are in their twenties and thirties. MORE

July 30, 2008

Sunny Murray/John Edwards/Tony Bevan

The Gearbox Explodes! Foghorn FGCD 009

Gyldene Trion

Live at Glenn Miller Café

Ayler Records aylCD-079

Stark examples of the fissure that in many cases separates younger musicians from slightly older ones, the ironic situation pinpointed in these releases is that in some cases it’s elders who are willing to try more experiments in their playing than their junior counterparts.

Both of these saxophone-bass-and-drums CDs provide interesting listening, but if one is expanding the improvised music tradition, the other is merely extending it. What’s paradoxical is that The Gearbox Explodes! includes sounds from a saxophonist in his fifties, a bassist in his forties and a drummer heading for his seventy-first birthday. Meanwhile members of the Gyldene Trion are in their twenties and thirties. MORE

July 21, 2006

Bruise

With Derek Bailey
Foghorn Records FOGCD006

Perhaps the most unintentionally shocking part of this 2004 live London gig by the British Bruise band joined by guitarist Derek Bailey is its cost, reprinted on the back CD cover: “₤5/₤3 concessions”.

While a bargain for the audience, it proves once again that no matter how well-known someone like the guitarist was in the improv world, he was still doing local gigs for the equivalent of the price of a beer a little more than a year before his death at 75. Obviously no one ever got rich – or is it comfortable, in both senses – playing improv. MORE

August 8, 2005

Tony Bevan

Bruised
Foghorn Records

Floros Floridis
F.L.O.R.O. III (Further Lines Over Rough Options)
j.n.d. re-records

By Ken Waxman
August 8, 2005

Unlike rockers, classical recitalists and even mainstream jazzers, committed improvisers have a compulsion to constantly involve themselves in novel situations with new players or new instruments. For them, repetition is the same as stasis.

Thus these two CDs find accomplished reedists who have recorded noteworthy acoustic duo and trio discs, setting up more of a challenge by welcoming more musicians and electronics. Frankly, the end products aren’t as satisfying as earlier, all-acoustic dates, but the players have to be commended for their audacity and refusal to stand pat. MORE

November 22, 2004

Sunny Murray/John Edwards/Tony Bevan

Home cooking in the UK
Foghorn

By Ken Waxman

November 29, 2004

Deeply felt music transcends arbitrary definitions attached to terminology, generation or nationalism. You can hear that clearly on this standout live session by three exceptional improvisers.

What could cause disquiet is that two of the players -- bassist John Edwards and saxophonist Tony Bevan -- are baby boomers and committed British Free Music players. Part of that sometimes-insular scene, they often work with guitarist Derek Bailey, major domo of that genre, who insists on Free Music’s distance from Jazz. Yet the third participant in this series of first-time meetings, recorded on tour in Britain, is 67-year-old drummer Sunny Murray. Not only is Murray, who lives in Paris, a jazzman without compromise, but he was one of the men who helped birth the so-called New Thing. He held the drum chair with both Cecil Taylor’s and Albert Ayler’s trios in the mid-1960s and afterwards led or participated in a clutch of sessions that defined so-called Energy Music. MORE

November 17, 2003

DEREK BAILEY/SHAKING RAY LEVIS

Live at Lamar’s
Shaking Ray Records SRR CD-003

LIMESCALE
Limescale
Incus CD 56

Getting a handle on Derek Bailey’s recorded and performing output is like trying to grab Jell-O with a catcher’s mitt -- some sticks, but most slips away. The length and breath of the British guitarist’s almost 40 years of musical associations just as a committed improviser is staggering in breadth and unconventionality.

Bailey has said that he considers ad-hoc musical activities essential, and he always appears to be ready, willing and able to play with anyone at any time. Over the years his partners have ranged from those as recognized as fellow EuroImprov theorizers such as drummer Tony Oxley and saxophonist Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann to unique throw downs with a potpourri of lesser-known solo players, dancers, DJs and even head-banging rhythm sections. MORE

September 16, 2002

ERIC BOEREN

Soft Nose
Bvhaast CD 1501

BEVAN/BISHOP/ZERANG/EDWARDS
Nham
Foghorn Records FOGCD03

Back when the CD first came on the market, one of its heralded advantages was longer running time. No longer would creativity have to be limited to 45-odd minutes of music, abruptly bisected when one LP side ended.

Putting aside the anomaly that many pop bands still struggle to fill CDs with 10 three-minute tracks, even improvised musicians sometimes find that inspiration runs out before the time limit. What that means is that less-than-satisfying CDs of up to 75 minutes are being released that could have been classic sessions if 10 to 20 minutes had been shaved off the playing time. MORE

October 8, 2001

PETER KOWALD/DAMON SMITH

Mirrors - Broken But No Dust
Balance Point Acoustics BPA 001

TONY BEVAN/DAMON SMITH/SCOTT R. LOONEY
The sale of tickets for money was abolished
Balance Point Acoustics BPA 002

It's altogether fitting that Bay area bassist Damon Smith has put out a duet session with German bassist Peter Kowald as the first release on his own label. After all it was exposure to Kowald's DUOS: EUROPA LP in 1994 that convinced the young musician to sell the fender bass he had been playing in punk and art rock combos to concentrate on double bass and creative improvised music. MORE

April 24, 2001

TONY BEVAN

Nothing Is Permanent But Woe
Foghorn Records FOG CD 002

Maybe if someone has contacts in the spirit world, we may able to find out if Adrian Rollini is smiling or rotating in his grave. Rollini (1904-1956) was jazz's best-known -- and practically only -- bass saxophone player during his heyday in the 1920s and 1930s. Since then this bulky giant, pitched an octave below the tenor saxophone, usually only makes an appearance as a huffing, puffing replacement for the tuba in Dixieland combos.

At least, that is until British saxophonist Tony Bevan adapted the bass sax as his horn of choice in 1994. Since then, the former tenor saxophonist, who was born about one month after Rollini died, has literally had his hands full. For a start he created a niche for the unwieldy beast in ad hoc groupings with the likes of sound singer Phil Minton, composer/pianist Steve Beresford and other members of the open minded U.K. improv community. Then in 1998, he had the audacity to release a CD made up of nothing but bass sax solos.

MORE