Reviews that mention Veryan Weston

October 26, 2020

Veryan Weston/Hannah Marshall/Mark Sanders

Hi4Head HHHCD027

More of an evolution than a departure for Veryan Weston, Crossings is an experiment using the keystation alongside tones from cellist Hannah Marshall) and drummer Mark Sanders. Using this MIDI controller designed to sequence music on a computer played by virtual instruments is a change for the pianist known for his acoustic improvising with fellow London-based improvisers like Phil Minton and Trevor Watts,. But it isn’t the first time Weston’s tried out keyboards beyond the standard. He already recorded one CD using a Luthéal piano and another on tracker action organs. However this is his premiere foray into electronic processing. MORE

February 1, 2018

Paul Rutherford

in Backward Times (1979-2007)
Emanem 5045

Paul Rutherford/Sabu Toyozumi

The Conscience

NoBusiness Records NBCD 99

Although one of the pioneers of solo improvising in a Free Music context, British trombonist Paul Rutherford (1940- 2007) made as important a contribution in group situations. Besides Iskra 1903 and membership in other regularly constituted aggregations, the trombonist performed with a wide variety of international partners and these CDs capture some distinctive live sets.

Recorded in Tokoname in 1999, The Conscience’s five improvisations feature Rutherford and Japanese drummer Sabu Toyozumi, a near contemporary, whose associations ranged from fellow Japanese like Kaoru Abe to foreigners like Derek Bailey and Fred Van Hove, some of whom also collaborated with the trombonist. Coincidentally The Japanese tracks fit neatly among those on in Backward Times which include a 1988 London duet with bassist Paul Rogers, another 2007 London meeting with pianist Veryan Weston and cellist Marcio Mattos and two continental solo sets, the earlier (1979) and more provocative of which from Milan has the trombonist working with electronics so that in essence he’s accompanying himself. MORE

March 8, 2014

Artist Feature

Ingrid Laubrock
By Ken Waxman

One of the many non-American musicians who have set up shop in NYC, German-born saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, 43, has quickly become a presence on the local scene. But the soprano and tenor saxophonist one who was already recognized for her playing and writing elsewhere – London’s highly competitive improv scene – before she crossed the ocean permanently in 2008.

Then again, the Hundewick-raised reedist has always thrived on new situations and challenges. And as someone who didn’t start playing the saxophone until her teens she declares that “I didn't really decide that I wanted to become a musician, it more or less happened … I sort of drifted into it.” MORE

November 11, 2012

Trevor Watts & Veryan Weston

Dialogues in Two Places
Hi4Head Records HFH 010D

Confirmation of the Guelph Jazz Festival’s increasing importance on the international scene is this significant two-CD set by British saxophonist Trevor Watts and pianist Veryan Weston. Both men have helped define improvised music since the 1970s, and during a rare North American foray in 2011, recorded one CD in Guelph and the other in Toledo.

Nationalism aside, the two appear more assured north of the border, with the climax, Cardigan, a nearly 32½ intermezzo. Three months earlier in Ohio they distributed their aleatoric and dextrous efforts among six much shorter improvisations. Playing both soprano and alto saxophones, Watts’ tone is sequentially taut, peeping, staccato and agitated in Toledo, while Weston’s lines encompass both formal pianism and near-splintered tremolo dynamics to extend and pivot the performances. Toledo’s high point appears on Glenwood. Here a contrapuntal intersection displays the saxophonist’s mercurial skills at speedy and slow tempos while compressing tones for nuance and color. Also featured is the pianist initially accelerating, then halving the accompaniment, while moving from high-intensity chording and pounding to edgy soundboard and string plinking patterns. MORE

October 17, 2012

Veryan Weston/Ingrid Laubrock/Hannah Marshall

Emanem 5025

Wild Chamber Trio

10,000 Leaves

NotTwo MW 880-2

Taking the chamber music instrumentation of piano, cello and woodwind as a base, but creating instant compositions with extended instrumental techniques in performance, these CDs literally delineate European Free Music. Nonetheless each is as different from the other as Austria is from England, proving that innovation arises in several forms. Despite its title, the three tracks on Haste, recorded at a festival in Barcelona, are dependent on understated patterning, unexpected vibrations and unfold at a mostly arthropodic pace – creations that are unfettered without being unruly. On the other hand, the aptly named Wild Chamber Trio invests 10,000 Leaves with many strident, staccato and strained sequences, creating an end product which studded with sharp angles and festering with sonic points. MORE

July 6, 2012


Veryan Weston
By Ken Waxman

London-based pianist Veryan Weston is a well-travelled musician who regularly turns up in a variety of free music situations in the United Kingdom and aboard. Best-known for his long associations with iconoclastic saxophonist Lol Coxhill and distinctive vocalist Phil Minton, Weston has also spent time in various ensembles with, among others, drummer Eddie Prévost, saxophonist John Butcher and is sometimes a member of the London Improvisers Orchestra. Weston and British alto saxophonist Trevor Watts are playing at the Stone this month as part of a duo tour of the US. 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

October 22, 2010


Red Note 15

Another one of those only-in-Europe ensembles which ingeniously intermingles strands of chamber music, pop and punk currents within an overlay of improvisation, Sol6 calls on talents from four countries and varied ages for this buoyant session.

Chief instigators of this CD, recorded live at Amsterdam’s Bimhuis, are Luc Ex from the Netherlands and British pianist/vocalist Veryan Weston. A founding member of punk group The Ex, since leaving that band, Ex has devoted his time to quirky improv groups such as 4Walls with Weston and British vocalist Phil Minton. Weston of course, is a veteran of the London improv scene, where he works in various configurations, including one with cellist Hannah Marshall, who is also in Sol6. Marshall, who usually plays in improv setting with people like drummer Steve Noble, was also on an album by pop band Polar Bear. So was violist Mandy Drummond, another Sol6er, who usually divides her time between accompanying pop bands and classical music. German-born saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock now lives in New York where she performs with people like drummer Tom Rainey; while Australian drummer Tony Buck, a long-time Berlin resident, is best-known for his membership in The Necks. MORE

December 18, 2008

London Improvisers Orchestra

Improvisations for George Riste
psi 08.06

London & Glasgow Improvisers Orchestras

Separately & Together

Emanem 4219

Successfully guiding free-form improvisations and conductions utilizing the talents of independent musicians in a large orchestra is a challenge; trying to do the same with two outsized improvising ensembles can be foolhardy. Yet that memorable experiment is captured on Separately & Together, a two-CD record of a 2007 meeting between London’s 27-piece Improvisers Orchestra and Glasgow’s 17-piece Improvisers Orchestra. Separate sets by both bands are also featured. MORE

December 18, 2008

London & Glasgow Improvisers Orchestras

Separately & Together
Emanem 4219

London Improvisers Orchestra

Improvisations for George Riste

psi 08.06

Successfully guiding free-form improvisations and conductions utilizing the talents of independent musicians in a large orchestra is a challenge; trying to do the same with two outsized improvising ensembles can be foolhardy. Yet that memorable experiment is captured on Separately & Together, a two-CD record of a 2007 meeting between London’s 27-piece Improvisers Orchestra and Glasgow’s 17-piece Improvisers Orchestra. Separate sets by both bands are also featured. MORE

November 15, 2005

Guelph Jazz Festival:

Improv On The Move
for CODA

Taking the concept of free-flowing improvisation a step further, one morning at this year’s Guelph Jazz Festival (GJF), 15 musicians performed simultaneously in four different whitewashed rooms of the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre.

The workshop developed this way, according to Ajay Heble, GJF artistic director, because so many musicians wanted to participate. Some – American alto saxophonist Marshall Allan, British pianist Veryan Weston, Québécois guitarist René Lussier and American banjoist Eugene Chadbourne – rooted on a spot and collaborated with whoever came along. Others moved from place to place and up and down the staircase as they played. MORE

October 4, 2004


Which Side Are You On?
Red Note 11

For4Ears CD 1551

Of all the weird and wonderful vocalists -- note not singers -- associated with Free Music, Britain’s Phil Minton, 64, probably has the most legitimacy, not to mention longevity.

Someone who started off as a trumpeter and vocalist with Mike Westbrook’s Orchestra in the mid-1960s, he’s long since abandoned the horn, along with most conventional songs. His usual output is a cornucopia of yowls, grunts, shrills, retches and gargles. Meanwhile his associations have expanded from the cream of BritImprov, including drummer Roger Turner, reedist John Butcher and -- regularly since 1987 -- pianist Veryan Weston, to interested players from the Continent, North America and Japan. MORE

February 1, 2002


Imitation of Life/Double Indemnity Atavistic Unheard Music

3 Pianos

Versatile from the get go, since moving to London in 1974,

multi-instrumentalist Steve Beresford has probably been involved in more undertakings than any other British improviser.

Although he’s a full-fledged member of the jazz/improv community with appearances at guitarist Derek Bailey’s Company week and recording sessions with the likes of saxophonist Evan Parker and drummer Han Bennink -- among many others -- on his resumé, he hasn’t limited himself to that. Over the years he has also been a member of punk and reggae bands, created middle-of- the-road pop music, and fully scored music for film, TV, dance groups and corporations. Additionally, he has taught audio production, piano and improvisation at different times and places, as well as produced CDs for other free improvisers. MORE

December 10, 2001


Emanem 4059

Think of most memorable examples of British improvising over the past three decades and the front line sound that comes first to the inner ear is that of the sonic advances made by saxophonists such as Evan Parker, John Butcher and Paul Dunmall.

Aiming to redress the balance, Dublin-born Ian Smith has recorded this skillful example of BritImprov at London’s Red Rose club without a reed in sight. Besides Smith on trumpet and flugelhorn, the CD features two exceptional young brass boosters -- trombonist Gail Brand and tubaist Oren Marshall -- as well as two veteran improvisers, guitarist Derek Bailey and Veryan Weston, playing a so-called early music chamber organ. MORE

October 1, 2001


Music on seven occasions
Meniscus Records MNSCS 004

Points, snags and windings
Meniscus Records MNSCS 010

As amiable as he is adventurous, British saxophone explorer John Butcher rarely misses an opportunity to collaborate with similar intrepid musical explorers. Comfortable in a variety of formations, the two accomplished discs here highlight his duet work.

A superb pair, the main difference between them is choice of partners. MUSIC ON SEVEN OCCASIONS is just that, recorded over a three year period in the 1990s in different American and British studios, featuring nine partners plus four solo saxophone interludes. POINTS, SNAGS AND WINDINGS, on the other hand, has one fewer musician on board then there are nouns in the title. It's a record of duets between Butcher and Vancouver, B.C.-based percussionist Dylan van der Schyff, done last year in Vancouver. MORE