Reviews that mention Steve Beresford

November 26, 2017

Convergences, Divergences & Affinities: Further Beyond Jazz, the Second Wave of English Free Improvisation, 1973-9

By Trevor Barre
Compass Publishing

Forced to exist in a musical universe that values popularity and money over other qualities, Free Music and one particular sub set, British Improvisation, has always inhabited a unique, almost heroic area. It’s unique because most of its major stylists are instantly identifiable once they start playing; it’s heroic because a raft of UK musicians continues to inhabit the field despite mass indifference. Like Theodore H. White writing in his multi-volume The Making of the President series on American politics, Trevor Barre brings the same attention to detail as well as examining overriding trends in order to perfectly situate the musical, societal and sociological circumstances that contributed to the birth and dissemination of this music. MORE

September 23, 2017

Mike Caratti/Rachel Musson/Steve Beresford

Hesitantly Pleasant
Iluso Records IRCD 007

Alterations

Void Transactions

Unpredictable Series 2017

Steve Beresford is the Kilroy of Free Music. Just like the figure caricatured with his nose peering over a fence, going back to the 1970s the London-based pianist has been part of all manner of representative improvised sessions. Among them were and are Derek Bailey’s Company Week, the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO), The Dedication Orchestra, Freedom of the city, a Butch Morris conduction, the 2011 Berlin festival defining British Improv, composing and arranging for movies and TV and teaching at the university level. MORE

September 23, 2017

Alterations

Void Transactions
Unpredictable Series 2017

Mike Caratti/Rachel Musson/Steve Beresford

Hesitantly Pleasant

Iluso Records IRCD 007

Steve Beresford is the Kilroy of Free Music. Just like the figure caricatured with his nose peering over a fence, going back to the 1970s the London-based pianist has been part of all manner of representative improvised sessions. Among them were and are Derek Bailey’s Company Week, the London Improvisers Orchestra (LIO), The Dedication Orchestra, Freedom of the city, a Butch Morris conduction, the 2011 Berlin festival defining British Improv, composing and arranging for movies and TV and teaching at the university level. MORE

May 8, 2017

Festival Report

Artacts ‘17
By Ken Waxman

One of Austria’s ski resorts abutting the Alps, St. Johann in Tirol also attracts music fans during the annual artacts Festival. Attendees March 10-12 could be forgiven for being smug. While warm weather limited optimal ski conditions, music fans’ experience was elevated without using chair lifts. Case in point was the DEK trio, which opened the festival at the comfortable rustic Alte Gerberei performance space. While American tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Ken Vandermark is wedded to jazz, Austrian drummer Didi Kern is involved with rock and Graz-based pianist Elisabeth Harnik at home in notated music, the resolution of these contradictions gave the performance its bite. Kern’s paddled beat lent veracity to Vandermark’s bar-walking sax honking, while Harnik’s pastoral patterning added emotion to abstract altissimo clarinet twists. Harnik’s attack could be brawny as well, extending her dynamic range by pounding darker phases from the lowest-pitched keys and plucking, rubbing and twanging inner piano strings. Although teaming with discordant touches, DEK’s sound never lost its sense of swing. MORE

March 23, 2016

François Carrier/Steve Beresford/John Edwards/Michel Lambert

Outgoing
FMR CD 400

By Ken Waxman

Like a peripatetic Old West gunslinger, Montreal alto saxophonist François Carrier roams extensively to challenge himself alongside the planet’s best improviser and so far has gone head-to-head with among others, players from Poland, Russia, France and the United States. Now it’s the United Kingdom’s turn and this 70-minute CD captures five friendly dustups involving Carrier, Montreal percussionist Michel Lambert, invariably the Robin to Carrier’s Batman and two maverick London-based players, bassist John Edwards, with whom the two Canadians have partnered before, and on three tracks, adding pianist Steve Beresford for an inaugural meeting. MORE

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

October 2, 2012

Foxes Fox

Live at the Vortex
psi 12.01

He now may be 82 and be best known for the dreamier ballads he often plays with his own groups, but this set proves that trumpeter/flugelhornist Kenny Wheeler can hold his own in any invigorating Free Jazz session. Of course it helps that the Canadian-born, London-resident Wheeler showed up as a special guest with a quartet consisting of players he has worked with for years in different contexts.

A true all-star ensemble, Foxes Fox consists of tenor saxophonist Evan Parker, pianist Steve Beresford, bassist John Edwards and percussionist Louis Moholo-Moholo. On their own the four exhibit the depth of their interaction in the more than 38½-minute “Foxes Set 1”. Characterized by unmistakable reed slurs from Parker, his wide vibrato and boisterous tone smears are meticulously set up by Beresford’s cascading glissandi and key clicks, Edwards’ pumps and side sawing runs and Moholo-Moholo’s rattling backbeat. MORE

July 11, 2012

London Improvisers Orchestra

Lio Leo Leon
psi 11.04

Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York

ETO

Libra Records 215-029

Le GGRIL avec Evan Parker

Vivaces

Tour de Bras TDB9006 CD

The Royal Improvisers Orchestra

Live at the Bimhuis

Riot Impro 01

Something in the Air: New Soloists for Improvising Ensembles

By Ken Waxman

Adding another voice to an established improvising ensemble is more precarious than it seems. With a group having worked out strategies allowing for individual expression within a larger context – and without notated cues – the visitor(s) must be original without unbalancing the interface. Luckily the sessions here demonstrate successful applications. MORE

April 21, 2012

Steve Beresford/Stephen Flinn/Dave Tucker

Ink Room
Creative Sources CS 193 CD

Idol Benkelman/Daniel Davidovsky/Ofer Bymel

EFT

OutNow Records ONR 003

Electronics, electric instruments and percussion can be a difficult mixture when it comes to improvised music. Juggle the components in the wrong manner and the freshness and freedom resulting from adding dial-twisting textures to performances can be lost.

That’s why Ink Room, while ultimately still far from perfect, presents more of a memorable program than EFT. The two Americans and one Brit collaborating on the seven-track CD use electronics’ properties to create something unique. Unfortunately the three Israelis who make up ETF don’t do the same on their six-track CD. Whether by personality or skill, the techniques of electric guitarist Ido Bukelman overwhelm the contributions of drummer Ofer Bymel and especially electronics manipulator Daniel Davidovsky. What results is near jazz-rock fusion disc, where the processed impulses merely make it appear as if the output from Bukelman’s six-string is more expressive than it actually is. MORE

January 5, 2012

SFE

Positions and Descriptions
Clean Feed CF 230 CD

By Ken Waxman

For the past 20-odd years as “Butch” Morris has demonstrated conduction: structuring free improvisation using a specific series of hand gestures, many improvising ensembles have been created in his its wake. Whether groups use or not signals developed by Morris to rearrange and sculpt notated and non-notated music, conduction is part of their inventory. As these releases demonstrate however, it depends on individual musicians’ skills for a performance to be fully satisfying. MORE

June 28, 2009

Okkyung Lee/Peter Evans/Steve Beresford

Check for Monsters
Emanem 5002

Peter Evans/Tom Blancarte

[sparks]

Creative Sources CS 119 CD

One of a crop of younger players who are slowly redefining the trumpet’s role and range, New York-based Peter Evans stands out. Classically trained, his use of the piccolo trumpet as well as the regular model allows him to access the minimalist aspects of other experimentalists without neglecting the literal brassy qualities which have been the trumpet’s raison d’etre since the days of John Philip Sousa and Louis Armstrong. MORE

June 28, 2009

Peter Evans/Tom Blancarte

[sparks]
Creative Sources CS 119 CD

Okkyung Lee/Peter Evans/Steve Beresford

Check for Monsters

Emanem 5002

One of a crop of younger players who are slowly redefining the trumpet’s role and range, New York-based Peter Evans stands out. Classically trained, his use of the piccolo trumpet as well as the regular model allows him to access the minimalist aspects of other experimentalists without neglecting the literal brassy qualities which have been the trumpet’s raison d’etre since the days of John Philip Sousa and Louis Armstrong. MORE

April 17, 2006

The Sound of Squirrel Meals: The Work of Lol Coxhill

Edited By Barbara Schwarz
Black Press

By Ken Waxman
April 17, 2006

Perhaps the sort of player who only could have thrived in the ever-shifting scene that developed in the United Kingdom starting in the mid-960s, soprano saxophonist Lol Coxhill is one of improvised music’s most distinctive characters.

In truth, the bulky, bald-headed Portsmouth-born saxophonist has always been a fellow traveller to Improvised Music, but never quite a card-carrying member. That’s because his quirkiness – and need to make a living – has encompassed a multiplicity of gigs, most of which he’s accepted with the same equanimity of spirit. In other words he’s been just as satisfied playing a featured role with punk band the Damned and other rockers as improvising with fellow reed masters like Steve Lacy and Evan Parker. He has been part of oddball vocal-and-instrumental groups like The Melody Four as well as more serious endeavors like the London Improvisers Orchestra. He has appeared as a TV and film actor. Plus he’s spent days busking outdoors almost as often as he’s been featured in proper concert settings. MORE

February 1, 2002

STEVE BERESFORD/TRISTAN HONSINGER

Imitation of Life/Double Indemnity Atavistic Unheard Music
UMS/ALP 224

STEVE BERESFORD/PAT THOMAS/VERYAN WESTON
3 Pianos
EMANEM 4064

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