Reviews that mention Mark Wastell

August 17, 2020

Virtual Company

Virtual Company
Confront core series/core 12

A gimmick that transcends its gimmickry, Virtual Company is a purposeful matching of live and pre-recorded sounds from living and dead musicians to sophisticatedly create a never to be repeated concert. Unlike other discs which grafted a modern rhythm section onto Charlie Parker solos or used technology to forge a duet between Natalie and Nat King Cole, bassist Simon H. Fell used random algorithms to organize a live session featuring the on-the-spot improvising of himself and cellist Mark Wastell with fragments taken from solos by guitarist Derek Bailey (1930-2005) and tap dancer Will Gaines (1928-2014), separated by numerous pre-recorded silences. Critically this experiment works even better as an audio session than it probably did at the London club in which it was created. For while the live audience would have noted the absence of two players all are aurally present during the over 46½ minute performance. MORE

May 25, 2020

Max Eastley/Fergus Kelley/Mark Wastell

The Map is not the Territory
Confront core series core 08

There’s a feeling engendered while listening to the eight tracks which make up The Map is not the Territory that the item on hand is an art object not a music CD. Of course music is art, but the sonority seems poised between stasis and progression rather than harmonic evolution from introduction to finale.

This shouldn’t be surprising since two of three participants usually are part of the fine arts museum and gallery scene rather than the gigging musician world. Dublin-based Fergus Kelly, who plays invented instruments, found metals and electronics here, is a sound artist and founder of a local field recordings association with his work used in soundtracks, tape/slide performances, installations and soundworks for radio, and public spaces. More oriented towards music, London’s Max Eastley, who on this disc plays an arc or electro-acoustic monochord, usually combines kinetic sculpture and sound, often from natural environment. He has collaborated though with the likes of Steve Beresford and Axel Dörner. Meanwhile Mark Wastell, who concentrates on tam tam, metal percussion and piano frame, is part of regular groups featuring full-time players such as Rhodri Davies and Graham Halliwell. MORE

April 8, 2020

Mike Cooper/Mark Wastell

Sound Mirrors
Confront core series core 10

Adapting rare strategies, two veteran British improvisers work out a set of unconventional string and percussion duets that revamp their instruments expected timbres on this notable disc. Someone who assembled a style out of acoustic folk-like references plus interaction with improvises ranging from Dave Holland to Chris Abrahams; Mike Cooper expresses himself here on lap steel guitar and electronics. Meanwhile Mark Wastell, whose cello work has been featured with the likes of Chris Burn and Rhodri Davies, instead uses tam tam, percussion and shruti box on Sound Mirrors’ six selections. MORE

July 24, 2019

Various Artists

John Coltrane 50th Memorial Concert at Café Oto
Confront Recordings Core 07

More than a half-century after his death tributes to saxophonist John Coltrane are still being produced, although the focus has gone from memorials by his contemporaries to tributes by those who have been affected by his music. So it is on this exemplary two-CD set by a group of mostly British improvisers who are fully in Trane’s orbit. On the 50th anniversary of the saxophonist’s death, they created live interpretations of two of Coltrane’s iconic, late-period works, “Sun Ship” and “Ascension”. MORE

December 15, 2011

Lasse Marhaug/Mark Wastell

Kiss of Acid
Monotype REC Mono 033

Taking full advantage of the re-compositional techniques now possible with granular synthesis and other inventive software programs, Norwegian electronics-manipulator Lasse Marhaug and British percussionist Mark Wastell combine to produce a dense sound program that while riveting, handily dispenses with acoustic properties.

Originally a cellist, Wastell’s work in the 1990s with the likes of pianist Chris Burn and harpist Rhodri Davies among others, was linked most strongly to reductionism. But before the 21st century was too old, the London-based musician began concentrating on so-called amplified textures, using preparations and particular sound sources to create unique percussion programs. Kiss of Acid’s nearly 42-minute single track, for instance, is based on an extended tam-tam or tuned gong improvisation Wastell recorded in 2004. The next year Arctic Circle-born, Oslo-based Marhaug spent nine months restructuring and recomposing the existing piece. Marhaug, who regularly works with the noise-improv band Jazkamer, is very cognizant of percussion and the allure of improvisation, playing often with drummer Paal Nilssen-Love and as part of alto saxophonist Frode Gjerstad’s Circulasione Totale Orchestra. MORE

May 27, 2010

Sealed Knot

And we disappear
Another Timbre at23

Activity Center

Lohn & Brot

Absinth Records 017

SLW

Fifteen point nine grams

Organized Music from Thessaloniki 107

Negotiating the chasm among noise, improv and notated music is Berlin-based Burkhard Beins, who over the past decade or so has solidified his identity as a sound artist as well as a percussionist. While not for the aurally squeamish – or the traditional jazzer – there are numerous exhilarating instances of timbre blending and sound collaging among this trio of discs. MORE

June 6, 2008

Evan Parker-Mark Wastell-Graham Halliwell-Max Eastley

A Life Saved By a Spider and Two Doves
Another Timbre at06

Kidd Jordan/Kali Z. Fasteau

LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland

Flying Note FNCD 9012

Scott Fields

Bitter Love Songs

Clean Feed CF 102 CD

Open Loose

Strange Unison

Radio Legs RL 013

Jason Stein

A Calculus of Loss

Clean Feed CF 104 CD

By Ken Waxman

Arguments exist as to the commercial benefits of free trade agreements. But musicians wish similar treaties existed for their trade. In the period since NFTA, for instance, the ability of performers to travel across borders has become worse. That’s what makes festival season important. Foreign performers ranging from respected veterans to savvy tyros get Canadian exposure. Recent CDs here capture older jazzers’ alchemy and suggest newer players to watch. MORE

June 6, 2008

Kidd Jordan/Kali Z. Fasteau

LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland
Flying Note FNCD 9012

Evan Parker-Mark Wastell-Graham Halliwell-Max Eastley

A Life Saved By a Spider and Two Doves

Another Timbre at06

Scott Fields

Bitter Love Songs

Clean Feed CF 102 CD

Open Loose

Strange Unison

Radio Legs RL 013

Jason Stein

A Calculus of Loss

Clean Feed CF 104 CD

By Ken Waxman

Arguments exist as to the commercial benefits of free trade agreements. But musicians wish similar treaties existed for their trade. In the period since NFTA, for instance, the ability of performers to travel across borders has become worse. That’s what makes festival season important. Foreign performers ranging from respected veterans to savvy tyros get Canadian exposure. Recent CDs here capture older jazzers’ alchemy and suggest newer players to watch. MORE

June 6, 2008

Open Loose

Strange Unison
Radio Legs RL 013

Evan Parker-Mark Wastell-Graham Halliwell-Max Eastley

A Life Saved By a Spider and Two Doves

Another Timbre at06

Kidd Jordan/Kali Z. Fasteau

LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland

Flying Note FNCD 9012

Scott Fields

Bitter Love Songs

Clean Feed CF 102 CD

Jason Stein

A Calculus of Loss

Clean Feed CF 104 CD

By Ken Waxman

Arguments exist as to the commercial benefits of free trade agreements. But musicians wish similar treaties existed for their trade. In the period since NFTA, for instance, the ability of performers to travel across borders has become worse. That’s what makes festival season important. Foreign performers ranging from respected veterans to savvy tyros get Canadian exposure. Recent CDs here capture older jazzers’ alchemy and suggest newer players to watch. MORE

June 6, 2008

Scott Fields

Bitter Love Songs
Clean Feed CF 102 CD

Evan Parker-Mark Wastell-Graham Halliwell-Max Eastley

A Life Saved By a Spider and Two Doves

Another Timbre at06

Kidd Jordan/Kali Z. Fasteau

LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland

Flying Note FNCD 9012

Open Loose

Strange Unison

Radio Legs RL 013

Jason Stein

A Calculus of Loss

Clean Feed CF 104 CD

By Ken Waxman

Arguments exist as to the commercial benefits of free trade agreements. But musicians wish similar treaties existed for their trade. In the period since NFTA, for instance, the ability of performers to travel across borders has become worse. That’s what makes festival season important. Foreign performers ranging from respected veterans to savvy tyros get Canadian exposure. Recent CDs here capture older jazzers’ alchemy and suggest newer players to watch. MORE

June 6, 2008

Jason Stein

A Calculus of Loss
Clean Feed CF 104 CD

Evan Parker-Mark Wastell-Graham Halliwell-Max Eastley

A Life Saved By a Spider and Two Doves

Another Timbre at06

Kidd Jordan/Kali Z. Fasteau

LIVE at the Kerava Jazz Festival: Finland

Flying Note FNCD 9012

Scott Fields

Bitter Love Songs

Clean Feed CF 102 CD

Open Loose

Strange Unison

Radio Legs RL 013

By Ken Waxman

Arguments exist as to the commercial benefits of free trade agreements. But musicians wish similar treaties existed for their trade. In the period since NFTA, for instance, the ability of performers to travel across borders has become worse. That’s what makes festival season important. Foreign performers ranging from respected veterans to savvy tyros get Canadian exposure. Recent CDs here capture older jazzers’ alchemy and suggest newer players to watch. MORE

August 4, 2006

Broken Consort

Done
Quakebasket 24

With consort defined as an ensemble, the musicians here have chosen a particularly apt name for their band. While the two extended middle tracks features all three improvisers, track one breaks out harpist Rhodri Davies and the final track features only trumpeter Matt Davis and cellist Mark Wastell.

Considering that each player – all British – extends his instrument’s output with electronics, preparations and amplified textures that create additional pulsations and triggered sound loops, subtracting players from the trio doesn’t necessarily result in what could commonly be termed a duo or solo performance. When all three are present and accounted for, the converse is true. Vibrational and timbral pitches heard don’t necessarily give the listener any idea of the size of the group or which instruments are being played. MORE

October 10, 2005

Sealed Knot

Unwanted Object
Confront

Davies/Hayward/Ekhardt/Capece
Amber
Creative Sources

The Cortet
HHHH
Unsounds

By Ken Waxman
October 9, 2005

Visions of formally attired symphonic types producing shimmering glissandi, or alternately of Harpo Marx manhandling the luminescent strings, remain in most folks’ minds when they think of harpists. That may be why the 47-string symphony harps or smaller 34-string Celtic harps are usually musically underrepresented except for their coloration qualities. MORE

June 6, 2005

SAKADA

Never Give Up On The Margins Of Logic
Antioptic AN006/LS002

MAGARIDA GARCIA/MATTIN
For Permitted Consumption
L’innomable 04

More dispatches from the electro-acoustic edge of the improv equation, appreciation of these two short CDs depends on your acceptance of pure textural sound unprettified with melody, structure or harmony – sound linked to the mechanism only available in the late 20th and 21st centuries.

With hiss and static counting as much as elaborated tones, one of the most mystifying products of the creation is that the five musicians involved in Sakada produce no more extended nor resonant tones than the two players featured on FOR PERMITTED CONSUMPTION. MORE

December 13, 2004

Günter/Halliwell/Wastell

First Meeting
Trente Oiseaux

MS4
Mark Wastell/Mattin
Vault
w.m.o/r

By Ken Waxman
December 13, 2004

Going beyond expected instrumental tone and textures -- and even instruments themselves -- is the focus of many younger improvisers, and these two CDs show just how far this concept can be stretched.

Connecting these two is the inventions of London’s Mark Wastell, who usually makes his mark as a cellist, but on First Meeting plays Nepalese prayer bowls, gong and amplified textures, and on Vault just the last. His partners on the former are fellow Brit Graham Halliwell on alto saxophone and feedback and German Bernhard Günter on electric cellotar, while the latter is a duo with Barcelona-based Mattin on computer feedback. MORE

April 19, 2004

MIKE HANSEN/THOMAS KRAKOWIAK

Relay
Spool Field SPF 304

KAZUSHIGE KINOSHITA/YOICHIRO SHIN
EKE
Hibari Music hmcdr-13

MARK WASTELL/TAKU UNAMI
small sounds in a quiet round
Hibari Music hmcdr-14

Textures produced with silences and non-traditional instruments are the points of congruence for these Canadian and Japanese sessions. Drawing on the timbres that arise from mixing percussion, turntables and electronics, Toronto-based Mike Hansen and Tomasz Krakowiak have come up with a CD as engaging as their earlier collaboration with British reedist John Butcher. MORE

December 8, 2003

THE SEALED KNOT

Surface/Plane
Meniscus MNSCS012

PETER KOWALD/MIYA MASAOKA/GINO ROBAIR
Illuminations (Several Views)
Rastascan BRD 049

One percussionist, one musician who plays a four-string instrument and another whose equipment is strung with many multiples of strings make up both trios featured on these improv sessions. Yet despite these points of congruence, they’re as different as hot dogs and fish-and-chips, as one featured two Americans, the others two Brits.

Actually it’s the third man -- coincidentally a German -- who probably best defines the differences. ILLUMINATIONS (SEVERAL VIEWS) features the late Peter Kowald combining his bass fiddle and basso voice with Miya Masaoka’s kotos and Gino Robair’s percussion on 16 furious, roaring take-no-prisoners sound pieces. MORE

March 17, 2003

ASSUMED POSSIBILITIES

Still point
Rossbin RS 007

AKIYAMA/NAKAMURA/SUGIMOTO/WASTELL
Foldings
Confront 12

Silence and the overtones associated with near silence are the guiding factors of these CDs, which both include British cellist Mark Wastell. With textural space on show and protracted electro-acoustic wheezes characterizing many of the abstractions here, neither of the two chamber-style quartets could be confused with conventional jazz, rock or New music ensembles. Neither sounds like the other either. All of which proves that there are as many variations of near silence as there are types of noise. MORE

January 13, 2003

IST

Ghost Notes
Bruce’s Fingers BF 28

A string trio with a difference, IST explores both notated and improvised music with a line up of cello, double bass and harp. But considering its members -- cellist Mark Wastell, harpist Rhodri Davies and bassist Simon H. Fell -- have wide experience on both sides of the divide created by music paper, there’s no disconnect when it comes to the performances or instrumentation.

It’s often said in reviews that one can’t tell where the written music ends and the improvisations begin, but that isn’t a problem with this disc. The compositions by Phil Durrant, Stace Constantinou, Gusto Pryderi Puw, Carl Bergstrøm-Nielson, Wastell and Fell are clearly labeled, as are the four improvisations. What is more noteworthy, though, is that by using extended techniques and preparations, IST pushes its acoustic string instruments to the limit to create this thought-provoking CD, its third. MORE