Reviews that mention Will Guthrie

February 11, 2018

Atlantique Jazz Festival 14

Brest, France October 10 to October 14, 2017
By Ken Waxman

Did the first Black American music heard in France arrive with the African-American troops of the American Expeditionary Force, who landed in the port city of Brest in 1917?

This thesis is the basis of Nicolas Nogue’s film Quand le jazz débarque/Sammies in Brest, which was shown to a sold-out house at the mammoth Le Quartz theatre on October 12 as part of Brest’s 14th annual Atlantique Jazz Festival (AJF). While a syncopated score by pianist Christofer Bjurström mixed with appropriately descriptive noises from Vincent Raude’s electronics accentuated the silent archival newsreels, the few shots of soldiers singing or dancing didn’t make much of a case for jazz’s dissemination in France. More credible Yank-Gallic jazz admixtures were live festival performances by several American musicians who exhibited a profound rapprochement with their French counterparts. MORE

September 5, 2017

Météo Mulhouse Music Festival

August 22 to August 26, 2017

A consistent French tradition like chewy baguettes, fine Camembert or Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Mulhouse, France’s Météo Festival, now in its 35th year, continues to present exemplary musicians in concert, without the program ever becoming homogeneous. What this means is that while the festival which took place August 22-August 26, was introduced and reached a climax with absorbing and innovative with sets by veteran Imptov saxophonists Evan Parker and Peter Brötzmann, performances which encompassed minimalism, hard-core Free Jazz, electronics, Rock, notated and folkloric music were part of the schedule. MORE

July 26, 2012

Will Guthrie

Sticks, Stones & Breaking Bones
AntBoy Music AM 11 GRO 32

Zlatko Kaučič


Leo Records CD LR 604

With the auditory after-effects of bombastic solos still throbbing following many drum displays, the idea of solo percussion showcases may be a hard sell among even the most open-minded. Moving into the realm of non-rhythmically-based, improvised music, as these inventive percussion architects have done here though, trades mere drum beating for expressive textural and timbral colors. Additionally with different contexts for boundless drumming showcased, the results are as variable as they would be for any solo instrumental display. MORE

May 21, 2012

The Ames Room

Bird Dies
Clean Feed: CF 231 CD

Ivo Perelman/Joe Morris/Gerald Cleaver

Family Ties

Leo Records CD LR 630

Free Jazz has no geography or language as these two CDs of outstanding trio improvisation prove. Seemingly any musician(s) from anywhere can organize an exceptional session just as long as the spirit is there. But that’s the key caveat. For unless the performance includes an indefinable helping of inspiration and cooperation, the results is endless blowing.

The younger group of players who make up the Ames Group understand this and, perhaps pointedly don’t make free expression their only methods of expression. Paris-based alto saxophonist Jean-Luc Guionnet for instance, is not only is involved with electro-acoustic compositions and pieces for organ but he’s one-fifth of Hubbub, France’s most recognizable reductionist band. Confirming the geographic separation, The Ames Room’s other members are Australians who have expatriated to different parts of Europe. Nantes, France-based Will Guthrie, is a percussionist who moves between Rock, Electronica and experimental solo expression; Berlin resident, bassist Clayton Thomas is as likely be found as part of an experimental duo as a big band playing complex arrangements. MORE

October 10, 2011

Festival Report:

Météo Music Festival August 23 to August 27 2011
By Ken Waxman

Météo means weather in French, and one notable aspect of this year’s Météo Music Festival which takes place in Mulhouse, France, was the weather. It’s a testament to the high quality of the creative music there that audiences throughout the five days were without exception quiet and attentive despite temperatures in non air-conditioned concert spaces that hovered around the high 90sF. More dramatically, one afternoon a sudden freak thunderstorm created an unexpected crescendo to a hushed, spatial performance, by the Greek-Welsh Cranc trio of cellist Nikos Veliotis, harpist Rhodri Davies and violinist Angharad Davies, when winds violently blew ajar the immense wooden front door of Friche DMC, a former thread factory, causing glass to shatter and fall nosily. MORE

September 14, 2004


Building Blocks
Antboy Music

Percussion Music

Berlin drums

By Ken Waxman

September 14, 2004

Antipodean and Northern European drummers are the focus of these essays in solo percussion. But the sociology of why these particular stick men should choose to go it alone is not part of this study. What is generic is how similarly -- and how differently -- six improvisers choose to pursue a solo course.

If there’s one process in common, it’s that all add a physical codicil to their regular kit. Thus, whether they say so or not, it appears as if some sort of electronic interface meets the trap set. Most open about it are Amsterdam-based, Melbourne-born Steve Heather -- featured on Berlin Drums -- and Norwegian Ingar Zach. Heather, who often works with keyboardist Cor Fuhler and reedist Jorrit Dijkstra, uses a sampler as well as found percussive objects, while Zach -- who plays with everyone from Swiss violinist Charlotte Hug to British guitarist Derek Bailey -- extends his drums and percussion with gongs, motors and a zither. MORE

July 19, 2004


Antboy Music 03

Red v Green
Unsounds 08U

Although Australian percussionist Will Guthrie is the centre of these and other releases on the Antboy label, like all truly engaged in rhythm men, he meshes his sound with the others for a complete aural picture. Someone who performs on homemade and found instruments as well as a regular traps set, he’s interested in developing an original Australian improvised music identity. But that hasn’t stopped him from playing with overseas improvisers like British reedist John Butcher as well as locals like flautist Jim Denley. Both his associates have a rock background, with guitarist Adam Sussman splitting his time between free rock and sine wave collaborations. Electronics manipulator Matthew Earle, works regularly with Sussman and has played in Japan with Onkyo musicians. MORE