Reviews that mention Olie Brice

July 28, 2021


West Hill Records WHR 002

Paul Dunmall/Matthew Shipp/Joe Morris/Gerald Cleaver

The Bright Awakening

RogueArt ROG-0103

Almost eight years separate these two live quartet sessions featuring British tenor saxophonist Paul Dunmall, but the high level of in-the-moment improvisation is almost identical. Other than intensity, there’s little overlap between the two discs. The Bright Awakening was recorded during 2012’s Vision Festival and features Dunmall who has partnered with many UK sound explorers embedded among American practitioners with the same experience: pianist Matthew Shipp, bassist Joe Morris and drummer Gerald Cleaver. Flash forward to Café Oto in 2020 and the saxophonist plays with London-based associates of the same ilk: trumpeter Percy Pursglove bassist Olie Brice and drummer Jeff Williams. The American program is a single creation, while the slightly longer London one is divided in two. MORE

February 21, 2021


Unnavigable Tributaries
Multikulti Project SMT 019

Gato Libre


Libra Records 103-60

Trumpet-focused trios which are as dissimilar as Japan is to Europe, what Unnavigable Tributaries and Koneko have in is common how each produces enough timbral and melodic designs for full musical programs in spite of limited instrumentation. Portuguese trumpeter Luís Vicente, who in part of bands with the likes of Onno Govaert works with bassist Ollie Brice and Mark Sanders from the UK, who together have been the rhythmic component of many FreeMusic groups. The connection is even closer on the other disc, since trumpeter Natsuki Tamura and Satoko Fujii, here playing accordion, are husband-and-wife. This iteration of Gato Libre has been together since 2012, with the third member trombonist Yasuko Kaneko, also part of Fuji’s many big bands. 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

September 13, 2017

Paul Dunmall Brass Project

Maha Samadhi
SLAM 2105

When discussing the many serious films – not sequels or knock-off copies – whose concept, setting or plot resembles classics from earlier decades, the perception should be how well the ensuing auteur handles the material. So it is with this suite created by Paul Dunmall. A rare foray into composition by the protean tenor saxophonist, the starting point for this single reed-and-brass-choir enterprise is John Coltrane Africa Brass LP of 1961.

An unabashed Trane follower, which several CD salutes to the revered saxophonist to his credit, Dunmall’s take on Brass Project is more like Quentin Tarantino’s recasting of action films than Brian DePalma’s Hitchcock-lite emulations. Consider the spiritual antecedents. Before the saxophone became known for his work with the Mujician quartet, Dunmall lived in an ashram for a time, playing in the One Love sect’s Divine Light Mission band, even once with Alice Coltrane. The libretto for Maha Samadhi though equally mystical, is closer to Coltrane’s late-life spiritual pursuits than Africa Brass’s secular swing. It’s based on the life of Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886). Another important difference is while a variety of brass players participated in the many sessions for Africa Brass, this CD’s seven tracks feature the core band of trumpeters Percy Pursglove, Aaron Diaz and Alex Astbury, trombonists Dave Sear and Josh Tagg, and tubaists Josh Palmer and Jo Sweet, augmented by Dunmall, bassist Olie Brice and drummer Tony Bianco. MORE

January 17, 2017

Paul Dunmall Quartet

Underground Underground
SLAM 2101

History, even history of the arts, assigns the most space to any area’s best-known practitioners. Others are almost ignored, even if some of their work is on the same level or even surpasses that of their preeminent colleagues. Improvised music is no exception. Which is a long-winded way of asking why isn’t tenor saxophonist Howard Cottle better known? Equivalent to visual artists who labored in the shadows of Picasso, Dali and others, but who produced work that measured favorably with theirs, Cottle goes mano a mano with tenor saxophonist Paul Dunmall and doesn’t suffer in comparison. MORE

March 20, 2013

Mikolaj Trzaska/Olie Brice/Mark Sanders

Riverloam Trio
No Business Records NBLP 52/NBLP 53

Joe Hertenstein/Achim Tang/Jon Irabagon

Future Drone

Jazzwerkstatt JW 126

With experimenters such as Sonny Rollins, Peter Brötzmann and Ornette Coleman having pioneered the reed/bass/drum trio as a paramount improvisatory vehicle nearly a half century ago, mercurial efforts like these are almost expected in terms of Free Jazz elaboration. Yet such is the malleability of the process that each of these trans-nationalist efforts defines its strategy differently. MORE

November 21, 2012

Ingrid Laubrock/Javier Carmona/Olie Brice

Babel BDV 12103

Tom Rainey Trio

Camino Cielo Echo

Intakt CD 198

Well-travelled, Münster-born saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock is now a Brooklyn resident, but spends time in London, where she was based for two decades, to maintain involvement in bands on both sides of the Atlantic. Recorded six months apart with closely allied personnel, these CDs demonstrate her trans-oceanic skills.

A live date from London’s Vortex club, Catatumbo matches Laubrock with two high-class improvisers with plenty of other axes in the fire. Madrid-born percussionist Javier Carmona spent seven years in London before settling in Barcelona. Besides membership in the London Improvisers Orchestra, he was in a duo with tenor saxophonist Mark Hanslip. UK-native, bassist Olie Brice’s affiliations include a duo with veteran flautist Neil Metcalfe and a band with Hanslip. Meanwhile in a Brooklyn studio, Camino Cielo Echo unites the saxophonist with her husband, drummer Tom Rainey, a Santa Barbara-native now one of New York’s busiest percussionists, who is also part of a Laubrock trio with British pianist Liam Noble. String strength comes from Boston-born guitarist Mary Halvorson, who works with everyone from drummer Weasel Walter to trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum. MORE

November 10, 2011

Neil Metcalfe & Olie Brice

FMR CD 301-1210



Schraum 12

Pairing of a double bass and another instrument for improvised duets isn’t unusual in the anything-goes climate that characterizes contemporary sounds. What’s more relevant about duos such as these, is how distinctive complementary textures become. On these CDs for instance, the interaction is palpable, whether the second partner plays an instrument that is often affiliated with the other, like Viennese cellist Johannes Tröndle and Berlin bassist Axel Haller demonstrate on Favoriten; or the two make their points precisely because of a usual pairing, as Londoners, bassist Olie Brice and flautist Neil Metcalfe do on Brackish. MORE