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Alex Ward

Alex Ward was born in 1974. He is a composer, improviser, and performing musician. His primary instruments are clarinet and guitar, and he has also performed in public and on recordings on alto sax, piano/keyboards, bass guitar, and as a vocalist. He was based in Oxford from 1992-2000, and since then has lived in London. His involvement in freely improvised music dates back to 1986, when he met the guitarist Derek Bailey. As an improviser, he was initially principally a clarinettist (sometimes also playing alto sax), but since 2000 he has also been active as an improvising guitarist. Both as a clarinettist and guitarist, his longest-standing collaborations in the field of improvised music have been with the drummer Steve Noble. From 1993 to 2001, most of his activity as a composer took place in collaboration with Benjamin Hervé, mainly in the context of the rock band Camp Blackfoot

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Evan Parker and Paul G. Smyth on Weekertoft

Read "Evan Parker and Paul G. Smyth on Weekertoft" reviewed by John Eyles

In 2016, English guitarist John Russell and Irish pianist Paul G. Smyth set up the independent Weekertoft label to release music they had been involved in, including recordings made at Russell's longstanding monthly Mopomoso concert series or annual Fete Quaqua festival. As the label reached its third anniversary, its catalogue was dominated by two large sets--the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Ward Item 10: Volition (Live at Café Oto)

Read "Volition (Live at Café Oto)" reviewed by John Eyles

Although he was already a member of a lengthy list of ensembles, led by himself or others, when composer, improviser, clarinetist and guitarist Alex Ward put together his Item 10 band he had new ideas in mind; the ten musicians would be a pool from which ensembles of various sizes could be drawn for different musical ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Iluso Records: DIY from two dreamers

Read "Iluso Records: DIY from two dreamers" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Australian drummer Michael Caratti and Spanish-born New York-based guitarist Álvaro Domene founded the record label Iluso in 2013 to release their quartet recording Gran Masa. The pair found they shared similar interests while in school at Middlesex University in London. And why not put out their own music? That way they could control the content and ...

ARTICLE: MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Duck Baker, un chitarrista tra passato e presente

Read "Duck Baker, un chitarrista tra passato e presente" reviewed by Mario Calvitti

Duck Baker è un chitarrista abbastanza difficile da inquadrare; mentre la tecnica che usa è rigorosamente fingerstyle, la musica che compone e interpreta spazia lungo tutta la storia del jazz, dai vecchi standard al modale, dal blues al bebop, dallo swing al free. I suoi interessi si estendono inoltre a tutta la American Music, che interpreta ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Andrew Lisle Alex Ward: Doors

Read "Doors" reviewed by John Eyles

The pairing of clarinetist-guitarist Alex Ward and drummer Andrew Lisle dates back at least to 2014 when the pair recorded the album Red Kite (Raw Tonk, 2014) in a trio with saxophonist Colin Webster. As Ward is kept busy as a member of quite a few other groupings of various sizes, it is no surprise that ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dominic Lash: Extremophile

Read "Extremophile" reviewed by John Sharpe

According to Wikipedia, an extremophile is an organism that thrives in physically or geochemically extreme conditions that are detrimental to most life on Earth. By titling the second disc from his Quartet in this way you can't help but think that bassist Dominic Lash is drawing an analogy with the place of the improviser in the ...

Derek Bailey

Read "Derek Bailey" reviewed by John Eyles

Guitarist Derek Bailey was one of the more prominent and influential musicians from the “first generation of free improvisation" that developed in London in the mid-sixties and gradually promoted the music around the world. Although several members of that generation were leaders, Bailey often seemed the de facto leader of the group. Partly, this was a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Dominic Lash Quartet: Extremophile

Read "Extremophile" reviewed by John Eyles

Back in 2012, the Dominic Lash Quartet combined bassist Lash and three players with whom he had at least five years playing experience, keyboardist Alexander Hawkins plus Spain's Ricardo Tejero on reeds and Javier Carmona on percussion. By the time the four recorded an album, Opabinia (Babel), in January 2013, they had gelled nicely.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Forebrace: Steeped

Read "Steeped" reviewed by John Eyles

Steeped is the second album release from Forebrace, the welcome follow-up to Bad Folds (Copecod, 2013). For those who delighted in that album, the good news is that the quartet's line-up remains unchanged, and the balance between composed and improvised music is as before--composed pieces credited to Forebrace's leader and clarinetist, Alex Ward, alternating with improvisations ...


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