Series 2013



Tuesday 23 April – HARE AND HOUNDS

8PM – 11.30PM

Tickets:  £5 Advance, more on the door.

We are very excited to have the opportunity to be hosting the Birmingham leg of the first ever UK tour of Mopomoso.

MOPOMOSO stands for MOdernismPOstMOdernism SO what? and was founded in 1991 by guitarist John Russell and pianist, trumpeter and composer Chris Burn to promote improvised music and its relationship to other forms of contemporary music making. Mopomoso has since then presented hundreds of concerts, special events and workshops.

About this tour, John Russell says:

“In its monthly series, which takes place at The Vortex – ‘London’s listening jazz club’, Mopomoso offers audiences the chance to hear some of the best music around, in an intimate and friendly setting. Programmed by myself, and now in its 21st year, this tour will recreate some of that ambience with a varied programme of contrasting approaches to free improvisation. By its very nature no two concerts will be the same and we can safely guarantee you won’t have heard anything like this before!”

Kay Grant (voice) / Alex Ward (clarinet) duo 

Kay Grant started in the downtown New York scene but crossed the Atlantic, while clarinetist Alex Ward started improvising with Derek Bailey. Both are now longstanding and vital members of the London scene, having played with a veritable Who’s Who of the world’s improvisers, and bring their mutual experience in multiple musical styles to the table. Furious, humorous and sonorous all at once, it’s a dynamic duo that has been evolving for over five years. Their CD Fast Talk … Being a
 Collection of Live Musical Conversations Recorded on Several Auspicious Occasions (Emanem) has received rave reviews and was listed in The Wire’s 2012 Rewind Jazz and Improv top chart.

“Even as two very distinct voices, clarinet and vocals still intertwine, circling and mirroring
each other to stunning effect.” — John Eyles, All About Jazz.

The voice of Kay Grant and clarinet of Alex Ward run playful circles around each other’s 
ideas, constantly inspiring the other to new heights. In fact it can’t get much more fun than
 this.” — Joe Higham, Free Jazz

“Both musicians explore irony by twisting form into impossible musical shapes… always 
emerging with spectacular wit and the choicest of musical wisdom.” – Raul D’Gama Rose, All About Jazz

Alison Blunt trio – Alison Blunt (violin) / David Leahy (bass) / Benedict Taylor (viola)

All established artists in the experimental new music scene and members of the London Improvisers Orchestra, Alison Blunt, Benedict Taylor and David Leahy have played together in various combinations for many years and as a trio since 2010. Sharing a passion for string orientated improvising they initiated an explorative ensemble in 2012 with Chicago based artist Renee Baker. Called Burning Wood, a compilation of recordings ranging from trio to sextet configurations will be released later this year. Also this year they begin several higher education projects in institutions including Goldsmiths, University of London and the Royal College of Music where they will give seminar/workshops and work with composition students to explore improvised music and the relationship between improvisation and composition.

Pat Thomas (piano / electronics) solo

Pat Thomas studied classical piano from the age of 8 and started playing Jazz from the age of 16. He has since gone on to develop an utterly unique style – embracing improvisation, jazz and new
music. He has played with Derek Bailey in Company Week (1990/91), AND (with Bailey and percussionist Steve Noble), The Tony Oxley Quartet, The Celebration Orchestra and in Duo with Lol Coxhill as well as numerous other collaborations both in the UK and abroad.

“Pat Thomas sits in the front rank of British improvisers. In the early 1990s he participated
 in Derek Bailey’s Company Week, though he might be best known for his work with Tony Oxley, Lol Coxhill and Steve Beresford or his quartet Scatter with Phil Minton, Roger Turner and Dave Tucker.” James Linbloom Opprobrium

“Sartorially shabby as Thomas may be, and on first impression even rather stolid, he has a
somewhat imperious charisma that ís immediately amplified when he starts to play. Unlike
other pianists whose virtuosity seems to be racing ahead of their thought processes Thomas always seems supremely in command of his gift, and his playing, no matter how free and ready to tangle with abstraction, always carries a charge of authoritative exactitude.” The Jazzmann

House Full of Floors – Evan Parker (saxophones) John Edwards (bass) John Russell (guitar)

A world class saxophonist and innovator Evan Parker has been, and continues to be, a highly regarded and pivotal figure in the world of free improvisation. House Full of Floors sees him in the 
company of two equally skilled players, guitarist Russell and bassist Edwards, playing a fast moving,
constantly evolving music full of surprises. A trio that has been described as, ‘knotty, subtle and deeply intuitive’, ‘engaging, vital and dynamic’, 
Evan himself has said that playing in the group is, ‘like three people on a tight rope each holding a safety net for the others’.

“Each man is a master of unconventional instrumental language; collectively, they are fluent beyond eloquence.” Bill Meyer, Dusted.

“Their approach to music making and improvisation is openly conversant and comfortably natural and their lack of pretension an admirable characteristic.” Mark Corroto, All About Jazz