Sunday, 27 November 2011

December 2011

Some new things starting up:

In September Olie Brice and I went into a local studio in Walthamstow to record some duo miniatures, not with any particular intention as far as outcomes go, but there was some good music played. Since doing that the duo has grown (as these things do) so we'll most likely do a couple of gigs, record another day and release the results in the near futures. Here's one (unmixed) track:

In October I had the chance to play with laptop-ist Federico Reuben along with Javier Carmona, who was visiting from Spain, on drums, for a show hosted by the inimitable Adam de la Cour and Neil Luck of artist collective Squib-Box notoriety.. and was a lot of fun. I reckon we'll do it again soon, hopefully in a Mediterranean climate. The second piece is below:

In November Twelves picked up again with a gig at our usual LJF venue the Green Note (where we played our usual set), and a guitar-less trio show at The Oxford (Rob was away), which gave us a chance to play in some new compositions, some written by Riaan for the next Twelves record, and some by me (yes I still knock out a tune once in a while) for a new trio recording in the new year with just myself, Riaan and Tim. It'll take a little while to emerge as there's going to be a load of other stuff multi-tracked on top afterwards, but in the meantime here's a tune called Post-Mix (which will be on the new trio CD) from the Oxford gig:

It's also been a season of hooking up with some folks I hadn't had the chance to play with before - including regular blows with Jim Dvorak and Jim LeBaigue (both members of the legendary Dreamtime with Keith Tippett), Otto Fischer, and Steve Noble; it was really great to reconnect with some old friends from Birmingham days who I hadn't played with in several years, Miles Levin (who stepped in for Mark at the last minute on a Vortex gig, see Videos page) and Mike Fletcher; and with Stephane Payen, who I hadn't played with since the Outhouse days - we'll be playing a duo set at the NLT in Kilburn in early Jan.. also in Jan there's a gig in Birmingham with Tony Bianco's new group, which reminds me I should take a look at those charts..

As far as this blog goes I am intending to consolidate all of this stuff into a 'proper' website at some point, but in the meantime I've added a new videos page for things that crop up on the internet, and a fair amount of live recordings old and new to the Live Bootlegs page, enjoy.!

Saturday, 13 August 2011

'DosadoS' Release/Other News

DosadoS, a CD I made with drummer Javier Carmona, will finally be released on January 8th on the Babel Label. You can already buy copies through me (email address on right) or download through Babel's new Bandcamp page, or the new Loop website.

It's already had some nice pre-release reviews and airplay (more of that sort of stuff on the Hanslip/Carmona Duo page). It's been interesting to see some of the more jazz-oriented journalists (the record is all improvised bar one tune, and often goes pretty far left of the free-jazz that you might expect) write in some detail about it and give it a proper listen, as well as hearing the opinions of some of the more specialised critics. I like the idea of musicians and writers being in a kind of reciprocal relationship and reading some reviews of the duo CD and the recent Twelves record gave me some new listening to do.. Lou Gare and Eddie Prevost came up a few times in Dosados reviews, while Twelves were likened to Last Exit, Power Tools-era Frisell and Prime Time Ornette, so I geeked out and stocked up on some new shiz./

Gig-wise, Javier's relocation to Barcelona has presented an obstacle to our duo's continuation, but we are starting to plan for 2012, which may well include a recording/gigs in a trio with Federico Reuben on laptop, who we did a Resonance FM broadcast with in October. Recordings from that session are on the Live Bootlegs page.

Anyway, here's a track from DosadoS in the meantime:

Other news-wise, the trio with Mark Sanders on drums and Mike Hurley on piano is cooking very nicely indeed, and will be playing at the Vortex on September 20th, at The Oxford on October 17th, and as part of a Loop Collective night for the London Jazz Festival/Greenwich Alternative on November 14th.

Jonathan Bratoeff's W.O.M.F. project with Marcina Arnold went into the studio in June, coincidentally on the hottest couple of days of the year (the live room at Antonio's was about sauna temperature for two days), the results of which are being mixed at the moment and will surface fairly soon.

The vinyl/download-only release of 'Things Will Be' by Examples of Twelves has been getting some nice reviews. It was a fun session.

Drummer Tony Bianco's new project is rehearsing at the moment. Playing with Tony pushes me hard, but it's hugely freeing and enjoyable at the same time. Also I feel his compositions fit well with my improvising language, in a kind of pan-tonal, Slonimsky-ish kind of area.

For 2012:
(and speaking of being pushed) I'm very excited about playing a duo concert or two with amazing altoist Stephane Payen, in early January, first confirmed date being January 8th @ the North London Tavern, Kilburn. He and I played together in private sessions and on a gig in Paris a few years ago, both with the group Outhouse, and I felt we had a good connection then, so it's nice to have the chance to play with him again all this time later, and this time in duo..! Between now and then, I shall be practicing, lots..

I'm also starting to look for dates for a new trio with Dominic Lash on bass and Phillip Marks on drums - we haven't actually played as a trio yet, but Dom and Phil have played plenty together (they're on a recent Tony Bevan CD in a quartet with Paul Obermayer on laptop), Phil and I played a duo set (for the first time) at a Frakture night in Liverpool in March of this year, some of which you can hear below, and, after some bouncing around of emails to unanimous and mutual enthusiasm, we decided to give it a bosh. Dominic is spending most of 2011 in New York (playing with trumpeter Nate Wooley among other such notables.. will be interesting to see what he brings back with him!), so the first dates won't be before early 2012. Phillip is one of my favourite drummers around today. He has an amazing trio called Bark! which you should hear.

A Strange Week

For a lot of jazz-involved musicians in England, the weekend brought the news of Richard Turner's passing. Richard achieved an amazing amount in his time in London, pulling off the near-impossible feat of successfully running a regular jazz night (Jazz @ The Con Cellar Bar) for several years (as we all know, many much wealthier and time-rich individuals and even groups of promoters have struggled in this endeavour) and simultaneously enjoying a growing career as a trumpet player. He was responsible for bringing sought-after musicians over from the US, and was unafraid to take risks in his programming. Rich gave me an early shot at leading a group (I think I played the first ever jazz night at the Con with a straightahead-ish quartet) and later on gave me chances to play with fully improvised groups, despite this not being what the Con was generally thought of as being a place for. But bigger than that, the Con nights took on a life of their own, and became a home for his generation of players. He was too young, 26 I think. RiP. :(

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Compilations Month! and other News, and a bit of press

Javier and I are chuffed that a 4 minute edit of a track from our almost-released duo CD is featured on The Wire Tapper 25, a compilation CD of 20 tracks which comes with the April edition of the Wire Magazine.

A longer version of the same track also appears on a sampler CD of various artists from the Babel Label, free with the April edition of Jazzwise, and is also featured on a new compilation CD of artists from the Loop Collective, presented at the annual festival, this year at The Forge venue in Camden.

SPEAKING OF WHICH.... Javier suffered a hernia (ow), which means firstly that he's in some discomfort and needs an operation, but also that we didn't play any gigs yet this year, including what should have been the official CD launch at the Loop Festival at the Forge.

Very luckily, a fantastic trio I've been working with lately, with Mike Hurley on piano and Mark Sanders on drums, stepped in to fill the slot on March 19th, as well as the Birmingham gig on March 15th. While its a relatively new project, all the gigs have been pretty happening and there's some really interesting music starting to develop between us, so it was a treat to be able to play twice in one week with this group.

Also luckily, Philip Marks, a great Manchester-based drummer/percussionist who I'd heard once down here in duo with Mick Beck, and knew of through our mutual friend Olie Brice, was able to come and play in duo (much to my mother's delight, as it turned out), as well as in a quintet with some local improvisers, at the Frakture event up in Liverpool. I really enjoyed playing with Phil for the first time and I hope we get to play together again in some way soon. Interesting last set too, in an ensemble with lots of electronics, not something I get to do very often. There's now some audio of the evening up on the Private Recordings page on this site, link at the top.

Anyway this might cheer Javier up - John Fordham had this to say about our CD in last friday's Guardian:

Hanslip's partnership with percussionist Javier Carmona has all the hallmarks of a spontaneous free-jazz and improv encounter – scurrying sax phrases accompanied by light, pattering figures; long multiphonic outbreaths against softly ringing noises; water-over-rocks cymbal patterns; guttural sax blasts driven by racing free-swing or suddenly stopped short. But the erudition and resourcefulness of both players gives this ostensibly austere session a rare eventfulness. Hanslip understands boppish improvising inside out, and his rounded sound and dense, accumulating lines suggest the 50s Cool School sax master Warne Marsh – but in more impressionistic mode. Carmona is a subtle and very propulsive drummer who sometimes canters alongside Hanslip, sometimes spurs and sometimes trails him. It's the kind of music that could even make free-improv's sworn enemies say, "OK, now I get it."

There have also been some nice reviews for the new Twelves CD 'The Adding Machine', including a 5-star review in June's BBC Music Magazine, and a 4-star feature in March's Jazzwise (both of which, unbelievably, insist on people paying for in order to read them..). But there are some online ones too:

I'm off to do some practice now.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Artwork previews

2 new CDs on the way, both due out in March on Babel Records, Twelves artwork by Jeb Loy Nichols, DosadoS by Kamil Korolczuk.

You can hear a track from each further down under the entry "Recent Live Recordings + Album Previews"

Monday, 17 January 2011

Some Gigs Coming Up


Jonathan Bratoeff Quartet feat. Marcina Arnold

@ The Shaftesbury, Finsbury Park, 16/06/11 (without Karl + James)

@ Mau Mau, Portobello W11 1LR, 16/06/11

@ Charlie Wright's Bar, Hoxton N1 6DA, 23/06/11

Recording @ Fishmarket Studios, Harlesden, 27 + 28/06/11

@ Ritzy Cinema Cafe, Brixton SW2 1JG, 07/07/11

Jonathan Bratoeff - guitar/compositions
Marcina Arnold - vocals
Mark Hanslip - tenor saxophone
Karl Rashid-Abel - bass
James Maddren - drums

First outings for Jonathan's new batch of compositions - settings of his Dad's poetry featuring great singer Marcina


Twelves CD Launch gig + radio broadcast
(with Rob Updegraff - guitar, Riaan Vosloo - bass/compositions, Tim Giles - drums)
In celebration of the release of "The Adding Machine" out on the Babel Label on March 7th

Live broadcast for Resonance 104.4FM, 02/06/11

@ The Rainbow, Digbeth, Birmingham, 29/06/11


Olie Brice New Quartet

@ The Oxford, Kentish Town NW5 2AA, 06/06/11

@ Vortex Jazz Bar, 11/10/11

Olie Brice - double bass/compositions
Mark Hanslip - tenor saxophone
Leon Michener - piano
Jeff Williams - drums


More TBA soon!