In October 2018 I had the pleasure of playing at both Herts and Marsden jazz festivals, and now both gigs are being broadcast in consecutive weeks, on the BBC’s contemporary jazz programme ‘Jazz Now’.
The Herts gig was with a pretty extraordinary line-up, Paul Dunmall’s Sunship Quartet (also including Howard Cottle and Tony Bianco) plus special guest Alan Skidmore. Dun and Skid are both real legends of British jazz and it’s been a great privilege to be involved in their reunion. The Sunship Quartet first played with Skidmore guesting at Cafe Oto back in July, and the recording of that will be released in the new year on Confront Recordings – preorder here: http://www.confrontrecordings.com/john-coltrane-memorial-at-cafe-oto
The broadcast of the Sunship Quartet gig can be heard here, for the next 26 days – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0001n90
The Marsden gig is with another band I’m very proud to be part of, Dee Byrne’s Entropi. Our show will be broadcast on Xmas eve, and then be available to hear online for a month – the link above should also take you there… Marsden Jazz is a great festival, a lovely combination of being very community focused but still having an adventurous booking policy – go along next year!
I’ve recently started working in a duo with the incredible Trevor Watts. Trevor was a key figure right at the very beginning of free improv, when he started playing with John Stevens and Paul Rutherford when they were all in the airforce in the late 50s. Since then he’s continually been making creative music at the highest level, as a member of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble and London Jazz Composers Orchestra , leader of groups including Amalgam and Moiré Music and in collaboration with the likes of Bobby Bradford, Derek Bailey, Don Cherry, Steve Lacy and Veryan Weston. It’s been an honour and a pleasure to work with him and count him as a friend.
We started working as a duo in 2018, and have collaborated with butoh dancer Yumino Seki, as well as appearing at the Jazz in the Round Emergence Festival. We are available for duo concerts and will be touring more in 2019 – please get in touch if interested
Here’s a couple pieces we recorded in November 2018 –
Now available for pre-ordering – one of my longest-standing musical relationships, a duo with the wonderful saxophonist Rachel Musson . Released on May 4th, but you can hear a track, pre-order the cassette (!) or download it now…
available here – https://weekertoft.bandcamp.com/album/tapering-arms-point-into-the-wind
We had a lot of fun playing a couple of UK gigs recently with this new line-up. Planning more for the autumn – keep an eye out…
I’m delighted to announce the release of a duo album with one of the greatest improvising bassists in the world, John Edwards. The album is a live recording, called ‘At Iklectik’ and released by Confront.
Here’s what I wrote for the record label’s site –
“The very first improv gig I did on double bass was opening for the Sunny Murray trio with John Edwards and Tony Bevan at the Green Room in Manchester. I was already a huge fan of John’s playing, and had heard him live several times, most memorably in trio with Peter Brotzmann and Mark Sanders in Leeds. I was massively impressed by his huge sound, his inventiveness, his energy and the sheer force of propulsion that he always brings to playing situations. As one can imagine, as a brand new bassist I was pretty nervous about playing before him. John was incredibly generous, kind and supportive, talking to me at length about music and the double bass. Through the years he has certainly been the bassist I’ve heard live the most frequently, and a constant source of inspiration, friendly advice and support – although there was a period when I felt I should avoid going to hear him for a while, not wanting his influence to be too all-pervasive!
When Tom Ward invited me to do a duo set with another string player as an opening set for his fantastic saxophone quartet, it seemed a perfect opportunity to play duo with John for the first time. The set was as much fun as I had hoped, and the results are what you are about to hear…”
You can buy the album from Confront’s website here, or John and I should both have copies for sale at gigs soon…
Two gigs in already, I should have posted this a week ago! Great fun so far…
Album launch on Friday 29th September at Kings Place, London
Here’s an interview I did recently with Jazzwise magazine
I’ve been sharing some (mostly) solo videos on social media, plus a duo with Alex Bonney. Thought I’d gather all 4 of them in one place, here –
Had a great time recently playing the tunes from Sunship with the Paul Dunmall Quartet (with Howard Cottle and Tony Bianco) plus special guest Alan Skidmore. Getting to play with Dunmall fairly regularly is such a joy and privilege, one of my favourite things that I do…
Anway, the three Quartet tunes were filmed and put on youtube, not sure if the Skidmore ones will follow or not. Here’s the first tune, which should link to the others:
The first few reviews are in for ‘Day After Day’, and they’re pretty gratifying…
Richard Williams had this to say on his blog, The Blue Moment:
“Olie Brice Quintet: Day After Day (Babel). I love this band, led by a brilliant bassist and completed by Alex Bonney (cornet), Mike Fletcher (alto), George Crowley (tenor) and Jeff Williams (drums). What it has is the loose-limbed fluidity I associate with the New York Contemporary Five, the band that included Don Cherry, John Tchicai and Archie Shepp, with just a hint of Albert Ayler’s Bells ensemble. But it’s not derivative. It’s a continuation, and a worthwhile one. Brice’s own playing is exceptionally strong (he can make me think of Wilbur Ware, Henry Grimes and Jimmy Garrison), his compositions provide the perfect platform for the horns, and Williams swings at medium tempo with such easy grace that you could think you were listening to Billy Higgins”
London Jazz News said “There’s nothing formulaic here, just an open, responsive approach that speaks to many different strands of improvising tradition, old and new, and makes them personal” in this review – http://www.londonjazznews.com/2017/07/cd-review-olie-brice-quintet-day-after.html
and a 4 star review on All About Jazz can be found here: https://www.allaboutjazz.com/day-after-day-olie-brice-babel-label-review-by-john-eyles.php
Hopefully more to follow!