Nick Malcolm Quartet – tour reviews

nickolie

Had a really fun mini-tour with the Nick Malcolm Quartet this weekend – playing the Bebop Club in Bristol (with the incredible Corey Mwamba depping for Alex Hawkins), Sherbourne Jazz, The Coronation Tap in Bristol again, and then back to London, the the Oxford in Kentish Town (with Josh Arceleo guesting on tenor).  We’re playing quite a bit of new material which we’ll be recording in May, for the band’s 2nd album.

here’s a couple of reviews of the Bebop Club gig:

Tony Benjamin in This is Somerset:  “SOMETIMES even the most chin-stroking jazz audience wants to have a bit of fun.

The trick is to keep up the standards of intelligent contemporary jazz but to imbue the music with energy and a sense of humour and Saturday’s acoustic set at the Bebop Club from Nick Malcolm’s band pulled it off time and again.

The four musicians – Malcolm’s trumpet plus Corey Mwamba (vibraphone), Olie Brice (bass) and Mark Whitlam (drums) – are well-matched improvisers with an easy confidence in their abilities, while the music is mostly drawn from the band’s recently released CD of Malcolm’s tunes Glimmers plus a few of Brice’s compositions.

It was largely about group improvisation, though individuals shine out at times and occasional solos and duos emerge.

The jump-cut structure and angular melody of It’s All Right, We’re Going to the Zoo makes for a breezy opener and gave Mwamba the first opportunity to demonstrate his capacity for co-ordinated frenzy on the vibes.

Brice’s Mad Yak rolled out cool and jazzy, the players mixing and matching, flashing glances and grins between themselves.

There was a bigger picture to Views, a beautiful stream of consciousness melody revelling in Malcolm’s superb tone and technical control, while washes of held vibraphone chords and sympathetic bass created a strong sense of atmosphere, aided by Whitlam’s deft and beatless percussion.

But, slow or fast, every number had the same energising qualities that reflected the fun the band had revisiting these tunes passed on to the audience as enjoyment in the music and, ironically, a sense of just how seriously good this lot are”.

and from the Mainly Jazz in Bristol blog:

“Finally, we went down to the BeBop club on Friday to hear what Nick Malcolm is up to with his quartet. Not of lot of bebop, but lots of interesting new music, is the answer – there’s a new CD set for recording in May which will be a cracker. As on previous outings, the general approach is freebop, with solo inspiration depending crucially on melodic ideas. The themes are getting quite elaborate. Malcolm has not exactly taken a vow to eschew more familiar intervals but he certainly emphasises the other kind, They sound pretty tricky to play. The neatly arranged endings  of several debut pieces here evoked the smiles of relief of musicians who have just successfully negotiated the rapids for the first time. Strong material, from the leader and Olie Brice on bass, and excellent playing from everyone, especially the mercurial Corey Mwamba on vibes, making a welcome return visit. This quartet go beyond the familiar routine of head and solos – which is still rewarding in the right hands but can easily seem merely routine nowadays – to explore music which puts a premium on real, high risk improvisation. Most of the time, they bring it off splendidly. They’ll be energising the free stage at the Bristol Jazz and Blues Fest in a few weeks, so if you missed them, and the turnout was a little thinner than some recent BeBop evenings, come on down to Colston Hall then”.

 

Some more Riverloam reviews

mikolajolie

A few more reviews have come in for the Riverloam Trio LP.

Gapplegate Music Reviews had this to say:

“NoBusiness Records has been doing an excellent job exposing the world to important aspects of the American and International improvising avant garde. They have also, from their home base in Lithuania, been taking the opportunity to document and present Eastern European artists that we might not otherwise get the chance to hear.

Altoist-bass clarinetist Mikolaj Trzaska is one such artist. The recent double LP Riverloam Trio (NoBusiness NBLP 52/53) gives us a good listen to Mikolaj in a fine trio setting. Olie Brice on double bass and Mark Sanders on drums provide an excellent collaborative twosome for Trzaska’s reeds. They are free-wheeling and inventively varied, accomplished free improvisers. Trzaska has stylistic originality. He has a soulful rasp a la Threadgill and the ability to weave interesting lines with excellent consistency. He can soar in the clouds or whisper with the wind.

The double LP is a joy to hear. But keep in mind only 300 copies have been minted. So grab one now if you are inclined. It’s a great listen”.

Squidco.com describe it as “A powerful record that understand its roots

Clifford Allen, writing in the the New York City Jazz Record says:  “Improvised music is truly a world music – that much has become clear over the last few decades. European and Asian musicians have long been as vital as their American counterparts, despite the occasional (and without merit) stateside protest that this music is on a path that rejects or sidesteps its AfroAmerican roots.  With the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc, artists from Poland and the former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia have furthered relationships with musicians throughout Europe and the US, making up for lost time as artists whose work was important on the nascent European jazz scene went practically unheard in the States.

Polish altoist and bass clarinetist Mikołaj Trzaska has, over the past two decades, become a leading light of the country’s improvised music scene and worked across geographic demarcations with such figures as Ken Vandermark, Joe McPhee, Lester Bowie, Peter Brötzmann, Johannes Bauer and Peter Uuskyla. Riverloam Trio finds Trzaska joined by the English rhythm section of bassist Olie Brice and drummer Mark Sanders on a program of five improvisations recorded in Birmingham, England in May 2011.

 On “Ostrich Season” his dusky bass clarinet is given to dirt and elegance; Brice and Trzaska saw and ululate with Sanders accenting in flits and clatters.  Switching to alto, Trzaska’s tone is measured and dry but with a fullness of impact, each tonal construction hovering between brittleness and muscularity. There’s certainly a felt kinship with recent Brötzmann (with whom Sanders has collaborated), at least tonally, but Trzaska seems more coiled or controlled. The proceedings build to a hard charge, albeit briefly, and it’s clear that the reedman could resolutely peel the paint off the walls if and when necessary. “Carnival of Shapes” is similarly sparse but more agitated, Trzaska curling and cursing before his statements unfurl in hoarse wails and bitter conversational scraps. Riverloam Trio presents some of the finest Trzaska on record, not to mention the work of sympathetic and exciting collaborators”.

Nick Malcolm Quartet – videos and reviews

there’s a bit of footage online from the Nick Malcolm Quartet tour, one here at the bebop club in Bristol (with the fantastic Corey Mwamba depping for Alexander Hawkins):

and another here, from Monmouth, playing Andrew Hill’s tune ‘Dusk’

The album has had a couple of nice reviews too, one here on Jazzmann, and one in jazzwise magazine, which isn’t online.

Edit: another review, on the LondonJazz blog: http://londonjazz.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/cd-review-nick-malcolm-quartet-glimmers.html

Catatumbo reviews

The Catatumbo album has received some nice reviews, hopefully more to come but these are the one’s I’ve noticed so far…

thought I’d seen a couple more than that, but can’t find them now!  will add to the list as more reviews are published…

Tour dates – Ken Vandermark / Olie Brice / Mark Sanders

Really looking forward to touring in September with Ken Vandermark and Mark Sanders.  Got (almost) all the details sorted, here’s the dates:

  • 24/09/12 – Manchester. Kraak Space, Stevenson Place (off Stevenson Square) M1 1DB. 7.30pm. £8 advance. www.buriedbones.co.uk (joint promotion with Noise Upstairs)

  • 25/09/12 – Newcastle. The Cluny, 36 Lime Street, NE1 2PQ. 8.30pm. £12 / £8 concs / £5 students advance from 0191 230 4474. www.schmazz.co.uk (joint promotion with Jazz North East)

  • 26/09/12 – Birmingham. Hare & Hounds, 106 High Street, King’s Heath, B14 7JZ. 8.30pm. £8. www.jazzlines.co.uk

  • 27/09/12 – London. The Vortex, 11 Gillett Square, Dalston, N16 8AZ. 8.30pm. £12. www.vortexjazz.co.uk

  • 28/09/12 – Brighton. The Open House, 146 Springfield Road, BN1 6BZ. 8pm. £6. www.safehousebrighton.co.uk

  • 29/09/12 – Dublin.  Whelan’s Upstairs, Wexford St, Dublin 2. 8pm.  €14/12  www.improvisedmusic.ie

Catatumbo – LP and album launch

The Catatumbo album is available to pre-order (ships early June, but you can get it before then by coming to our album launch…)  Recorded live at the Vortex during our November 2011 tour, it’s been released in a rather gorgeous package by Babel.  180g vinyl, gatefold sleeve with fantastic artwork by Jethro Brice (my brother) and a glass mastered CD thrown in, or alternatively downloadable in most formats, from here:

you can also buy the CD separately, but it seems not at that website, so you’ll to come to a gig or email me if that’s your preference…

We’ll be launching the album properly with a gig at the Vortex, on 21/05/12