APRIL 22nd – 9pm $10
Trevor Watts /Veryan Weston Duo
Both Trevor and Veryan have been involved in jazz , improvised music and world musics for a period of over 40 years. Their paths have crossed frequently over that period of time, and it’s because they have many of the same interests, and how those interests shape the music together that makes for a very compelling experience for the audience. The music is improvised but it has a very obvious jazz feel and sensibility about it. Because of their sense of composition and the fact that they both are composers of some note, the improvisations always have a strong sense of structure.
There is a common love of traditional musics of the world. Trevor has had long experience playing with African musicians in his Drum Orchestra (circa 1980) and Veryan has researched the relationships between certain pentatonic scales for many years . There is a rigorous study of rhythm which has been important to them both and this is clearly heard in their music together. That sense of where the spaces are rhythmically propels their music.
There are two highly acclaimed recordings on Emanem called “6 Dialogues”, Emanem 4069 (2001) and the more recent “5 More Dialogues”, Emanem 5017 (2011). A double CD was released in 2012 – on the Hi4HeadRecs label called “Dialogues in two places”, HFHCD 010D (recorded 2011). This was the first ‘live’ CD Trevor and Veryan have made. It is a superb document of their 2011 USA and Canadian tour, recorded in Toledo and at the Guelph Jazz Festival. On these two occasions they were met with great enthusiasm and more than once, standing ovations. More recently a new recording from a concert made at the Ad Libitum Festival in Warsaw in 2012 which will released on Polish label – For-tune Records
In spite of the intervening years, Trevor and Veryan sound as fresh as ever because they are genuine improvisers who are always looking for something new within the moment of playing. That sound of surprising themselves with unexpected directions transfers itself to the audience too.
Video example of their playing together at this link:
TREVOR WATTS (Saxophones/Percussion/Composition)
Since the 1960’s, Trevor Watts has been at the forefront of many innovations within the Jazz/World and Improvisational areas of music, both as a saxophone player, percussionist and composer. The only founder member of The Spontaneous Music Ensemble still left, other founder members were John Stevens & Paul Rutherford, and later members included Kenny Wheeler, Dave Holland, Evan Parker and Derek Bailey amongst others. His Amalgam group began in 1967 with bassist Barry Guy and trombonist Paul Rutherford, and he was a founder member of Barry Guy’s London Jazz Composers Orchestra. He was the instigator behind the Moire Music Group and The Drum Orchestra (1980-1997), which involved musicians from North and South Africa and Latin America. He played with other prominent musicians from USA including Don Cherry, Archie Shepp, Steve Lacy, Kent Carter, Rashied Ali, Steve Swallow and Bobby Bradford. Currently (2015) his main involvement is one part of a long standing duo with pianist Veryan Weston. This duo have been highly acclaimed for their recordings and “live” appearances. They have toured in Brasil, USA, Canada, Australia & N Zealand together amongst many other places. Recently they performed a master class at Leeds College of Music, which is one of the best in the U.K. They also both play within a new quartet which features drummer Terry Day, who’s career also goes back to the 60’s and bassist Dominic Lash. They recently played a very successful concert at the All Ears Festival in Oslo Norway (2015) and Café Oto in London. Watts is also collaborating again with Gibran Cervantes (Mexico) and they will tour in Mexico in May 2015.Watts has travelled across the world playing music for many years and still continues to do so. Important collaborations include: with Teatro Negro de Barlovento (Black Venezuelan traditional group), Gibran Cervantes from Mexico and Cyro Baptista from Brasil in ‘Urukungolo’, and with master Djembe player Adama Drame in Burkina Faso (W.Africa). Workshops include Film Institute of India and in Jamaica & Trinidad amongst many others. Moire Music Drum Orchestra was the first group to visit Burma for around 15 years in the 1990’s and played a 2nd time there. Also in Cameroon, S Africa, Sarawak, Trinidad, Bahamas, Columbia, Bolivia, Ecuador, Botswana, the Khartoum Festival in Sudan with a large group of Sudanese musicians and so on. Compositional commissions include the U.K. theatre production of “The Connection” by American playwright Jack Gelber (Hampstead Theatre) in 1973 directed by Michael Rudman who became director of the National Theatre in London; Welfare State Theatre and Same Sky Theatre Co. He was commissioned to write a composition by the Bracknell Jazz festival in 1984 for his Moire Music group. Watts is featured in “Jazz Brittanica” (a BBC4 film on British jazz and improvised music, 2005. A major DVD by film maker Mark French called “Hear Now” 2013. This is an interview with live performances, mainly from the Watts/Weston duo. He is featured in many other films on jazz/improv music, some for ARTE TV including filming of two visits to the Roaring Hooves Festival in Mongolia’s Gobi desert that had collaborations with Mongolian traditional musicians. Major Jazz Festival appearances include Womad, Glastonbury, San Francisco Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Freedom of the Plaza Festival July 4th in Washington DC, Singapore Arts Festival, Beijing & Shanghai Jazz Festivals, Berlin Jazz Fest, London Jazz Fest, Cervantino Festival, Mexico, New Zealand Festival of Arts, Wangaratta and Darling Harbour Festivals in Australia amongst very many more.2013 – Commissioned to write a composition for full choir “The Light Vessel” 2013 dedicated to the UK Light Ship communities. Three performances to date. New solo saxophone CD in 2014 called “Veracity” which has been highly acclaimed. Watts is listed in the Who’s Who in the World of Music dictionary.
(born 1950) began working as a jazz pianist in London in 1972, some of his earliest performances being at the Little Theatre Club. In 1975 he was awarded a fellowship and residency at Digswell House, an artists’ collective in Hertfordshire. Here he co-founded and composed for Stinky Winkles and was awarded ‘Young Jazz Musician of 1979’ by the Greater London Arts Association.
In the ’80s, Veryan worked internationally with Lol Coxhill (with whom he made his first recordings – Ogun 525 and Random Radar), the Eddie Prévost Quartet and Trevor Watts – an innovator who, in his band Moiré Music, used a unique combination of African rhythmic structures with the European musical tradition (Arc 02).
In the ’90s, collaborations with Phil Minton included the Ways duos, the ambitious Songs from a Prison Diary choral project commissioned for the Europa Festival in Le Mans which was awarded the Cornelius Cardew composition prize, a Taktlos Festival (Switzerland) chamber choir commission based on the life of Anarchist – Nestor Makhno, a quartet performing extracts from Joyce’s Finnegans wake, and 4Walls with Luc Ex and Michael Vatcher which was a strange synthesis of punk and contemporary jazz but which, like all the projects with Phil combine improvisation with songform.
From 2000, Veryan collaborated with Jon Rose on the ‘Temperament Project’, improvisations using different acoustic keyboards and violins with selected tunings derived from science, history and the imagination. (EMANEM 4207 – a double cd recorded in various European locations) and Tunes & Tuning (HERMES CD 001).
He also collaborated with Caroline Kraabel (EMANEM 4048), John Edwards and Mark Sanders (EMANEM 4028, 4214, and 4205), the Trio of Uncertainty with cellist Hannah Marshall and violinist Satoko Fukuda (EMANEM 4141), Luc Ex in Sol6 (Red Note 15) which included saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and Hannah Marshall who Veryan worked with as a trio called Haste. A CD was made from a live recording made at the 2011 Hurta Cordel Festival in Barcelona – (EMANEM 5025).
In 2000 Veryan wrote ‘Tessellations’ for piano, using research on pentatonic scales which he had been working on since early 1970s. Project was supported by the Peter Whittingham Foundation (London – 2001) and performed at Brussels Museum of Musical Instruments on the only remaining original Luthèal Piano (EMANEM 4095). A published paper on pentatonic scales preceded a performance of Tessellations at the International Conference of Bridges: Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science, Granada, Spain (2003). Tessellations has been performed widely.
In 2009, Veryan wrote/composed Tessellations II, a commissioned piece for eight singers which was first performed in Graz – Austria. The following year the Vociferous Choir performed in and around London a program which included the young and gifted American pianist – Leo Svirsky, performing the first part of Tessellations I for Solo Piano and the Vociferous Choir performing Tessellations II. The recording made for BBC Radio 3 was later released (EMANEM 5015).
Other peripheral excursions have included working in Carla Bley’s Escalator Over the Hill big band project, the Cobra game piece with John Zorn in Berlin and most recently a Lindsay Cooper memorial project which included many of the original members of Henry Cow (2014).
Veryan has worked with Trevor Watts for more than 40 years; over this time their paths have crossed frequently because of shared musical interests particularly in rhythmic ideas. Now their music has one focus – improvisation, but because of their sense of composition and the fact that they both are composers, the improvisations always have a strong sense of structure.
There are two acclaimed recordings on Emanem called “6 Dialogues”, Emanem 4069 (2001) and the more recent “5 More Dialogues”, Emanem 5017 (2011). A double CD was released in 2012 – on the Hi4HeadRecs label called “Dialogues in two places”, HFHCD 010D (recorded 2011). This was the first ‘live’ CD Trevor and Veryan have made and was a document of their 2011 USA and Canadian tour, recorded in Toledo and at the Guelph Jazz Festival. A new recording from a concert was made at the Ad Libitum Festival in Warsaw in 2012 and will be released on Polish label – fortune
The thread throughout Veryan’s work has been primarily improvisation which reveals new aspects of an ever-changing musical identity depending on who he is playing with. Website with links – HYPERLINK “http://veryanweston.weebly.com/”http://veryanweston.weebly.com/