vs Amp

‘vs Amp’ is my fifth solo album, available now on LP from Raw Tonk Records. As the title suggests, the core of this album is heavily amplified baritone saxophone.

The album was recorded in London in February 2020 by my friend Tim Cedar, who also provided the Fender Twin, and boutique Bassman amps. All ten pieces on the album were improvised in one take with no additional over-dubs or edits.

“..a remarkably tight, fat-free and diverse album by a musician who not only possesses an incredible technique, but also a productive imagination and a great sense of humour and perspective, which trickle down into the details.” – Guy Peters, Enola (full review)

“Manipulating amplifier feedback through his baritone saxophone, Colin Webster explores rhythm and tone, foregrounding the mechanics of the instrument and the presence of the breath” – Stewart Smith, The Wire

“The application of circular breathing techniques are essential to this ritual-ready, sustain-heavy sound, it seems. Fans of an ensemble like Phurpa might get as much out of it as jazz cadets into, say, Peter Brötzmann, and if you happen to be the sort of wildcat who likes both, then Vs Amp is likely your kind of journey into sound.” Noel Gardner, The Quietus (full review)

“It is another example of the ingenuity of this exceptional saxophonist, who with vs Amp shows in a very beautiful way how you can increase the possibilities of that instrument with an apparently simple intervention in the sound of the saxophone.” – Gert Derkx, Opduvel (full review)

Review by Nethergrounds

Review by Spontaneous Music Tribune (in Polish)

Review by Le Gri Gri (in French)

Line-up: Colin Webster – baritone saxophone

TONUS Live

Two new live recordings are available from Dirk Serries’ TONUS project, which explores long-form, minimal, graphic score pieces.

The first release is a limited edition cassette on the Fort Evil Fruit label, and features a TONUS performance at Dirk’s 50th birthday concert at De Singer in Rijkevorsel, Belgium. The piece entitled ‘50.1’ was performed by Patrick De Groote on trumpet and bugel, Dirk Serries on acoustic guitar and accordion, Benedict Taylor on viola, Martina Verhoeven on piano, Nils Vermeulen on double bass, and myself on alto sax.

The second release – ‘Intermediate Obscurities III’ was recorded at the Spontaneous Music Festival in Poznan, Poland in 2019. For this performance, myself, Dirk Serries, Benedict Taylor and Andrew Lisle were joined by Polish musicians Pawel Doskocz (acoustic guitar), Ostap Mańko (violin), Witold Oleszak (piano), and Anna Szmatola (cello). The album is available on limited edition CD from the Spontaneous Music Tribune label. 

Review of Monograph 50 by Nieuwe Noten (in Dutch)

Review of Intermediate Obscurities III by Jazzarium (in Polish)

Review of Intermediate Obscurities III by Opduvel (in Dutch)

Review of Intermediate Obscurities III by Orynx Improv Sounds (in French)

Line-up: Pawel Doskocz – acoustic guitar, Andrew Lisle – percussion, Ostap Mańko – violin, Witold Oleszak – piano, Dirk Serries – acoustic guitar, Anna Szmatola – cello, Benedict Taylor – viola, Colin Webster – alto sax

New Invention

‘New Invention’ is the latest release from my duo with Andrew Lisle. Andrew and I have worked together extensively in multiple formations since 2015, and this is our fourth duo album. The album was recorded in South London in 2019 and is available on CD from New Wave of Jazz.

New Invention is a visceral and often highly intense jazz record that barely ever lets-up, in either its pace nor attack.. If you’re after a  jazz record that sonically batters & bruises, yet at the same pumps you up & exhilarates you too- then I’d say New Invention will be for you.” – Roger Batty, Musique Machine (full review)

Review by Opduvel (in Dutch)

Review by Vital Weekly

Review by Nieuwe Noten (in Dutch)

Review by Jazz Halo (in Flemish)

Review by Spontaneous Music Tribune (in Polish)

Line-up: Colin Webster – alto sax, Andrew Lisle – drums

Okey Dokey

‘Okey Dokey’ is a new live cassette release on Raw Tonk Records. The album features two different duo concerts with Daniel Thompson on acoustic guitar, recorded in 2019. Side A is the performance at the New Wave of Jazz Festival organised by Dirk Serries at De Singer jazz club in Rijkevorsel, Belgium. Side B was recorded during a short duo tour, again in Belgium at the Jazzblazzt club in Bocholt.

Review by Nieuwe Noten (in Dutch)

Review by Spontaneous Music Tribune (in Polish)

Line-up: Daniel Thompson – acoustic guitar, Colin Webster – alto sax

Live at BRÅK

BRÅK is the long-running improvised music series that I co-organise with Cath Roberts and Tom Ward. The concerts take place at a local craft beer shop in South East London called waterintobeer. ‘Live at BRÅK’ captures a duo set with Martina Verhoeven on ‘cello in April last year. Martina and I have mainly worked together in various iterations of Dirk Serries’ TONUS project. This concert was our first time playing as a duo in a fully improvised setting.

Review by Spontaneous Music Tribune (in Polish)

Review by Opduvel (in Dutch)

Line-up: Martina Verhoeven – cello, Colin Webster – alto saxophone

Terrain

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‘Terrain’ is the new LP by my long-running duo with Graham Dunning. For our previous six albums this duo has mainly utilised the same instrumentation – saxophone and turntable. On ‘Terrain’ however, Graham moves away from the turntable and exclusively plays snare drum and objects, often manipulating the skin with motors and fans. The way we approach the music is also different on this album – avoiding the usual rapid-fire techniques, the album can be heard as a series of textural studies, where a narrow palette of sounds are patiently explored in almost obsessive detail.

Line-up: Graham Dunning – snare drum & objects, Colin Webster – alto & baritone saxophones

Recent Live Recordings

TONUS at Hundred Years Gallery, London


Impetus Group at Hundred Years Gallery, London


Solo for Horse Improv Club live stream

New Dark Art Quartet at LUME, London


Webster / Cirera at Dragon, Poznan, Poland

Webster / Challenger at waterintobeer

 

Two New Releases On New Wave Of Jazz

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Two new releases on the iconic New Wave of Jazz label run by Dirk Serries. Firstly, an acoustic duo with Dirk Serries – ‘Light Industry’. Dirk and I have collaborated extensively in Kodian Trio, TONUS, Fear Falls Burning, and have one previous duo album ‘Gargoyles’ (Raw Tonk Records). ‘Light Industry’ is the debut recording in this acoustic set-up.

“Light Industry continues their restless search for new challenges, dynamics, and textures, but now in expanded improvisations that deepen their personal approaches, including unique, extended techniques and manipulations of their instruments.” – Eyal Hareuveni, Free Jazz Blog

Line-up: Colin Webster – alto saxophone, Dirk Serries – acoustic guitar

praxis cover bc

‘Praxis’ is another collaboration with Dirk Serries on acoustic guitar, with the addition of Martina Verhoeven on piano. This trio has worked together before in both improvised settings and in TONUS. Although improvised, the music on ‘Praxis’ has a highly controlled feel to it in terms of dynamics and interaction, which has a lot in common with the music of TONUS.

“The Praxis of this trio is unhurried and sparse, quiet and contemplative. But the improvisations – with its twisted and manipulated sounds, extracted by an array of extended techniques – flow in total freedom and spacious atmosphere, sketching abstract textures that, intentionally, avoid dense, powerful climaxes.” – Eyal Hareuveni, Free Jazz Blog

Review of both albums by Vital Weekly

Review of both albums by Free Jazz Blog

Review of both albums by Jazz Halo (in Dutch)

Review of ‘Light Industry’ by Opduvel (in Dutch)

Review of ‘Praxis’ by Opduvel (in Dutch)

Line-up: Dirk Serries – acoustic guitar, Martina Verhoeven – piano, Colin Webster – alto saxophone