This month I am working on a run of shows plus a double CD release with Dirk Serries’ minimalist chamber group TONUS.
TONUS as an ensemble grew out of Dirk Serries’ jazzcase residency in 2017 that
brought together a sextet to work around a slow piano motif by Martina Verhoeven. The literal translation of Tonus is muscle strength, but in this context defines a musical system that places equal importance on the space between notes. Both definitions apply here as the music is an exercise in discipline and anticipation while controlling the clarity, sustain and effect of each single note played. TONUS is a shifting ensemble which explores and performs these exercises, as well as a general classification for Dirk’s ongoing study in minimalism and free improvisation.
TONUS tour dates:
12th Oct – Pletterij, Haarlem, NL
13th Oct – De Singer, Rijkevorsel, B
14th Oct – AB Salon, Brussels, B
27th Oct – Cafe OTO, London, UK
TONUS ‘Intermediate Obscurities I + IV is available from New Wave of Jazz
Review by Badd Press
Review by Spontaneous Music Tribune (in Polish)
Review by Brian Olewnick
Review by Toneshift
‘Static Garbled Dreams’ is a new album with two of my long-term collaborators, Andrew Lisle (drums) and Otto Willberg (double bass). The album is available now on CD and download from Raw Tonk Records.
Line-up: Colin Webster – alto saxophone, Andrew Lisle – drums, Otto Willberg – double bass
‘Gargoyles’ is a new duo album with Dirk Serries out now on Raw Tonk Records. Despite working together extensively in Kodian Trio and it’s off-shoot quartet with John Dikeman, this album captures our first meeting as a duo. Recorded in London last summer, the seventeen short improvisations show near-telepathic sonic interactions, veering between minimalism and noise.
“Everything is recorded in a very direct way, which makes that the music is very much in your face, but that is what makes this also quite enjoyable. This is overall an excellent improvisation duet.” – Vital Weekly
Full review by Opudvel (in Dutch)
Full review by Spontaneous Music Tribune (in Polish)
Line-up: Dirk Serries – guitar, Colin Webster – alto and baritone saxophones
New release on Raw Tonk Records, ‘Plastic Kneecap’ is the third album by Birchall / Cheetham / Webster / Willberg, and the first vinyl release from the label. The album was recorded in the same sessions as ‘Plastic Knuckle’ with the two side-long improvisations instantly earmarked for an LP release.
“there’s a punky energy to Plastic Kneecap, but it’s much too weird and agitated to be a blunt exercise in macho blurt.” – Stewart Smith, The Quietus (full review)
“These four musicians have energetic and outstanding playing style – it’s based on avant-garde jazz elements and free improvisation. Experimental playing techniques, unusual and weird combinations of the instruments, contrasts between opposite playing techniques, sudden stylistic turns and waves..” – Avantscena (full review)
Full review from Opduvel (in Dutch)
Full review from Spontaneous Music Tribune (in Polish)
Line-up: David Birchall – guitar, Andrew Cheetham – drums, Colin Webster – alto and baritone saxophones, Otto Willberg – double bass