Preview: Autumn at Café Oto

Wadada Leo Smith

Geoff Winston writes about Café Oto’s Autumn programme:

Having come back from late summer travels, I’m just bowled over to see the musical menu at Café Oto this Autumn.

In their refreshingly catholic range of musical offerings, there’s plenty with a jazz bent to lure both the inquisitive and the firmly committed audience.

Here are just a few highlights.

What better to kick off with than tonight’s final night of unstoppable guitarist Marc Ribot’s Trio featuring the towering humility of Henry Grimes and percussionist Chad Taylor? Their first night was a barnstormer – review to follow. Sunday (20 Oct) sees the début of the great drummer Louis Moholo Moholo’s quartet with messrs Yarde, Edwards and Hawkins, and on Monday (21 Oct) the tremendous sax/drum duo of Ken Vandermark and Paal Nilssen-Love will make its mark. Colin Stetson rapidly sold out the following weekend. Veteran one-off sax player Charles Gayle takes the stage on 29 Oct with a strong European rhythm section – another man with a story not that far from that of Henry Grimes. That’s just October!

A Sunday afternoon gig (3 Nov) by The Thing features not only the phenomenal triple firepower of Gustafsson, Nillsen-Love and Flaten – but the intriguing addition of trumpeter Toshinori Kondo, who’ll start with a solo set around 4pm. Hot on their heels is the 3-day residency of the incomparable Australian trailblazers, The Necks – it will be a treat to hear them in such intimate surroundings – bringing to mind their earlier Vortex concerts.

For the London Jazz Festival they have Helen Petts’ Lol Coxhill film showing in the project space, then the superb Black TopPat Thomas, Orphy Robinson and friends, incl Steve Williamson and Byron Wallen (15/16 Nov) last seen recording a great session for Jazz on 3. Luc Ex teams up with Hamid Drake, Ab Baars and Ingrid Laubrock on 17 Nov – what a combination! Samuel Blaser, trombonist extraordinaire is in support. The icing on the cake is Wadada Leo Smith’s trilogy of performances (21/22/23 Nov) making up his Ten Freedom Summers suite which charts the progress of the American Civil Rights movement, complete with his own top-notch quartet, a string ensemble and video accompaniment.

John Butcher teams up with percussionist Gino Robair and bassist John Edwards the following week (27 Nov) to reconvene the ever-inventive Apophonics, then electronics guru Philip Jeck and poet renegade Jaap Blonk perform a live soundtrack to film on 29 Nov.

In December, Joe McPhee’s back with his Survival Unit III (8/9 Dec) and Chris Biscoe and Roger Turner are joined by Liam Noble and John Edwards when they make an appearance on 15 Dec as part of their UK tour collaborating with local musicians.

And there’s lots more from leading improvisers and musicians operating in areas further afield in a generous helping of gigs in between. Well, if that’s not tempting…!

Categories: miscellaneous

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