|Liam Noble. Photo Credit: ARD/ Lutz Voigtlaender|
Basho Records presents a double-bill of inventive, melodic and playful contemporary piano jazz at The Forge in Camden Town on 2nd April.
The Swiss pianist Christoph Stiefel’s Inner Language Trio (Arne Huber on bass and Tobi Backhaus on drums) are launching their ‘Big Ship’ album. Liam Noble will play a solo set.
Liam Noble writes about playing solo:
Playing solo for me is about character. The characters come first, and the music plays itself. Monk’s dogged perseverance, Ellington’s romance, Paul Bley’s knife edge sentimentality, Jarrett’s single mindedness. I like to be reminded of these things when I play solo, not to plagiarise them but to feel part of this tradition and to find new and old ways to extend it. When I hear soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy play solo, it’s the character that he evokes that I find inspiring; a person emerges who is him and not him, a real and idealised version of Steve Lacy. That’s how I want to be, and with 88 notes and ten fingers it’s often easy to overcook it. You have to learn to like the big gaps that open up while you’re thinking, and to enjoy how they sound, and accept that they sometimes make what you just did sound better. Fear of making a mistake leads to making mistakes; a mistake in this context is something you didn’t mean to do. So I try and mean it wherever possible without worrying if its what I meant or not. Once it’s been played, that’s the thing that you are working on. It’s no longer a mistake. And off you go.
Well that’s the idea.
“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.” Samuel Beckett
Christoph Stiefel writes:
We are all really excited about playing in London again. It’s a rare chance for Swiss musicians to play in the UK – there are not many bands from Switzerland working here and we’re really grateful for that opportunity. So far, we have had a great response from UK audiences and the new album has been getting some lovely reviews.
We will be playing music from Big Ship alongside some of our ‘isorhythm hits’ (an isorhythm is a compositional device dating to the middle ages, whereby the melodic and accompanying parts do not have to follow each other). This makes for a satisfying balance with varied moods and approaches. The feedback we have received whilst playing this music so far suggests that the band has continued to develop from where it was two years ago. The new material allows the group more space to explore melodic and harmonic ideas.
I’m really pleased that Liam Noble will be joining us to play an opening solo set. I like the idea of teaming up with someone so prominent on the UK scene, as well as someone with whom we share a record label. I have Liam’s Brubeck album and I absolutely love it. I would love to play a duet with him at some point.