Olie Brice/Achim Kaufmann
This concert features the improvising duo of pianist Achim Kaufmann and double bass player Olie Brice, and will celebrate their new album on Babel.
Berlin-based pianist Kaufmann is known for winning the prestigious Albert Mangelsdorf Prize in Germany, the premier prize for jazz musicians. His own trio includes Robert Landfermann and Christian Lillinger, both regulars at the Vortex. He also works with Michael Moore, Okkyung Lee and Han Bennink, among many others. Double bassist Olie Brice has appeared at the Vortex with the likes of Paul Dunmall, Tony Malaby, Mark Sanders and Tobias Delius. Together Achim and Olie have appeared at the Vortex together before in trio with Roger Turner, and an interview Olie gave with Achim at the time can be seen here:
Achim Kaufmann was born into a musical family in Aachen, Germany, in 1962, and became fascinated by jazz and the possibilities of improvisation as a teenager. He started writing tunes around that time. Later he studied music at the Conservatory in Cologne and also took classes with creative masters such as Dave Holland, Steve Coleman, Muhal Richard Abrams, George Lewis, and Steve Lacy. In 2013, the sextet SKEIN (Kaufmann/Gratkowski/de Joode plus Richard Barrett, Okkyung Lee, and Tony Buck) had its premiere at the dOeK festival in Amsterdam and subsequently recorded for SWR radio.
Olie Brice is a jazz and improv double bassist. He is a member of the Riverloam trio (with Mikolaj Trzaska and Mark Sanders) and leads and composes for his own quintet (featuring Mark Hanslip, Alex Bonney, Waclaw Zimpel and Jeff Williams). He has also appeared with a wide range of musicians including Paul Dunmall, Tobias Delius, Achim Kaufmann, Ingrid Laubrock, Louis Moholo-Moholo and Ken Vandermark.
“Brice makes the entire body of his bass sing. He has the ability to deliver a fractal line that is as purposeful as any by the great jazz bassists, but to do so within an entirely abstract setting” – Brian Morton, Point of Departure.
Camilla George Quartet
The Camilla George Quartet featuring saxophonist Camilla George (Jazz Jamaica, Courtney Pine’s Venus Warriors), pianist Sarah Tandy (Gilad Atzmon), bassist Daniel Casimir (Clark Tracey) and on drums Femi Koleoso (Ezra Collective, Tomorrows Warriors), is an exciting quartet showcasing some of London’s finest young players.
Formed in 2014, the CGQ has a modern edge whilst paying homage to the jazz tradition, with a bit of calypso thrown into the mix. The band is inspired by artists such as Kenny Kirkland, Wynton Marsalis, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts and Kenny Garrett.
Their debut EP, Lunacity has been well received by fans and musicians alike. It has been hailed as a “fresh” sound by fans and “thoroughly enjoyable” by jazz legend, Gary Crosby. The release, which was held at The Crypt, Camberwell, was a sold out affair. They have since gone on to perform at Spice of Life, Jazz in the Round, Ealing Jazz Festival, Jazz Re:freshed, Ray’s Jazz and The Vortex. They will be celebrating their follow up album, Isang pronounced I-S-A-NG (NG as in song), which is a celebration of the jazz tradition, from its African roots through to its modern forms. The title of the album, Isang is an old Effik/Ibibio word which means journey and symbolises the musical journey that the CGQ have embarked upon. Effik is the language of coastal south-eastern Nigerians and is of particular significance as it is where Camilla was born. The album aims to create a fusion of African, Caribbean and American influences. It will include some music inspired by West Africa but performed in the jazz medium such as Mami Wata- a driving blues written to celebrate Mami Wata a West African spirit often taking on the form of a mermaid which is deeply rooted in the ancient tradition and mythology of West Africa.