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Thomas/Orrell/Lash

The trio debut of three of Oxford and Bristol’s most exciting improvisers (Pat Thomas, Dom Lash and Tony Orrell). The musical relationships between these three musicians are hugely varied and stretch back many years, but this concert will see their first ever performance as a trio. Expect the full range of possibilities of improvised music, from the thunderous to the infinitely delicate, with inspirations ranging from the jazz piano tradition to the furthest reaches of experimental soundmaking.

Dominic Lash’s first serious experience of improvised music was with Pat Thomas and Alex Ward in Oxford at the turn of the century. He was subsequently heavily involved in the revival of the Oxford Improvisers group and, after a stint living in New York, is now based in Bristol. He has performed with musicians such as Tony Conrad, Joe Morris, Evan Parker and the late Steve Reid. He is also involved in contemporary composition and has performed solo works for double bass by Jürg Frey, Radu Malfatti, Éliane Radigue and Jakob Ullmann, among others. Current projects include the Dominic Lash Quartet (with Javier Carmona, Ricardo Tejero and Alex Ward),Consorts (semi-composed larger group pieces) and trios with Stefan Keune & Steve Noble and Axel Dörner & Roger Turner.

Pat Thomas began playing piano at the age of eight. He studied classical music and reggae was an early interest. Thomas was inspired to take up jazz after seeing legendary pianist Oscar Peterson on television. By 1979, Thomas was performing seriously as an improviser. In 1980 he became a member of Oxford based groupGhosts with Pete McPhail and Matt Lewis. Has worked with Mike Cooper, Steve Beresford, Geoff Hawkins, Chuck Berry, Tim Hill, Alex Ward, Eugene Chadbourne, Steve Noble, Jimmy Carl Black, Thurston Moore, Mats Gustafsson, Evan Parker, Oliver Lake, Alan Silva, Bill Dixon, Joe Gallivan, Alan Wilkinson, John Edwards, John Zorn, John Butcher, John Russell, Mark Sanders and Steve Noble. Current activities include Black Top with Orphy Robinson, Valid Tractor with Lawrence Casserley and Dominic Lash, About Group with Alexis Taylor and John Coxon, Albert Newton with Charles Haywood and The Founder Effect with John Coxon. He also has a duo with Han Bennink and a trio with William Parker and Hamid Drake. Pat Thomas received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers in 2014.

Tony Orrell first played with Andy Sheppard, with whom he currently plays in the Pushy Doctors, back in the early 80s in Sphere recording the album ‘Present Tense’. During the same period he played with Spirit Level, which culminated in the album ‘Killer Bunnies’ featuring ex-Mingus trumpeter Jack Walrath and Paul Dunmall. Tony has also backed many US jazz musicians including Tal Farlow, Slim Gaillard, Spike Robinson, Harry Allen and Gene ‘Mighty Flea’ Connors, as well as the cream of UK soloists – Harry Beckett, Elton Dean, Keith Tippett, Larry Stabbins, Alan Skidmore, Evan Parker, etc. During the 90s he formed the Gas Giants with Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) and the Adrian Utley Quartet. These musical relationships have continued to the present day and last November sold out the Bristol Old Vic as part of The Charles Hazlewood All Stars, playing the music of Terry Riley.

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