A double bill of touring bands this month, as Cath Roberts launches her Sloth Racket album ‘Triptych’ and Andrew Woodhead brings his improvising trio ELDA from Birmingham.
Sloth Racket is a quintet of UK improvisers led by baritone saxophonist Cath Roberts, with Anton Hunter (Beats & Pieces Big Band, Article XI) on guitar, Sam Andreae (Trio Riot, Silence Blossoms) on tenor saxophone, Seth Bennett (Metamorphic, En Bas Quartet) on bass and Johnny Hunter (Nat Birchall, Johnny Hunter Quartet) on drums. The group play Cath’s compositions, in the form of frameworks for improvisation: combining composed fragments with graphic notation to explore the balance between freedom and structure. In November 2015 they gathered to record at Limefield Studio in Manchester with John Ellis (Cinematic Orchestra) engineering. The resulting session, on a cold and rainy evening fuelled by coffee and pizza, produced three substantial tracks that range across musical territories from fiery free jazz, to minimal improv textures, to deep grooves. The album ‘Triptych’ is released in May 2016 on the Luminous label.
Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone
Sam Andreae – tenor saxophone
Anton Hunter – guitar
Seth Bennett – bass
Johnny Hunter – drums
Andrew Woodhead’s latest project ELDA is a collaboration with Norwegian vocalist Kari Eskild Havenstrøm (Trondheim Voices, Kristoffer Lo) and trumpeter Aaron Diaz (The Destroyers, Sid Peacock), mixing acoustic sounds with live electronics and soundscapes. Andrew and Kari met on a musical exchange between Trondheim and Birmingham at the 2013 Cheltenham Jazz Festival, and formed this trio with Aaron to continue their collaboration and explore their shared musical interests.
Andrew Woodhead – keyboard/electronics
Aaron Diaz – trumpet/electronics
Kari Eskild Havenstrøm – vocals/FX