no wave 2013-06-16: Tony Oxley

Improvising music sorozat

Tony Oxley  born 75 years ago, in 15th June 1928. Because in this show I present the following musics.

Tony Oxley ‎– Ichnos


It’s the third of Oxley’s recording. Includings solo-, quartet-, and sextet improvisations. There is just one track, Oryane, which is solo improvisation. This piece for drums, cymbals, metal and wood surfaces, metal strings both acoustic and amplified. They are played with metal sticks and bowed. There are no recording techniques used in this piece other than the placing of microphones around the kit.

1. Tony Oxley ‎– Ichnos  (1971, LP, RCA Victor ‎– SF8215)
A2. Oryane (Percussion Solo)

Tony Oxley – Tony Oxley

Recorded over a four year period (1971-75), these tracks illustrate the evolutionary development of Tony Oxley’s music, and particularly his percussion vocabulary. Amplification has played a large part in this development, giving breadth to the instrument, and allowing a reconsideration of the role of percussion in relation to improvised and structured music.
Cover drawing by Alan Davie.

2. Tony Oxley ‎– Tony Oxley (1975, LP, Incus Records ‎– 08)
A2. M-W-M
B1. East Of Sheffield
B2. South East Of Sheffield
B3. P.P.1

Alexander von Schlippenbach & Tony Oxley ‎– Digger’s Harvest


Curiously, Alexander von Schlippenbach is one first-generation European free improviser not receiving regular huzzahs by an increasingly cognizant U.S. press. Maybe it’s due to the pianist’s infrequent trips Stateside, or that he doesn’t have CDs hitting the market by the dozens each year. Digger’s Harvest is, then, a timely reminder of Schlippenbach’s many achievements and how, as he approaches the 40-year mark of his landmark work Globe Unity (which spawned the great orchestra of the same name), Schlippenbach continues to create compelling music.
Schlippenbach has a penchant for a tightly-coiled bluesiness that is especially well-aired on Digger’s Harvest, a duo exchange with percussionist Tony Oxley.
One of the few of the intense avant-garde jazz pianists to develop a style largely free of Cecil Taylor’s influence, Schlippenbach has mellowed only slightly with age. These seven duos find both of these marvelous musicians in fine form, the energy level rarely abating. Schlippenbach is far from all crash and burn, however, as he slips in clips from by gone eras along his journeys. He can be introspective, too, when he focuses on sound and timbre.
Like Lovens, Oxley pioneered the use of metal, wood and other materials to extend the timbral palette of a traditional traps and cymbals configuration, but Oxley’s playing has a more palpable linkage to such ’60s drum icons as Milford Graves.
Oxley’s extensive experience interacting with Taylor pays off, as he follows Schlippenbach closely, never letting him stray too far.
Given Schlippenbach and Oxley’s respective histories-they both ventured into free playing at about the same time and have many mutual collaborators-it’s odd that they hadn’t previously worked as a duo. It proves to be an excellent match, though. Oxley’s brand of rhythmic flow is essential to the two nearly half-hour improvisations that bookend the program. Schlippenbach responds with torrential runs that whiplash up and down the keyboard. Conversely, on the five shorter pieces, Schlippenbach’s sharply focused approach to developing concentrated thematic materials elicits a more augmentative approach from Oxley. It’s this give and take that makes Digger’s Harvest such an engaging recording.

3. Alexander von Schlippenbach & Tony Oxley ‎– Digger’s Harvest (1999, CD, FMP ‎– FMP CD 103)
7. Digger’s Harvest

Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley ‎– Soho Suites – Recordings From 1977 & 1995


This double-CD collection is meant to show a continuum of sorts in a collaboration that began in 1963. Guitarist Derek Bailey and drummer Tony Oxley met by chance in their hometown at that time, and formed a band with Gavin Bryars (a bass player back in those days) for the purpose of freely improvising music. Bailey and Oxley played together in various contexts and continue to this day. Featured here is a rehearsal from 1977 on one disc, along with a live disc recorded in New York in 1995. To play these CDs in sequence is quite remarkable. For those who have followed the careers of both men over the decades, it will be astonishing to hear what has been taken for granted in the development not only of their individual styles and approaches to improvisation, but in the actual evolution of those methods as they reach deeper into the musical muck for a kind of meaning that can only be generated in this type of musical pursuit. On the earlier record, there are Bailey’s very short but very quick explosions of notes from all over the fretboard that get interrupted by his going into the instrument itself. Oxley, a busy drummer, uses percussion instruments while playing the kit, making sure he misses none of the notes Bailey drops from his guitar like small bombs. On the later music from 1995, there is a shift in focus. The explorations of tonal boundaries are much more pronounced, percussive extensions become common, and there is almost an architecture in the dynamic. Bailey has moved to using more chords of his own design, while Oxley keeps to the kit more, exploring its wood and metal as a manner of underscoring these spacious, textured explorations. This is an awesome set, so strong it’s better than 90 percent of what’s out there passing for free improvisation.

4. Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley ‎– Soho Suites – Recordings From 1977 & 1995 (1997, 2 x CD, Incus Records ‎– CD29/30) CD1
4. Beak

5. Derek Bailey and Tony Oxley ‎– Soho Suites – Recordings From 1977 & 1995 (1997, 2 x CD, Incus Records ‎– CD29/30) CD2
5. Lispenard

You can listen here (beginning from 00:14):

no wave 2013-06-16: part1
no wave 2013-06-16: part2
no wave 2013-06-16: part3
no wave 2013-06-16: part4