Sep 072012
 

Trevor Watts & Veryan Weston live in Vancouver, July 3, 2011. Photo by Peter Gannushkin.

On today’s podcast, I’m incredibly excited to have legendary British free jazz pioneers Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston!

Saxophonist Trevor Watts, along with drummer John Stevens, is co-founder of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, a loosely-knit group of free improvisers first assembled in London in the mid-60’s. The SME’s influence in the avant garde and free improv communities cannot be overstated. Members at various times include Evan Parker, Derek Bailey, Peter Kowald, John Butcher, Julie Tippetts, Robert Calvert, Kenny Wheeler, Roger Smith, Nigel Coombes, Maggie Nichols, Colin Wood, Dave Holland, Barry Guy, and Kent Carter. In addition to his work in the SME, Trevor formed the groups Amalgam and Moiré Music ensemble and has performed with jazz greats such as Steve Lacy, Don Cherry, and Archie Shepp.

Pianist Veryan Weston performed with Trevor Watts in Moiré Music and on the duet album 6 Dialogues. He’s also played with the Eddie Prévost Quartet, Lol Coxhill, Phil Minton, and John Butcher.

On Friday, July 13th, 2012, Watts and Weston performed together at the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville. It was a phenomenal experience. Trevor and Veryan very kindly gave me permission to record and release the performance, and that’s what you’re about to hear.

I recorded the show with two Shure SM58 Beta vocal microphones hard panned left/right, mounted high on mic stands placed in the second pew of the Chapel. The mics went directly into a Marantz digital field recorder. The room’s natural reverb sounds just about right two pews from the performers.

In post, I added a light amount of compression, turned up the left channel a little, edited out pauses between songs, and that’s about it.

Without further ado, here’s Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston live at the Downtown Presbyterian Church in Nashville. Enjoy!

Jul 122012
 


If you were lucky enough to attend last month’s John Butcher / Thomas Lehn show at the Downtown Presbyterian Church, you know how magical (dare I say holy?) a performance in the historic church’s chapel can be. On Friday, July 13th, prepare for another such experience.

Growing together as masters of the British free jazz scene in the ’70s, this duo disclosed the perfect emotional and performance synchronization of two masters who do not even need the hint of a glimpse to know where they are headed.” — Sara Villa on Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston’s performance at the 2011 Guelph Jazz Festival. ALL ABOUT JAZZ magazine, Oct 2011.

Rare are the moments when you get to hear true legends in a setting as intimate as the DPC chapel. Saxophonist Trevor Watts is co-founder of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble, a loosely-knit group of free improvisers whose influence in the avant garde and free improv communities cannot be overstated. Saxophonist Evan Parker once said co-founder John Stevens had two rules:

(1) If you can’t hear another musician, you’re playing too loud

(2) if the music you’re producing doesn’t regularly relate to what you’re hearing others create, why be in the group?

Those simple instructions have trickled down the years of free improvisation and guided many hands. There are plenty of Theatre Intangible improvs where such ground rules would have improved the product.

In addition to his work in the SME, Trevor formed the groups Amalgam and Moiré Music ensemble and has performed with jazz greats such as Steve Lacy, Don Cherry, and Archie Shepp.

Pianist Veryan Weston performed with Trevor Watts in Moiré Music and on the duet album 6 Dialogues. He’s also played with the Eddie Prévost Quartet, Lol Coxhill, Phil Minton, and John Butcher. Seeing these two masters together on this side of the water is a-once-in-a lifetime opportunity. In short, don’t miss this!

Louisville-by-way-of-New-York drummer  Tim Barnes and Nashville guitarist William Tyler will open the evening. Jesse Jarnow at AllMusic writes,

The drummer Tim Barnes was important in three ways: as an expansive experimental percussionist (and producer/engineer on the side) who had one foot in the downtown New York avant-jazz community while contributing to more traditional indie rock projects; as the owner of the Quakebasket label, distributors of limited-edition and broader releases of work by contemporary experimenters as well as careful reissues; and, finally, via his day job, where he helped bridge the worlds of indie rock and music licensing for advertising.

Barnes emerged in the late 1990s, contributing to indie rock staples like the Silver Jews and the Elephant 6-affiliated Essex Green, as well as pop-fancying avant-garde mainstay Jim O’Rourke. . . He hovered on the edge of Sonic Youth‘s world, as well, joining the band for their deeply psychedelic Koncertas Stan Brakhage Prisiminimui release and serving as occasional member in Lee Ranaldo’s Text of Light.

William Tyler is the founder of the excellent local record label Sebastian Speaks , member of Lambchop and the Silver Jews, and a session guitarist for Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Tim Chad and Sherry, Laura Cantrell, Charlie Louvin, Hiss Golden Messenger and others. I can’t wait to hear what the two talented players will do together.

This show is organized by Chris Davis, drummer for the Cherry Blossoms and promoter of countless amazing Nashville shows.

More details on the Facebook event page.

Trevor Watts & Veryan Weston
Tim Barnes & William Tyler
Friday, July 13th, 8:30 doors, 9 pm start, $15-$20 sliding scale

Downtown Presbyterian Church
154 Fifth Avenue, North
Nashville, TN 37219
http://www.dpchurch.com/