BLACK TOP NEWS
JAMES BLOOD ULMER Trio – Are You Glad To Be In America? + BLACK TOP (ORPHY ROBINSON & PAT THOMAS) with Special Guest Violinist – Mandhira De Saram.
LONDON Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, London, E1 6LA
£17.50 + Booking fee BUY TICKETS
Blood hurtled headlong from the maelstrom of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time in the early 80s with a visceral collision of rock, jazz and edgy, blues-inflected funk that defined a post-punk jazz attitude.
Are You Glad to Be in America was a massive cult hit on its 1980 release – still laying down a stream of guitar improv consciousness that sounds like no-one else on the planet, Blood revisits a seminal statement in the evolution of contemporary black music with a fast and furious power trio. Jazz is the teacher – funk is the preacher.
BLACK TOP with Special guest Mandhira De Saram (Violin)..
Opening set from the Black Top core team – Orphy Robinson’s vibes and percussion projecting intricate patterns, colliding and colluding with improv maestro Pat Thomas’s live looping and electronics with special guest the exciting Violinist Mandhira De Saram. Echoes of dub and reggae, swing and freedom, digital, analogue and acoustic are welded in music that carries the ‘forceful dignity and beauty of a Jackson Pollock painting’ (All About Jazz)
Part of the EFG London Jazz Festival. http://www.efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk/events/info/james-blood-ulmer-trio-are-you-glad-to-be-in-america
THU 03 NOVEMBER 2016 LIVE: LONDON INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL- PROJECT 23 & BLACK TOP at OSLO HACKNEY. Doors – 19:30.
London International Arts Festival 2016 presents:
Over the course of the 1990s Drum ‘n Bass shook conceptions of what could be achieved artistically with electronic dance music. Drawing on the dub techniques of Jamaican mixologists and Detroit techno, it transcended the limitations of four-on-the-floor dance grooves and introduced sub-bass to the musical spectrum. But it was music destined to be chained to the studio – or was it?
In 1996 when the world was just getting its head around the genre, something happened to take everything to another level.
Three times winner of The Wire/Guardian best jazz vocalist award Cleveland Watkiss was already established as the voice of Metalheadz – Goldies’ epochal Sunday sessions at the legendary Blue Note club in Hoxton. Drawing on his immersion in jazz, soul, reggae and dub, Watkiss brought the sophisticated musicality to MC’ing that Drum ‘n Bass deserved and redefined the art of the MC. Assuming the moniker “Origin”, he teamed up with American drum innovator Marque “the innamost” Gilmore – (sideman of Joe Zawinul and Roy Ayers among many jazz and world giants) to compose and record the album”23”. Joined by cut master DJ Le Rouge they took to the road as the first ever live Drum ‘n Bass band.
23 is considered to be a “landmark album” [Straight No Chaser] of 90s electronic music. Until then if you asked anyone if it was possible to play Drum ‘n Bass with live instruments, the answer would have been a firm NO. But it was Gilmore’s almost superhuman fusion of lightning fast acoustic kit drumming and sample triggering from electronic drum pads that proved the naysayers wrong. “Seeking to reproduce the results [of 23] live would be impossible without the awesome talents of jazz drummer Marque Gilmore” – Neil Spencer, The Observer.
However, with musicians of such lineage and with such creativity, 23 is more than a Drum n Bass album. It “translates to areas outside the dancefloor. …resulting in a refreshingly multi-hued jungle trip”. – Tony Green, Jazz Times.
“This is Drum n’ Bass that will progress, that will access new audiences. This is the future.” – Mixmag
This year is the 20th anniversary of the release of 23, an event that was followed by a year long tour featuring interactive visuals from live multimedia pioneer Derek Richards (aka hyperjam aka rizomorph). Just as technology has evolved, none of these artists have stood still. This special show brings the collective back together for the first time in 20 years. Drawing on the original material from the “23” shows, it will once again take the audience on an audio-visual, consciousness raising journey from the past to the future.
Black Top was initiated in the latter part of 2011 by Jazz Warrior and multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson and pianist/sound-sculptor, winner of the 2014 Paul Hamlyn Composer of the Year Award Pat Thomas. The duo of Robinson and Thomas, are shape-shifting unit dedicated to exploring the intersection between live instruments and lo-fi technology. Their virtuoso, freely improvised performances combine twisted loops, samples and dub-effects, which draw on their Afro-Caribbean roots with a spontaneity and daring rooted in experimental free-jazz.and with the spirit of pure improvisation that’s rooted in the experiments of NYC musicians like Sam Rivers. The result is always a journey that conjures evocative and dramatic soundscapes, which mirror Black Top’s expansive worldview.
The ensemble made its debut at Dalston’s innovative and prestigious venue Café Oto and in doing so found a regular home for their excursions.
While Orphy and Pat throw around random phrases like “Archaic Nubian Step Dub” this meeting of musical minds is dedicated to developing working relationships with virtuoso musicians from across the cultural and generational spectrum that can match their own technical dexterity and handle the element of surprise. Each in the series is moulded by the contributions of a unique guest collaborator. Now with two critically acclaimed albums, “Black Top Number One” and “Black Top Number Two”, released on Babel Records, Black Top has performed at The Gateshead Festival at the Sage and at the Jazz Festival Konfrontationen in Nikelsdorf, Austria. They’ve filmed and recorded with SunRa Arkestra leader Marshall Allen and legendary Bassist Henry Grimes in their Magic Science Quartet tour 2015 and were nominated for the Jazz Innovation of the year award at the 2016 JazzFM awards.
The project could be said to represent a synthesis of both the roots and shoots of Project 23’s 90s explorations. It’s therefore fitting that this night’s guest collaborator will be none other than Marque “the innamost” Gilmore. Expect the unexpected!
This event is strictly 18+
DERBY OUTFRONT SERIES PRESENTS BLACK TOP
WITH SPECIAL GUEST PHILIP ACHILLE 29th Aug 2016
BLACK TOP + PHILLIP ACHILLE
British jazz/improv legends Pat Thomas and Orphy Robinsonare the critically acclaimed Black Top.
Their music is Archaic Nubian Step Dub, which explores the intersection of live instruments and technology in the myriad of styles in African Classical Music such as the looping and sampling used in dub, reggae and other worldly noises. Black Top pick the best and brightest to collaborate; and this time they are joined by classical and jazz harmonica star Phillip Achille.
BLACK TOP – ANNOUNCING THEIR FIRST EVER TWO-DAY RESIDENCY: PAT THOMAS & ORPHY ROBINSON WITH SPECIAL GUESTS HAMID DRAKE & WILLIAM PARKER + CLEVELAND WATKISS & PHILIP ACHILLE (SUN ONLY)
Black Top, the duo of multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson and pianist Pat Thomas, is a shape-shifting unit dedicated to exploring the intersection between live instruments and lo-fi technology. Their virtuoso, freely improvised performances combine twisted loops, samples and dub-effects, which draw on their Afro-Caribbean roots, with a spontaneity and daring rooted in experimental free-jazz.
Each in the series is moulded by the contributions of unique guest collaborators and for this very special two-day residency Robinson and Thomas will be joined by the incredible pairing of Hamid Drake (drums/percussion) and William Parker (double bass). In 1995 the Village Voice called William Parker “the most consistently brilliant free jazz bassist of all time.” As band leader, composer, author & instrumentalist Parker is among the most influential artists in Jazz. One of the world’s most widely respected drummers, Hamid Drake was born in Louisiana in 1955 & grew up in Chicago playing jazz, reggae & world musics.
Drake and Parker will form a quartet with Robinson and Thomas for the Saturday before expanding out to a sextet with the addition of vocalist Cleveland Watkiss and harmonica player Philip Achille on the Sunday.
BLACK TOP NOMINATED FOR THE 2016 Jazzfm JAZZ INNOVATION AWARD..
Black Top have finally received some recognition from the UK Jazz establishment for their unique approach to new music. Last year’s recipient was USA jazz pianist Jason Moran with his Fats Waller project. Black Top with their ground-breaking Concerts and innovative use of Digital and Acoustic instruments, have been attracting musicians of the calibre of Ornette Coleman Bass player Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Celebrated Free jazz stalwart Henry Grimes through to SunRa Arkestra Alumni Marshall Allen alongside their new album Black Top (Number Two) with Saxophonist Evan Parker. Black Top have been nominated for this years award alongside American Trumpet player Christian Scott Atunde Adjuah & Cuban Pianist David Virelles. http://www.jazzfmawards.com/nominees/2016-nominees/
Black Top #TWO WITH SPECIAL GUEST EVAN PARKER
THE NEW ALBUM
RELEASE DATE 27TH NOVEMBER 2015
£8.99 GBP or more
£6.99 GBP or more
IVORY, UVORY AND WE VERY 05:31
EBONY SPEAKS LIKE A DRUM 07:00
CARRIED WAY BEYOND 13:56