January 30, 2014
Really looking forward to a short tour next week, with Dan Wood’s ‘Played Twice’. This quintet focuses exclusively on the compositions of Thelonious Monk, and features some fantastic musicians – Dan on piano, George Crowley on tenor, Nick Malcolm on trumpet and Simon Roth on drums.
We’ll be playing at St Ives Jazz Club on Tuesday 4th Feb, The Queen’s Head in Monmouth on the 5th, and the Fringe in Bristol on the 6th. Then back to London on the 7th, for our regular more-or-less monthly gig at Servant jazz Quarters.
Some of my favourite musicians to work with, and some of the greatest tunes ever written – should be fun!
September 12, 2013
I’m getting really excited about the tour I’ve got coming up with Tobias Delius, the fantastic tenor / clarinet player. We did a trio gig recently (with Mark Sanders) at the very lovely ZomerJazzFietstour in Gronigen, playing in a lovely old church in what felt like the middle of nowhere, but somehow still to a packed house…. you can see it in the nice but small photo at the top of this blog entry.
Anyway, I’ve done a preview and interview with Toby for the LondonJazzNews website, which you can read here: http://www.londonjazznews.com/2013/09/interviewpreview-olie-bricetobias.html
here’s the complete details of the tour:
19/09/13 – Tobias Delius / Olie Brice / Mark Sanders, The Vortex, 11 Gillett Square
London N16 8AZ. 8.30pm, £8
20/09/13 – Tobias Delius / Olie Brice / Miles Levin, Ort Cafe, 500-504 Moseley Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, B12 9AH. 8pm, £5 (plus very special guest Paul Dunmall!)
21/09/13 – Tobias Delius / Dave Birchall / Olie Brice / Mark Sanders, The Milk Room, Hotspur House, Gloucester St, Manchester M1 5QR. 8pm, £7-£4
22/09/13 – Tobias Delius / Olie Brice / Mark Sanders, Bridge Hotel, Castle Garth, Newcastle NE1 1R, 8pm, £8/£6
June 24, 2013
I’ve got two gigs coming up with the Olie Brice Quartet. My Quartet usually features Mark Hanslip, Alex Bonney and Jeff Williams, but both gigs will be taking place when neither Jeff nor Mark are in town, so I’ve invited a couple of fantastic musicians to stand in for them – Tim Giles on drums and George Crowley on tenor and clarinet. Really looking forward to hearing them play my tunes!
We’re playing at the Shaftesbury Tavern (534 Hornsey Rd, London) tomorrow – 25th June. This is a fairly new night, 2 sets, only £5, 8.30pm start. Then on the 18th of July we’re at an even newer night run by Dee Byrne and Cath Roberts, called ‘Lume’. This is also two sets for £5 with an 8.30 start. Information about the night can be found on their rather lovely looking new website - here.
Both gig will feature music from our newly recorded, yet to be released album…
June 11, 2013
I’m very excited about some gigs this summer/autumn with in a new trio with two of my favourite musicians – Toby Delius (reeds) and Mark Sanders (drums). We’ll be doing the following dates:
31/08/13 – Groningen, Holland
19/09/13 – The Vortex, London
20/09/13 – Ort Cafe, Birmingham (actually it’ll be Miles Levin on drums for this one)
21/09/13 – St Margaret’s Church, Manchester (with special guest Dave Birchall)
22/09/13 – Bridge Hotel, Newcastle
March 22, 2013
Here’s a couple of clips of BABs in Foligno, in january
On 20th March I’ll playing at the Vortex with two fantastic improvisers – Achim Kaufmann and Roger Turner. I’ve written a preview of the gig, and interviewed Achim, for the LondonJazz blog – here: http://www.londonjazznews.com/2013/03/preview-olie-brice-achim-kaufmann-and.html
March 4, 2013
I’m really pleased to have a couple of gigs coming up with the Olie Brice Quartet, at two of my favourite London venues. The current line-up of the quartet features Mark Hanslip on tenor, Alex Bonney on trumpet (and pocket trumpet!) and Jeff Williams on drums.
We’re playing at the Oxford in Kentish Town on the 18th March, and the Amersham Arms in New Cross on the 19th March (a double bill with the Martin Kolarides Trio)
Before then (11th March) Alex, Jeff and I will be appearing as the Alex Bonney Trio, at the Vortex. Alex writes beautiful music, and his trio is one of my favourite bands to play in. The evening will be a shared bill, with a solo piano set from the extraordinary Alexander Hawkins, so should be a bit special…
February 12, 2013
Had a really fun mini-tour with the Nick Malcolm Quartet this weekend – playing the Bebop Club in Bristol (with the incredible Corey Mwamba depping for Alex Hawkins), Sherbourne Jazz, The Coronation Tap in Bristol again, and then back to London, the the Oxford in Kentish Town (with Josh Arceleo guesting on tenor). We’re playing quite a bit of new material which we’ll be recording in May, for the band’s 2nd album.
here’s a couple of reviews of the Bebop Club gig:
Tony Benjamin in This is Somerset: “SOMETIMES even the most chin-stroking jazz audience wants to have a bit of fun.
The trick is to keep up the standards of intelligent contemporary jazz but to imbue the music with energy and a sense of humour and Saturday’s acoustic set at the Bebop Club from Nick Malcolm’s band pulled it off time and again.
The four musicians – Malcolm’s trumpet plus Corey Mwamba (vibraphone), Olie Brice (bass) and Mark Whitlam (drums) – are well-matched improvisers with an easy confidence in their abilities, while the music is mostly drawn from the band’s recently released CD of Malcolm’s tunes Glimmers plus a few of Brice’s compositions.
It was largely about group improvisation, though individuals shine out at times and occasional solos and duos emerge.
The jump-cut structure and angular melody of It’s All Right, We’re Going to the Zoo makes for a breezy opener and gave Mwamba the first opportunity to demonstrate his capacity for co-ordinated frenzy on the vibes.
Brice’s Mad Yak rolled out cool and jazzy, the players mixing and matching, flashing glances and grins between themselves.
There was a bigger picture to Views, a beautiful stream of consciousness melody revelling in Malcolm’s superb tone and technical control, while washes of held vibraphone chords and sympathetic bass created a strong sense of atmosphere, aided by Whitlam’s deft and beatless percussion.
But, slow or fast, every number had the same energising qualities that reflected the fun the band had revisiting these tunes passed on to the audience as enjoyment in the music and, ironically, a sense of just how seriously good this lot are”.
and from the Mainly Jazz in Bristol blog:
“Finally, we went down to the BeBop club on Friday to hear what Nick Malcolm is up to with his quartet. Not of lot of bebop, but lots of interesting new music, is the answer – there’s a new CD set for recording in May which will be a cracker. As on previous outings, the general approach is freebop, with solo inspiration depending crucially on melodic ideas. The themes are getting quite elaborate. Malcolm has not exactly taken a vow to eschew more familiar intervals but he certainly emphasises the other kind, They sound pretty tricky to play. The neatly arranged endings of several debut pieces here evoked the smiles of relief of musicians who have just successfully negotiated the rapids for the first time. Strong material, from the leader and Olie Brice on bass, and excellent playing from everyone, especially the mercurial Corey Mwamba on vibes, making a welcome return visit. This quartet go beyond the familiar routine of head and solos – which is still rewarding in the right hands but can easily seem merely routine nowadays – to explore music which puts a premium on real, high risk improvisation. Most of the time, they bring it off splendidly. They’ll be energising the free stage at the Bristol Jazz and Blues Fest in a few weeks, so if you missed them, and the turnout was a little thinner than some recent BeBop evenings, come on down to Colston Hall then”.
January 28, 2013
A few more reviews have come in for the Riverloam Trio LP.
Gapplegate Music Reviews had this to say:
“NoBusiness Records has been doing an excellent job exposing the world to important aspects of the American and International improvising avant garde. They have also, from their home base in Lithuania, been taking the opportunity to document and present Eastern European artists that we might not otherwise get the chance to hear.
Altoist-bass clarinetist Mikolaj Trzaska is one such artist. The recent double LP Riverloam Trio (NoBusiness NBLP 52/53) gives us a good listen to Mikolaj in a fine trio setting. Olie Brice on double bass and Mark Sanders on drums provide an excellent collaborative twosome for Trzaska’s reeds. They are free-wheeling and inventively varied, accomplished free improvisers. Trzaska has stylistic originality. He has a soulful rasp a la Threadgill and the ability to weave interesting lines with excellent consistency. He can soar in the clouds or whisper with the wind.
The double LP is a joy to hear. But keep in mind only 300 copies have been minted. So grab one now if you are inclined. It’s a great listen”.
Squidco.com describe it as “A powerful record that understand its roots“
Clifford Allen, writing in the the New York City Jazz Record says: “Improvised music is truly a world music – that much has become clear over the last few decades. European and Asian musicians have long been as vital as their American counterparts, despite the occasional (and without merit) stateside protest that this music is on a path that rejects or sidesteps its AfroAmerican roots. With the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc, artists from Poland and the former Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia have furthered relationships with musicians throughout Europe and the US, making up for lost time as artists whose work was important on the nascent European jazz scene went practically unheard in the States.
Polish altoist and bass clarinetist Mikołaj Trzaska has, over the past two decades, become a leading light of the country’s improvised music scene and worked across geographic demarcations with such figures as Ken Vandermark, Joe McPhee, Lester Bowie, Peter Brötzmann, Johannes Bauer and Peter Uuskyla. Riverloam Trio finds Trzaska joined by the English rhythm section of bassist Olie Brice and drummer Mark Sanders on a program of five improvisations recorded in Birmingham, England in May 2011.
On “Ostrich Season” his dusky bass clarinet is given to dirt and elegance; Brice and Trzaska saw and ululate with Sanders accenting in flits and clatters. Switching to alto, Trzaska’s tone is measured and dry but with a fullness of impact, each tonal construction hovering between brittleness and muscularity. There’s certainly a felt kinship with recent Brötzmann (with whom Sanders has collaborated), at least tonally, but Trzaska seems more coiled or controlled. The proceedings build to a hard charge, albeit briefly, and it’s clear that the reedman could resolutely peel the paint off the walls if and when necessary. “Carnival of Shapes” is similarly sparse but more agitated, Trzaska curling and cursing before his statements unfurl in hoarse wails and bitter conversational scraps. Riverloam Trio presents some of the finest Trzaska on record, not to mention the work of sympathetic and exciting collaborators”.