Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Alex Bonney's tribute to Albert Ayler live at Charlie Wrights 18.11.10

Looking forward to playing at Charlie Wrights this Thursday with messrs Dunmall, Sanders, Allsopp, Kane, Brice and Bates in tribute to Albert Ayler. Hoping the roof will be raised!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Loop Double bill at the Vortex Friday August 27th

Dave Manington’s Riff Raff

Dave Manington – Double bass/compositions
Brigitte Beraha – Vocals                                
Tomas Challenger – Tenor Sax
Ivo Neame – Piano/Rhodes
Tim Giles – Drums/Percussion

This dynamic ensemble of young musicians features the highly acclaimed musicians Brigitte Beraha (Paul Clarvis/Chris Laurence, Kenny Wheeler, Henry Lowther, L.J.O.), Ivo Neame (Cinematic Orchestra, Fringe Magnetic, Phronesis), Tomas Challenger (Outhouse/Red Snapper), and Tim Giles (Iain Ballamy/Stan Sulzmann/Kenny Wheeler/Art Farmer). The starting point for the music is collective improvisation but compositionally it draws on as wide a range of styles as possible. Folk, electronic music and contemporary classical influences are added to the mix with complex jazz harmonies and rhythms. Different and contrasting strands are layered up on top of one another to create tension. Often the music has been rewritten many times after rehearsals sent the music spinning off in a different and exciting direction. Most of the material is through-composed with the theme re-emerging in a different form, key, or time signature. The most important thing for us is to develop a band sound and understanding so each time we play the music can be re-invented collectively, often quite radically. Several new compositions feature fantastic lyrics from Brigitte Bereha and on other tracks she sings wordless vocals, often harmonizing with the sax line to great effect. A new album and tour is planned for 2011.
"Creative contemporary jazz composition with its freedom of improvised expression is in safe hands in my opinion having just heard this album. These musicians are equally matched and share a lucidity and flow within their music that subtly but powerfully demonstrates their individual and collective excellence!"  Iain Ballamy


on Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, has performed extensively as both a sideman and as a leader in an ever-expanding range of projects, from the most straight ahead to the most searching.  Jon has studied under such divergent artists as Dave Liebman, Wynton Marsalis, Dick Oatts, Jason Moran and Victor Goines, and has performed and/or recorded with musical luminaries such as Billy Joel, Wynton Marsalis, Bright Eyes, Tom Harrell, Tommy Iago, Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, Deborah Gibson, John Abercrombie, Frank Wess, Wycliffe Gordon, Renee Fleming, Kenny Washington, Lou Reed, Jenny Lewis, Ron Sexsmith, and Ken Vandermark.  Jon has performed and done clinics and workshops in the United States, Canada, Europe, Macau, Taiwan, Costa Rica, and Japan, and performs regularly in New York City’s top venues such as Birdland, the Jazz Standard, 55 Bar, the Jazz Gallery, Zebulon, Barbes, Sweet Rhythm, and Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola.
     Jon’s conception of complete musical inclusion in his improvisation and composition is apparent in the wide-ranging body of work he has compiled in his young career:  his quintet Outright! (Innova) that embraces the complete history of jazz while wrapping it up in group improvisation, his continuous additive duo project with drummer Mike Pride “I Don’t Hear Nothin’ But the Blues” (Loyal Label), his unapologetic 80s cover band, his Sonny Rollins Tribute Trio, the straight-ahead modern jazz group Confluence (For the Artist Records) that he co-leads with fellow Manhattan School of Music graduates, the freely-improvising RIDD Quartet (Clean Feed), as well as his long-time tenure in the self-destructing bebop cyborg terrorist band Mostly Other People do the Killing (Hot Cup).
     Jon has been signed to Concord Records and has a CD of original music and jazz standards coming out in the fall of 2009.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dog Soup plus Tom Mix w/ Veryan Weston @ Vortex 25.6.10

Friday 25 | 8.30pm | £10 | Loop Double BIll
Dog Soup
Led by trumpeter Robbie Robson, with John Turville and Hans Koller (keyboards), Johnny Brierley (bass) and Tim Giles (drums), the band use a number of electronic effects to create different textures and colours.

Samplers and loops create a swirling bed of music over which to improvise, blurring the distinctions between gritty, dark grooves, electronic sounds, loops and samples and free group improvisation.

'Robson, sampling and remodulating his trumpet tones, let his notes ooze in and out, their edges as hazy as Mark Rothko’s luminescent colour slabs. John Turville’s strangely distorted Rhodes-piano chords recalled Dali’s melted fob-watch. Be warned: Dog Soup before bedtime leaves you with feverishly vivid pictures (Jack Massarik).

Tom-Mix & Veryan Weston
Tom-Mix – Mark Hanslip (tenor saxophone), Olie Brice (double bass), Tony Marsh (drums) – have worked hard on developing a trio sound based on open improvisation, intense group listening and rhythmic flexibility, which makes reference to John Coltrane, Lee Konitz and Sonny Rollins, Bartok, Webern and Xenakis, free improvisation and the raw energy of free jazz.

For this Loop Collective residency, they're delighted to be joined for the first time by piano great Veryan Weston, perhaps best known for his long-standing relationships with both vocalist Phil Minton and saxophonist Trevor Watts.

Henry Lowther and fringe Magnetic @ the Vortex 19.6.10

Saturday 19 | 8.30pm | £12* | Still Waters
Henry Lowther’s Still Waters was born out a long association and friendship between Henry and bassist Dave Green. It is now one of the most accomplished, tightly-ensembled and creative bands around.

Although a classic quintet of two front line and rhythm, Still Waters plays radical and original music, ranging from gentle, quietly pastoral and melodic music, reflecting the band’s name, through to dynamic, free improvisation. ‘Meltingly attractive solos, startling originality...’ (Chris Parker).

Fringe Magnetic
Trumpeter Rory Simmons Fringe Magnetic plays loose grooves with free vocal improvisation, fusing chamber music and cutting-edge jazz. Featuring some of the most exciting and dynamic young musicians from the London jazz, classical and improvised scene.

‘Stunning new project with an extended woodwind and string section. The nine piece create multi-layered orchestral sounds laced with flitting folk reels, modern harmony and topped with cutting edge improv’ (Time Out).

*Evening ticket holders can attend the late night jam for a reduced rate of £3

Saturday 19 | 10.30pm – 1.00am | £5 | Book online
Tomorrow's Warriors JALC Jam Session
Featuring musicians from the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra, who will be in residence at the Barbican in June.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday 30th April: Golden Age of Steam @ the Vortex

A new monthly residency of the LOOP Collective at the Vortex, showcasing LOOP members, new ventures and associates of the collective.

Golden Age of Steam
Led by reeds player James Allsopp, the band builds on his association with drummer Tim Giles, co-leader of the award-winning quintet Fraud. The line-up is completed by keyboard virtuoso Kit Downes, winner of the BBC Jazz Award for Rising Star 2008.

Inspired by the anarchic playfulness of Ligeti’s music, the joyous thunder of Coltrane and Ayler and the twisted lyricism of Captain Beefheart, the music is sometimes labyrinthine, sometimes eerily sparse – incorporating seismic riffs, limping marches and intricately woven textures.

'An evening of no-nonsense, full-on music from some of the scene's freshest talents' (Chris Parker).

Plus support from
Philip Hochstrate
‘Fraud’ pianist plays a solo piano set of freely improvised music influenced by contemporary classical, free jazz and impressionistic music.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Festival Thanks

A late thank you to all of you who came to the Festival at the Vortex recently and helped make the full house it was so nice to see every night! Nice review here:


Working my way slowly through the recordings of the sets - more info on that to follow!


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Toms Challenger/Rogerson Duo

ust a quick note to let you know about a new release coming from my back yard: "Tomas Challenger (Ma., Outhouse, Red Snapper) collaborates with Thomas Rogerson (Three Trapped Tigers) in an improv-duo setting utilising their acoustic instruments (Saxophone and Piano respectively) alongside the mighty Farfisa Organ/Drum Machine and Effects." So thats the press! It's been released on Mini Loop Records and is available on Limited Edition CD and through MP3. You can contact me (tomchallenger@hotmail.com) for all of that. All for fiver plus shipping. Also, to let you know that the new Ma. album is making it's way swiftly through the editing/mixing/mastering process. Watch this space! We have a gig in Bishopsgate Hall on the 25th of March if you fancy it? Info/sounds @ www.myspace.com/tomaschallenger. More plugs thoughts soon....Here's a thought...Ches Smith. Burning.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010

Fringe Magnetic Photos from session @ The Fishmarket

I had a great day yesterday in the control room of the Fishmarket studios listening to the amazing Fringe Magnetic record their new album. Well done folks! Looking forward to the mixing.

I left early for a very enjoyable gig at E17 jazz with Ollie Brice, Rachel Musson and Josh Morrison, more with that band soon I hope


Sunday, January 31, 2010

My Debut Blog

Hello everyone,

my first foray into blogging here....
Just to let you all know, a mini version of my band Fringe Magnetic are playing at Charlie Wrights in Old Street tomorrow night. The band will feature
me- trumpet/flugelhorn
Kit Massey- violin
Natalie Rozario- cello
James Allsopp- bass clarinet/ clarinet
Tori Freestone- flute
Ben Reynolds- drums/perc

very excited about this gig, we will be playing almost exclusively new music. We are recording this new set of music on thursday with the addition of Ivo Neame, Andrew Plummer and Elisabeth Nygaard on a few tunes. Going to be very fun. Please come down to the gig tomorrow, it is a double with a great German/English band called Paragon. And the current Fringe Magnetic album (Empty Spaces) will be available to buy on the night.

In the meantime, been really interesting reading what other Loopers are listening to at the moment. Here is my sunday morning playlist...
1. Henri Dutilleux- Symphony No 1
2. Dave Douglas- Witness (for the millionth time this year)
3. Jon Hopkins- Insides
4. Captain Beefheart- Ice Cream for Crow (specifically 'Hey Garland, I Dig Your Tweed Coat'!'
5. Chicago Underground Quartet

Fringe Magnetic- Empty Spaces officially released tomorrow in HMV/Amazon/Play etc etc ...

Best wishes

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Loop Website

The Loop Collective website is temporarily offline - we are working on this and it will be back up as soon as possible, apologies.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Hayward/Challenger/Doyne-Ditmas and Leverton Fox at Cafe Oto 23rd Jan 2010

We had a blast playing with Leverton Fox (with new member Sam Britton on laptop) on Saturday night at Oto, thanks for those who came down and thanks to promoters and label Gravid Hands for putting it on.

After accidentally missing Glockenspiel's set (sorry guys-we were in the wonderful Shanghai Chinese restaurant near Kingsland Station) it was great to hear the Charles Hayward group. It is refreshing to hear improvised music that is not afraid move into in time grooves, the great no-no of much of the improv scence. I've heard Tom refer to this open mindedness as a 'South London' improvisers mentality!
Tom certainly knows how to not get boxed in playing on grooves as he demonstrated with tireless energy and creativity. A particular favorite moment of mine was when Hayward played bowls (see one of the photos) creating a very intimate soundscape with the the other two members.

The rise and rise of Cafe Oto has been amazing to watch, in many ways summing up my favorite aspects of London (which seem harder and harder to find but that's another story): diverse, open minded people going to see refreshingly uncompromising music in a forward thinking independently run venue. Unfortunately in the weekends the ambient talking level is too high for my taste as a listener and performer (a problem always scrupulously avoided at The Vortex). It means that it feels very lonely when the band's volume drops below a certain threshold. I suppose this is the price you pay for an audience comprising as much of curious post pub Dalstonites as die hard improv fans. However if the audience for this music is going to expand as a result I'll live with it!  Nevertheless a great night was had by all.


Friday, January 22, 2010

HELLO From Tom Challenger

Hello all. this is me saying hello...

Looking forward very much to the festival. Aside from playing with new music with Outhouse and for the first time ever with The Riff Raff, 'MA' will be performing on saturday night in front of the old BBC's mics. Very exciting.

This week has been pretty crap for me...did my back in on monday night which has meant nuff bumming about (I've actually been penning some new tunes), blowing out Outhouse rehearsals...RUBBISH. Been listening to lots of tunes:

1) Anthony Braxton - Six Compositions for Quartet (1984)
2) Jarrett - Live at the Deerhead inn (Motian and Peacock....brill)
3) Steve Lehman - On Meaning
4) Vijay Iyer - Historiocity (what ever it is...)
5) Johnny Griffin - Inroducing
6) Monk - Complete Solo on Columbia
7) Ornette on Tenor


Also saw Ex Pat John Escreets gig at ronnies. It was really good. Ambrose Akinmusire was really impressive. He made great stuff happen, definitely NOT going through the motions. Thats always nice to hear.

Got to try and rebuild my back now...will be writing more v. soon about some new things coming everybody's way.

Love to all

Thanks to our guests 'Q' from France for their fantastic music- some pictures from one of their London gigs

For the visiting French trio Q, think John Zorn’s Naked City in heavy grindcore mode minus the humour but with all its rampant and intoxicating presence. Drummer Sylvain Darrifourq brought a depth of beat and vigour of propulsion like that of Jim Black, while electric bassist Fanny Lafargues would have put many heavy metal players to shame with her menacing bass-lines. On guitar Julien Deprez wove into the music John Scofield-esque motifs and a Bill Frisell-nuanced textural palette. A sketched out cover of the 1980’s Miles classic ’You’re Under Arrest’ tied into the evening’s nostalgic undercurrent while a cameo appearance from tenor saxophonist Robin Fincker brought the set into softer yet equally compelling territory. We look forward to Q’s return visit.

---Review from Jazzwise magazine

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010


Another album I'm enjoying very much at the moment is this 70s ECM classic with a young Dave Holland and the amazing Edward Vesala. Stanko's trumpet playing is astonishing on this, as Chris Batchelor said to me, he sounds like Ayler!

Tomasz Stanko – Balladyna


Saturday, January 9, 2010

This is my favorite album at the moment. Listen to it on Spotify, it's great:

Konono N°1 – Congotronics

Here's truly remarkable music from a streetcorner band that hails from the Congolese capital, Kinshasa. "Discovered" by awesome Dutch avant-punk act the Ex during a tour in the embattled region, Konono #1 makes hypnotic, beautiful, heavily rhythmic dance music with an often heavily-distorted electric thumb piano as the lead instrument. Fans of Fela and the Ethiopiques discs will dig this, as will fans of the Notwist, Prefuse 73 and Aphex Twin. Thankfully, Vincent Kenis' production allows the music to sound truly live, with plenty of distortion, frenzied call and response, and shambling percussion. Most of the instruments (including the twelve-piece group's renowned sound system itself) were scrounged ingeniously from scraps while microphones were carved from wood, so it's really important that the rough edges do show through. That's not to say there isn't inventive grace throughout, just that it's rad there's no candy-coated Daniel Lanois-type sheen here. In fact, it sounds like the whole studio was dancing up and down while making this awesome document. --Mike McGonigal

- Alex

Knuckle Biter

We are trying to book some gigs in the UK in March for this band. Have a free listen to an EP we made in Northern Ireland last year here

-Alex Bonney

steve 'dakiz' davis - drums/laptop, alex bonney - trumpet/electronics, simon jermyn - bass/electronics

Loop Collective Festival at the Vortex Feb 17th to 21st 2010

We are all very excited about the forthcoming Loop Festival. The progamme is being finalised but is looking like:

Wednesday 17 February

8:00pm / Loop Friends series: F-ire: Seb Rochford + Leafcutter John
Seb Rochford - drums / John Burton - laptop

9:00pm / Sam Crockatt 4tet
SamCrockatt – tenor saxophone / Kit Downes – piano / Oli Hayhurst – bass / Ben Reynolds - drums

10:00pm / Alex Bonney's Tribute to Ayler w/ special guests Mark Sanders & Paul Dunmall
Alex Bonney – trumpets / Robin Fincker – saxophone / Paul Dunmall – saxophone / Dylan Bates – violin / Dave Kane – bass / Johnny Brierley – bass / Mark Sanders - drums

Thursday 18 February

8:00pm / Dog Soup
Robbie Robson – trumpet & fx / John Turville – keyboards / Johnny Brierley – bass guitar /
Tim Giles – drums

9:00pm / Tom Mix
Mark Hanslip – tenor saxophone / Oli Brice – bass / Tony Marsh - drums

10:00pm / Phronesis
Ivo Neame – piano / Jasper Hoiby – bass / Anton Eger - drums


Friday 19 February

8:00pm / Loop Friends series: Yolk: European TV brass trio
Matthias Schriefl – trumpet / Daniel Casimir – trombone / Francois Thuillier - tuba

9:00pm / Blink w/special guest Vincent Courtois
Robin Fincker – sax & clarinet / Alcyona Mick – Piano / Paul Clarvis – drums /
Vincent Courtois – cello

10:00pm / Dave Manington’s Riff-Raff
Brigitte Beraha – vocals / Mark Hanslip – tenor saxophone / Ivo Neame – rhodes /
Dave Manington – bass / Tim Giles - drums

11:00pm / The Golden Age of Steam (ALBUM LAUNCH)
James Allsopp – Tenor Sax / Kit Downes – organ / Tim Giles - drums

Saturday 20 February - Recorded by BBC radio3 for Jazz on 3

8:00pm / Ma

Tom Challenger – tenor sax / Ross Stanley – organ / Dave Smith – drums / Matt Calvert - laptop.

9:00pm / Fringe Magnetic (ALBUM LAUNCH)
Rory Simmons- trumpet/flugel/composer / Tori Freestone - flute / Natalie Rosario - cello /
Kit Massey - violin / Robin Fincker - clarinet  / James Allsopp - bass clarinet / Ivo Neame - piano /
Jasper Hoiby - double bass/bass guitar /  Ben Reynolds - drums / Elisabeth Nygaard - vocals

10:00pm / Loop Friends series: Umlaut: Peeping Tom w/ special guest Evan Parker
Pierre-Antoine Badaroux – alto sax / Joel Grip – bass / Antonin Gerbal – drums / Evan Parker – sax

11:00pm Gemini
Jim Hart – vibraphone / Ivo Neame – alto sax / Jasper Hoiby – bass / Dave Smith - drums


Sunday 21 February

8:00pm / Loop Friends series: LIMA:Matt Bourne solo
Matt Bourne – keyboards & laptop

9:00pm / Outhouse
Robin Fincker – tenor sax & clarinet / Tom Challenger – tenor sax / Johnny Brierley – bass / Dave Smith - drums

10:00pm / Ivo Neame quartet (ALBUM LAUNCH)
Jim Hart – vibraphone / Ivo Neame – piano / Jasper Hoiby – bass / James Maddren - drums

+ SUNDAY EARLY EVENING - 6 to 8pm  Duos series
Bonney/Simmons: Al Bonney - tpt / Rory Simmons - tpt 
Hanslip/Carmona: Mark Hanslip - tenor sax / Javier Carmona - drums

Hans Koller new record with Bill Frisell

Just starting mixing this large ensemble record with Hans and Jeff Williams which was recorded on November 10th 2009. It's a corker of a album featuring the one and only Bill Frisell. It's going to be out on Emanem at some point this year, so check it out...I'll post more info as it comes.

- Alex Bonney

Photo - Caroline Forbes

Jazz at the Oxford - new Facebook page



Loop is a collective of musicians that was founded in 2005 in London. Its members represent a generation of like-minded Jazz musicians who wanted to create a network of shared resources and a platform for artistic collaborations, events organisation and the promotion of recorded creative music.

Although its music is contemporary by nature, Loop does not aim to represent a specific style or genre; on the contrary it encourages the artistic diversity of its community. Thus, since the collective’s foundation, each member has developed a strong individual voice.

This blog is a chance to for members of the collective to post info about their gigs, what they are working on/listening to and other musings!