Mick Beck. Tenor Sax & Bassoon

mick-beck

GIG ALERTS: All gigs 8pm at Mick’s venue: Over the Top, 78 Kingfield Rd. Sheffield unless specified differently.    £5/3.  Bring your own drinks.

Sat 15th July 2017

John Jasnoch (guitars), Ian Simpson (guitar), Bruce Cotes (alto and soprano). Plus Steve Chase (something unlikely), and Mick (bassoon, whistles etc).

Wed 15th March

Chris Cundy, (bass clarinet solo), pus a conference of other low instruments: Otto Willberg (double bass), Geoff Bright(bass saxophone), and Mick Beck(Bassoon).

Friday 28 April

Ingrid Laubrock (saxophones) and Tom Rainey (drums), plus Mick Beck (t/sax and bassoon) and Johnny Hunter (drums) – a spectacular evening of two contrasting reeds and percussion duos.

MICK BECK: History

On the free scene since 1980, as an improvising big band leader to solo performer, Mick is known for his energy and originality: his playing covers the full emotional gamut from heartbreaking to mischievous, and from abstracts to compelling swing.

His improvising big band Feet Packets was unique in the UK and influential in the late 1980s. In the 1990s he led many small groups including the powerful free jazz trio Something Else with Paul Hession and Simon Fell, which released two acclaimed CDs. Since the millennium, Beck’s ground-breaking work with the mysterious and humorous bassoon, supplemented by his use of other wind instruments add many new sounds and moods. In 2005, Beck formed another big band, Gated Community, a 15-piece group, which revisited the boundaries between total musical freedom and novel compositions.  Some videos remain of the band’s performances, which included  two engagements with Damo Suzuki as guest artist.

Beck’s technical innovations and musical ideas are often a source of inspiration to his collaborators on stage, and hehe works with many of free music’s best-known exponents covering a wide age range. He is based in Sheffield , plays regularly in London and elsewhere in the UK and from time to time in Spain, Germany, Austria, France, Canada and Australia .

He has worked with many great musicians such ass saxists J.D. Parran to Alan Wilkinson, guitarists Derek Bailey to Hugh Metcalfe, percussionists Tony Buck to Steve Noble and Paul Hession, bassists Marcio Mattos to Simon Fell, pianists Chris Burn to Stephen Grew and Pat Thomas.

In the 1990s through to 2004, he was one of the lead organisers of Sheffield ’s Other Music, a bastion of the UK ’s free music scene for 22 years from 1982 to 2004.

derek_bailey_mick_beck

He has worked with many great musicians such ass saxists J.D. Parran to Alan Wilkinson, guitarists Derek Bailey to Hugh Metcalfe, percussionists Tony Buck to Steve Noble and Paul Hession, bassists Marcio Mattos to Simon Fell, pianists Chris Burn to Stephen Grew and Pat Thomas.

In the 1990s through to 2004, he was one of the lead organisers of Sheffield ’s Other Music, a bastion of the UK ’s free music scenefor 22 years.

Recordings include

Weavels, The Living Puzzle, 2015.  Discus Music 51CD

Life Echoes, Mick Beck solo, Feb 2009, Discus 36CD

BLISTRAP on Stage.   Setola di Maiala. Sm1560.

Weavels at The Nether Edge, Discus 34CD, November 2008

A Low Carbonation, Discus 28 CD, Beck/Drenching/Pleasure, June 2006;

Shkrang: Some thoughts about, (Mick Beck, Dave Tucker guitar and laptop, Paul Hession drums, Discus 25 CD, issued April 2006): “A top avant garde pick for 2006” (All About Jazz review) and “ One has to look back as far as early Amalgam to find free jazz / improv as compellingly rooted and adventurous as this” (The Wire review)

It’s Morning (Grew Trio, Discus 22 CD, autumn 2005). Jazzwise review “ This release carries the hallmarks we’ve come to expect: an uncompromising and intense approach to non-idiomatic free music, delivered with an irrepressibly mischievous sense of humour. Ridiculously entertaining”.

Meanwhile, Back in Sheffield … (Derek Bailey guitar, Paul Hession drums, Mick Beck reeds, Discus 21 CD, Spring 2005. The Guardian “ The opening track “After The Red Deer ” is a 30 minute evolution through many sound scapes. “Raining” develops into dense ensemble jostles, with the raucous entry of Beck’s bassoon. And on “Buckets”, the three players trade phrases as though hurling a hot coal back and fourth. These last two titles celebrate the apparent passage of the Sheffield rain through the roof, an event sure to convince free improvisers that there definitely is a god.

Motion Ejecta: Milo Fine (reeds and percussion), Paul Hession (drums), and Mick Beck (t/sax bassoon), Cadence USA, 2004; Web Store Review from USA : “ It took Milo Fine, Mick Beck, and Paul Hession 56:43 to make this album. You’ll be listening to it for a lot longer than that!” Cadence Magazine , USA , “ This is free Jazz at its most uncompromising and it’s all the stronger for that”. Cadence Jazz Records “Able to double- and triple-tongue on a double reed, he creates dissonant textures you wouldn’t associate with the usual orchestral instrument”.

The 3 Bs (Pat Thomas, Paul Hession, live at the Termite Festival, Leeds ).

… To Play Music, (Stephen Grew Trio, live from Liverpool ).

Beck-Drenching-Pleasure ( Live at HOTS-OD, with T H F Drenching and Miss Sonic Pleasure,2002. Beck Drenching Pleasure Live at Hots OD re-issued at Fen Hibrow recordings with this fantastic quote, below.

Synopsis – everything fh-b017cd should have been, and the reason for the ignoble deposition of that disc, this new shit more than lives up to the wire’s gush. Pleasure creates a dialectical guide-book of latticed brickwork: the whole is sundered into different concepts, this divided whole yields a fixed and permanent determinacy; not a fossilised determinacy but one which permanently recreates itself in its dissolution. As beck departs into heavily gestural bassoonery with the timing and ritualised brutality of a tartar horde, drenching spreads upended tacks and melted action-figures exactly where you were going to park. The divided whole fails to stop, causing damage to the rear passenger-side quarter of your vehicle. Later you exchange details.

Mick Beck Stephen Grew Duo: Picture August (CD).

Something Else: Playing with Tunes, and Start Moving Earbuds (CDs), and Rearquarters (cassette).

Feet Packets (14-piece band), Listen! Feet Packets (CD), and two cassettes.

Contributions to Simon Fell’s Compilations 4 and 3 and Piece for 10(0);

Contributions to many of Martin Archer’s releases such as recent Outward Sound’s Thunder in a clear sky.

In 2013 a documentary film by Jonny Drury about his music, Mick Beck, Rather Different was released, and that is now available as a DVD. Since then he has released 2 further CDs – Beck Hunters (The Hunt is On, Discus 46CD), and Weavels (The Living Puzzle, Discus51CD), both well reviewed.