Hession / Wilkinson / Fell





HWF Monmouth 2010 © Dave Pearson




Alan Wilkinson - soprano, alto & baritone saxophones   Simon H. Fell - double bass   Paul Hession - drumset  

Hession/Wilkinson/Fell started playing improvised music together in 1989. Since then they have performed at clubs and festivals throughout Europe & in North America (including Freedom of the City 2001 & Sound Symposium 1994), as well as BBC Radios 3 & 4 and CBC in Canada. They appeared in a 1994 television documentary about the Newfoundland Sound Symposium. HWF have often augmented the trio with guests, including Stefan Jaworzyn, Bob Cobbing, Derek Bailey and a 1996 UK tour with Joe Morris.

For the last ten years or so, the three men have been mainly pursuing individual projects - such as Simon Fell's compositional work, Alan Wilkinson's London based trio and Paul Hession's solo work and collaborative projects - but they have decided to reinvigorate this remarkable trio to mark 21 years since its foundation. Click here for more details of the 21st anniversary tour.

recordings include:
Hession/Wilkinson/Fell & Buckton/McMillan/Fell - Termite Two (Bruce's Fingers 1990)
Hession/Wilkinson/Fell - Bogey's (Bruce's Fingers 1991)
Various Artists - The Saxophone Phenomenon (Slam 1992)
Hession/Wilkinson/Fell - foom! foom! (Bruce's Fingers 1992)
Unknown Public - Volume 2 (UP 1993)
Hession/Wilkinson/Fell - The Horrors Of Darmstadt (Shock 1994)
Various Artists - Gramophone Explorations (Gramophone 1997)
Hession/Wilkinson/Fell + Morris - Registered Firm (Incus 1998)
Hession/Wilkinson/Fell - St. John's (Ecstatic Peace! 2000)
Hession/Wilkinson/Fell - Two Falls & A Submission (Bo'Weavil 2011)

"Exceptional acoustic maelstrom . . . . . People who suggest that British jazz always lags behind American innovators should check this date. Their music is often categorised as 'free improvisation' but really is state-of-the-art jazz, blindingly swift and responsive." Ben Watson ARTSCENE

"They left the audience in a state of shock. Whiteheat improvisation, full throttle free jazz out of Archie Shepp 1969, but somehow more so: more venom, more noise, more discord, more evil heat . . . . . simultaneous musicality and cathartic excess . . . . . we are talking the essence of what makes jazz great here." THE WIRE

"Thrillingly intense recording by the inflammatory trio, a band that outdoes the old Brötzmann groups for sheer firepower. An outstanding record that demands a place in any comprehensive collection." THE PENGUIN GUIDE TO JAZZ ON CD, LP & CASSETTE

"Distinctive purveyors of improvised music. The power and passion of their playing called to mind the spirit of 60s US free jazz; their ferocious abstraction had much in common with European improvisers like Brötzmann/van Hove/Bennink and Schlippenbach/Parker/Lovens." Chris Blackford THE WIRE

"Back in 1991, Hession/Wilkinson/Fell played music of such rolling majesty and power that only national stereotypes (Americans play Free Jazz, Europeans play Improv) explain why the trio wasn't hailed by the press everywhere. Paul Hession's waves of cymbals and drums still sound deliriously beautiful, like some natural force. Alan Wilkinson's donkey-bray baritone and lyrical alto rev like a Harley-Davidson, and Simon Fell's bass stokes the fire with exceptional understanding of climactic modulation. Apologists for the uneven blow-outs currently promoted as Ecstatic Jazz in the States say that music as finely-wrought as the late Coltrane isn't possible for lesser mortals. Check this out and explode a few prejudices." HIFI NEWS & RECORD REVIEW

"Spontaneous music of a scorching and unrelenting intensity.....conversational music of the most intuitive eloquence.....unquenchable energy.....There probably isn't such a thing as state-of-the-art free music, but as a term of convenient endearment, it's close enough." John Fordham THE GUARDIAN

"21 years on, do they still have that energy? I think they do... they still have that real drive and power... very forceful, muscular stuff - I was really thrilled by listening to this again actually." John Fordham JAZZ ON 3

For further information, recorded examples of the group's music, or details of fees, availability, contact:
Bruce's Fingers, c/o Simon Fell, 29 Teillet, 23400 St. Dizier-Leyrenne, FRANCE
e-mail: info@brucesfingers.com

Alan Wilkinson (b. London 1954) first made his presence felt as part of the burgeoning Leeds music scene of the 80s, founding the Termite Club and forming long-standing liaisons with Hession and Fell amongst others, while developing a highly personal, vocalized and energetic approach to the saxophone. Re-locating to London in 1990 he currently works in trios with John Edwards and Steve Noble, James Dunn and John Bisset, as well as collaborations with Chris Corsano, Spiritualized, NY duo Talibam! and Spanish group Laxula; he also and runs the flimflam improvisation club in London. Other collaborations have included Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Willi Kellers, Alex Maguire's Cat o'Nine Tails, Sunny Murray, Thurston Moore and Lee Ronaldo, Eddie Prevost, Stefan Jaworzyn, Steve Hubback and Spring Heel Jack. He has appeared at many national and international festivals and is featured on numerous recordings.

Simon Fell is a composer and double bassist active in free improvisation and contemporary jazz and chamber music. He has worked in small or medium groups with John Butcher, Peter Brötzmann, Lol Coxhill, Billy Jenkins, Joe Morris, Keith Tippett, John Zorn, Derek Bailey, Joey Baron, Elliott Sharp, Billy Bang, Christian Marclay and numerous others, and is a founder member of London Improvisers Orchestra. Other regular groupings include SFQ, IST, The ZFP Quartet and many more. He has presented compositions for improvisers at the LMC Festival, the Termite Festival, the Frakture Festival, Leo Records' Unsung Music Festival, Freedom of the City Festival and on many other occasions. His discography includes over 80 recordings. "A major contemporary musician" - The Penguin Guide To Jazz On CD.

Paul Hession was born in Leeds in 1956. After early singing experience as a boy soprano in a church choir and experiments with the guitar, he took up drumming at the age of 15 and since then has played and broadcast in many European & Scandinavian countries as well as Argentina, Mexico, Cuba, USA & Canada. He has played with many of the major figures on the free music scene (for example; Derek Bailey, Evan Parker, Paul Rutherford, Lol Coxhill, Sunny Murray, Marshall Allen, Frode Gjerstad, Peter Kowald, Joe McPhee, Borah Bergman, Otomo Yoshihide as well as his old friends Alan Wilkinson, Simon Fell, Mick Beck & Hans-Peter Hiby). Collaborators from a different scene include Tom Jenkinson (Squarepusher), Bill Orcutt (of Harry Pussy) and techno musician/dj Paul Woolford. He is known to relish the interaction of collective music-making, but also responds to the challenge of solo performance.


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