press quotes


SFQ2 is the second instalment in the series of smaller ensembles initiated by Simon Fell in 1999; regularly performing units which would enable Fell to bring his compositional theories and discoveries to bear on organic, flexible groups, featuring some of the finest musicians available.

SFQ1 saw Fell returning to his love of contemporary and experimental jazz composition, featuring a line-up of two horns, piano, bass and drums. SFQ2 was formed in late 2003, and gave their first performance in January 2004. SFQ2 reflects a different set of priorities in Fell's composition, moving slightly away from the jazz influence to emphasise his music's connection with contemporary classical and experimental non-jazz composition, although jazz-influenced elements will not be completely absent. The groups includes some of the UK's leading improvisers, including performers with extensive experience of bridging the gap between improvisation and contemporary composition.

Fell compositions premiered by this group so far include Composition No. 70: Liverpool Quartet

The group's first CD (shared with SFQ1) - Four Compositions - was released by Red Toucan in December 2004.

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



Alex Ward

Alex Ward first came to prominence for his work with Derek Bailey & Company, and his duo with Steve Noble. Since 1993 he has been working with Switch in The 13 Ghosts, and is a member of Camp Blackfoot. He has also worked with Eugene Chadbourne, Butch Morris, Thurston Moore and doubtless a host of others.....

Guy Llewellyn

Guy Llewellyn is a specialist in contemporary classical performance, but also has a long association with improvisation and intuitive music. He has worked with Simon Fell several times in the past, as well as with Mark Wastell, Rhodri Davies, Karlheinz Stockhausen, the Anglia Sinfonia, Alan Wilkinson, Cambridge Circus and Paul Hession

Simon Fell

Mark Sanders

Mark Sanders has played with jazz, rock and improvising musicians around the world including Jah Wobble, Bill Laswell, Harold Budd, Evan Parker, Jaki Leibezeit, Dudu Pukwana, Elton Dean, Roswell Rudd, David Sylvian, Tim Berne, Mats Gustaffson and Charles Gayle. He is without doubt one of Europe's finest musicians



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 IST, Mick Beck's Something Else, Hession/Wilkinson/Fell 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

some press responses to other Fell composition projects:

"The debate about 2lst-century music starts right here." HIFI NEWS & RECORD REVIEW

"Music of a passion and originality unusual in Britain." THE GUINNESS ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF POPULAR MUSIC

"It's hard to think of anybody in the UK among the jazz-related musicians of his generation.....who is working on this scale and with such audacious inventiveness." THE WIRE

"The sharpest dialogue between composition and improvisation realised by any English composer." RESONANCE

"Composition No. 12.5 is a remarkable piece of work. In short, we have a potential classic here.....Brilliant." THE WIRE

"Some of the most vivid and creative improvisation/composition fusions in recent times." THE PENGUIN GUIDE TO JAZZ ON CD, LP & CASSETTE

" Fell's serialist tenets are radically energised by the shades of Mingus and Dolphy, while the baggy excesses which can mar jazz or extended free improvisation have been pared away, leaving finely variegated and beautifully balanced compositions." THE WIRE

" Remarkable for its ambitious objective as well as the means employed, Composition No. 30 must be recognised as a significant event for British jazz." IMPROJAZZ

"Two hours of music, 42 musicians, one mad genius at its centre. I am starting to believe that Simon H. Fell is one of the most important composers alive, and releases like Composition No. 30 just make the case more cut-and-dried by the minute." RESONANCE

"The monumental Composition No. 30, is an important monument in the history of late 20th Century music. In this single piece one finds not only Ives, Webern, Cage, Ligeti, Partch, and Boulez, but also Ellington, Mingus, Sousa, Sun Ra, and even a little urban blues. It's as if all of Braxton's varied and copious output were microscoped into one audacious work for large ensemble. Fell seems to me to have created a piece of music on the level of Boulez' Pli Selon Pli and Ives' Holidays Symphony. Fell's Composition No.30 for Improvisers, Big Band and Chamber Ensemble is nothing less than a summing up and distillation of the experimental strains of Western music at the end of the millennium. It's a resounding success; a modern masterpiece. Composition No. 30 should not only be considered as one of the top ten recordings of the year, but (move over all you Cardews, Birtwistles and Ferneyhoughs!) as one of the most important musical works to come out of Britain since the Sixties." CADENCE

"Listening to this music, I feel as if it is an inexhaustible document - that there is more substance, more happening than I could ever take in. Composition No. 30 is truly a land-mark recording in contemporary music." SIGNAL TO NOISE

"Composition No. 30 is the lifetime masterpiece by a major contemporary musician - except, of course, Fell is hopefully going to be delivering much more music to us yet." THE PENGUIN GUIDE TO JAZZ ON CD

all photos: © Jo Fell

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