Tony Oxley

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Tony Oxley
Tony Oxley.jpg
Oxley performing at the Barbican Centre in 2006
Background information
Born (1938-06-15) 15 June 1938 (age 76)
Sheffield, England
Genres Avant-garde jazz
Free jazz
Instruments Drums
percussion
Associated acts Joseph Holbrooke Trio
Derek Bailey
Cecil Taylor
John Surman
Tomasz Stańko
Bill Dixon
Alan Skidmore
Kenny Wheeler
Vangelis

Tony Oxley (born 15 June 1938) is an English free-jazz drummer and one of the founders of Incus Records.

Biography[edit]

Tony Oxley was born in Sheffield, England.[1] A self-taught pianist by the age of eight, he first began playing the drums at seventeen. In Sheffield he was taught by well respected local drummer Haydon Cook, who had returned to the city after a long residency, in the 1950s, at Ronnie Scotts in London. While in the Black Watch military band from 1957 to 1960 he studied music theory and improved upon his drumming technique. From 1960 to 1964 he led his own quartet which performed locally in England, and in 1963 he began working with Gavin Bryars and guitarist Derek Bailey in a trio known as Joseph Holbrooke.[2] Oxley moved to London in 1966 and became house drummer at Ronnie Scott's, where he accompanied visiting musicians as Joe Henderson, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins and Bill Evans until the early 1970s. He was also a member of various groups led by musicians such as Gordon Beck, Alan Skidmore and Mike Pyne.[1]

In 1969 Oxley appeared on the recording of the later released John McLaughlin album Extrapolation and also formed his own quintet consisting of Derek Bailey, Jeff Clyne, Evan Parker and Kenny Wheeler, releasing the album The Baptised Traveller. Following this album the group was joined by Paul Rutherford on trombone and became a sextet, releasing the 1970 album 4 Compositions for Sextet.[1] That same year Oxley helped found Incus Records along with Bailey and others and also the Musicians Cooperative. He also received a three-month "artist-in-residence" at the Sydney Conservatorium in Australia in 1970.[3] Around this time he joined the London Jazz Composers Orchestra and also got involved with collaborations with Howard Riley. In 1973 he became a tutor at the Jazz Summer School in Barry, South Wales, and in 1974 he formed another group of his own known as Angular Apron. Through the 1980s he worked with various musicians, including Tony Coe and Didier Levallet, also forming his own Celebration Orchestra during the latter half of that decade. Oxley also did extensive touring with Anthony Braxton in 1989, and also began a long-lasting working relationship with Cecil Taylor during this period.[1]

Oxley at the Moers Festival, Germany, in 2008

In 1993 he joined an international quartet that included Tomasz Stańko, Bobo Stenson, and Anders Jormin, and in 2000 he released the album Triangular Screen with the Tony Oxley Project 1 a trio including with Ivar Grydeland and Tonny Kluften.

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

As collaborator[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Car, Ian; Fairweather, Digby; Priestley, Brian (2004). The Rough Guide to Jazz, 3rd Edition. p. 601. 
  2. ^ Cox, Christop, et al. (2004). Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music. p. 257. 
  3. ^ Brennan, Gerald E. "Tony Oxley Biography". 

References[edit]