Tony Oxley

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Tony Oxley
Oxley Tony moersfestival 120508.jpg
Oxley at the Moers Festival, Germany, in 2008
Background information
Born (1938-06-15) 15 June 1938 (age 80)
Sheffield, England
GenresAvant-garde jazz, free jazz
Years active1960s–present
Associated actsJoseph Holbrooke Trio, Derek Bailey, Cecil Taylor, John Surman, Tomasz Stańko, Bill Dixon, Alan Skidmore, Kenny Wheeler

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


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 b Haydon Cook, who had returned to the city after a long residency in the 1950s at Ronnie Scott's in London. While in the Black Watch military band from 1957 to 1960, he studied music theory and improved his drumming technique. From 1960 to 1964 he led a quartet which performed locally in England. 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 such as Joe Henderson, Lee Konitz, Charlie Mariano, Stan Getz, Sonny Rollins, and Bill Evans until the early 1970s. He was a member of bands led by Gordon Beck, Alan Skidmore, and Mike Pyne.[1]

In 1969 Oxley appeared on the John McLaughlin album Extrapolation and formed a quintet with 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 with Bailey and others and Musicians Cooperative. He received a three-month artist-in-residence job at the Sydney Conservatorium in Australia in 1970.[3] Around this time he joined the London Jazz Composers Orchestra and collaborated with Howard Riley. In 1973 he became a tutor at the Jazz Summer School in Barry, South Wales, and in 1974 he formed the band Angular Apron. Through the 1980s he worked with Tony Coe and Didier Levallet and started the Celebration Orchestra during the latter half of the decade. Oxley toured with Anthony Braxton in 1989 began a working relationship with Cecil Taylor.[1]

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


As leader[edit]

Source: [4]

As collaborator[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".
  4. ^ "Tony Oxley | Album Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 5 March 2019.