Oxley performing at the Barbican Centre in 2006
15 June 1938|
Joseph Holbrooke Trio|
Tony Oxley was born in Sheffield, England. 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. 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 also a member of various groups led by musicians such as Gordon Beck, Alan Skidmore and Mike Pyne.
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. 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. 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.
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 with Ivar Grydeland and Tonny Kluften.
- The Baptised Traveller (CBS, 1969)
- 4 Compositions for Sextet (CBS, 1970)
- Ichnos (RCA, 1971)
- February Papers (Incus, 1977)
- Oxley, Tony (1985). Live in Berlin.
- Oxley, Tony (1985). Tomorrow Is Here. Dossier.
- The Tony Oxley Quartet (1992). Tony Oxley Quartet. Incus.
- Oxley, Tony (1994). Enchanted Messenger: Live from Berlin Jazz Festival. Soul Note.
- Tony Oxley Project 1 (2001). Triangular Screen. Sofa.
- Oxley, Tony (2007). The Advocate. Tzadik.
- Fame, Georgie (1967). Two Faces of Fame. Columbia.
- Beck, Gordon (1968). Experiments with Pops. Major Minor.
- Beck, Gordon (1968). Gyroscope. Morgan.
- McLaughlin, John (1969). Extrapolation. Polydor.
- Bowie, Lester (1969). Gittin' to Know You. MPS.
- Surman, John (1969). How Many Clouds Can You See?. Deram.
- Harris, Don Sugarcane (1970). Keep on Driving. Musidisc.
- Riley, Howard (1971). Flight. Turtle.
- Gibbs, Michael (1971). Michael Gibbs/Tanglewood '63. Dutton Vocalion.
- Barry Guy/The London Jazz Composers' Orchestra: Ode (Incus, 1972)
- Kenny Wheeler: Song for Someone (Incus, 1973)
- Oxley, Tony; Davie, Alan (1975). The Tony Oxley Alan Davie Duo. a/l/l.
- Vangelis (1978). Hypothesis. Affinity.
- Coe, Oxley & Co. (1983). Nutty. hatHUT.
- Peter Brötzmann Clarinet Project (1984). Berlin Djungle. Unheard Music Series/Atavistic.
- Oxley, Tony; Winstone, Norma; Wheeler, Kenny; Taylor, John; Fresu, Paolo; Damiani, Paolo (1984). Live at Roccella Jonica. Splasc(h).
- Rava, Enrico (1984). String Band. Soul Note.
- Guy, Barry; London Jazz Composers Orchestra (1987). Zurich Concerts. Intakt.
- Mancinelli, Augusto (1988). Extreme. Splasc(h).
- Taylor, Cecil; Oxley, Tony (1988). Leaf Palm Hand. FMP.
- Cecil Taylor, and Corona (1989). Looking (Berlin Version) Corona. FMP.
- Anthony Braxton: Seven Compositions (Trio) 1989 (hatART, 1989)
- Battaglia, Stefano; Oxley, Tony (1990). Explore. Splasc(h).
- Cecil Taylor Workshop Ensemble (1990). Melancholy. FMP.
- John Surman: Adventure Playground (ECM, 1991)
- The Feel Trio (1991). Looking [Berlin Version]. FMP.
- Stańko, Tomasz (1993). Bosonossa and Other Ballads. Gowi.
- The Feel Trio (1993). Celebrated Blazons. FMP.
- Battaglia, Stefano (1993). Sulphur. Splasc(h).
- Tomasz Stańko: Matka Joanna (ECM, 1994)
- Lindsay Cooper/Trio Trabant a Roma (1994). State of Volgograd. FMP.
- Bill Dixon: Vade Mecum (Soul Note, 1994)
- Bill Dixon: Vade Mecum II (Soul Note, 1994)
- Tomasz Stańko: Leosia (ECM, 1996)
- Paul Rutherford & Iskra 1912 (1997). Sequences 72 & 73. Emanem.
- Oxley, Tony; Bailey, Derek (1997). Soho Suites. Incus.
- Paul Bley: Chaos (Soul Note, 1994 ) with Furio Di Castri
- Alex, Schlippenbach (1998). Digger's Harvest. FMP.
- Jost, Ekkehard (1998). Some Other Tapes. Fish.
- Joseph Holbrooke Trio (1999). '65 (Rehearsal Extract). Incus.
- Dixon, Bill (2000). Berlin Abbozzi. FMP.
- Joseph Holbrooke Trio (2000). Joseph Holbrooke '98. Incus.
- Bill Dixon: Papyrus Volume I (Soul Note, 1998 )
- Bill Dixon: Papyrus Volume II (Soul Note, 1998 )
- Riley, Howard (2000). Synopsis. Emanem.
- Riley, Howard (2001). Overground. Emanem.
- Taylor, Cecil; Dixon, Bill; Oxley, Tony (2002). Cecil Taylor/Bill Dixon/Tony Oxley. Victo.
- Gratkowski, Frank; Van Hove, Fred; Oxley, Tony (2002). GratHovOx. Nuscope.
- Stenson, Bobo (2002). Rarum, Vol. 8: Selected Recordings. ECM.
- Surman, John (2004). Rarum, Vol. 13: Selected Recordings. ECM.
- Stańko, Tomasz. Rarum, Vol. 17: Selected Recordings. ECM.
- Alan Skidmore Quintet (2005). Once Upon a Time. Dutton Vocalion.
- Evans, Bill (2006). Complete February 1972 Paris ORTF Performance. Gambit.
- Surman, John; Oxley, Tony; Skidmore, Alan; Wheeler, Kenny (2006). Jazz in Britain 68–69.
- Joseph Holbrooke Trio (2006). The Moat Recordings. Tzadik.
- Scott, Ronnie (2007). Live at Ronnie Scott's. BMG.
- Meloni, Orru, Oxley (2010). Improvised Pieces For Trio. Big Round Records.
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