3 Songs, 1 Hour, 13 Minutes


About Paul Hession

When it comes to British Free Improv drummers, if Paul Hession's name has circulated less than, say Paul Lytton, Tony Levin, or Mark Sanders, it is mostly due to the fact that he worked hard to nurture an avant-garde scene in his hometown of Leeds instead of moving to London. His loquacious, effervescent playing and high listening skills deserve as much attention and recognition as the aforementioned artists. Hession is best known for his participation to George Haslam's Siger Band, the Hession/Wilkinson/Fell trio, and his various projects with Simon H. Fell and Mick Beck.

Hession's first musical experiences go back to his childhood. At age 7 he began to play the guitar and sing in a church choir. He sat behind the drums for the first time at age 15. Self-taught like most rock drummers, he played the usual cover bands in Leeds' club circuit. Gradually he veered toward jazz and by the late ‘70s had developed an interest for the free improvisation happening in London. In 1979 he formed his first free improv group, Art Bart & Fargo with saxophonists Pete Malham and Alan Wilkinson -- the latter would remain a lifelong collaborator.

In the ‘80s Hession was involved in the construction and maintenance of an avant-garde music scene in the Leeds and Sheffield areas of England, together with other regional-minded musicians like Simon H. Fell and Martin Archer. He co-managed the Termite Club in Leeds during the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, taught drumming in local schools and established the Improvised Music Workshop. Meanwhile, after being introduced to George Haslam by trombonist Paul Rutherford, he joined The Siger Band with which he made some of his first recordings. In 1989 he formed a long-lasting trio with Wilkinson and Fell that went on to release half a dozen albums and perform throughout Europe and America, including the Newfoundland Sound Symposium (St. John's, Canada) in 1994 and the Freedom of the City Festival (London, England) in 2001. Also in 1989 he recorded his first sessions for Fell's label Bruce's Fingers. He would later be included in most of the bassist's projects, including the trio Something Else with bassoonist Mick Beck. He recorded his first solo album, Giant Soft Drum Set, in 1996. In 2001 he toured England and Argentina with the Anglo-Argentine Jazz Quartet with which he recorded Live at the Red Rose. ~ François Couture

Leeds, Yorkshire, England
19 September 1956