Tony Oxley
Get Tony Oxley essential facts below. View Videos or join the Tony Oxley discussion. Add Tony Oxley to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Tony Oxley

Tony Oxley
Oxley at the Moers Festival, Germany, in 2008
Oxley at the Moers Festival, Germany, in 2008
Background information
Born (1938-06-15) 15 June 1938 (age 84)
Sheffield, England
GenresAvant-garde jazz, free jazz, free improvisation, fusion
LabelsIncus, FMP

Tony Oxley (born 15 June 1938)[1] is an English free improvising drummer and one of the founders of Incus Records.


Oxley was born in Sheffield, England.[2] A self-taught pianist by the age of eight, he first began playing the drums at seventeen. In Sheffield he was taught by 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.[1] From 1960 to 1964 he led a quartet which performed locally in England.[1] In 1963, he began working with Gavin Bryars and guitarist Derek Bailey,[1] in a trio known as Joseph Holbrooke.[3] Oxley moved to London in 1966 and became house drummer at Ronnie Scott's,[1] 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.[2]

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.[2] That same year Oxley helped found Incus Records with Bailey and others and Musicians Cooperative.[1] He received a three-month artist-in-residence job at the Sydney Conservatorium in Australia in 1970. Around this time he joined the London Jazz Composers Orchestra and collaborated with Howard Riley.[1] In 1973 he became a tutor at the Jazz Summer School in Barry, South Wales, and in 1974 he formed the band Angular Apron.[1] Through the 1980s he worked with Tony Coe and Didier Levallet and started the Celebration Orchestra during the latter half of the decade. In the late 1980s, Oxley toured and recorded with Anthony Braxton, and also began a working relationship with Cecil Taylor.[2]

In 1993, he joined a quartet with Tomasz Sta?ko, 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

With The Quartet

  • Dedications (Konnex, 1984)
  • Relation (Konnex, 1985)
  • Interchange (Konnex, 1986)
  • Live (Konnex, 1987)

As guest

With Gordon Beck

  • Experiments with Pops (Major Minor, 1968)
  • Gyroscope (Morgan, 1969)
  • Seven Steps to Evans - A Tribute to the Compositions of Bill Evans (MPS, 1980)[4]
  • When Sunny Gets Blue (Spring '68 Sessions) (Turtle, 2018)

With Bill Dixon

With Barry Guy/London Jazz Composers Orchestra

With Joseph Holbrooke

  • ' 98 (Incus 2000)
  • The Moat Recordings (Tzadik, 2006)

With Rolf Kühn

  • Devil in Paradise (BASF, 1971)
  • Going to the Rainbow (BASF, 1971)

With Howard Riley

  • Flight (Turtle, 1971)
  • Synopsis (Incus 1974)
  • Overground (Emanem, 2001)

With Tomasz Sta?ko

With John Surman

With Cecil Taylor

With others


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Colin Larkin, ed. (1992). The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music (First ed.). Guinness Publishing. p. 1884. ISBN 0-85112-939-0.
  2. ^ a b c d Car, Ian; Fairweather, Digby; Priestley, Brian (2004). The Rough Guide to Jazz, 3rd Edition. p. 601.
  3. ^ Cox, Christop; et al. (2004). Audio Culture: Readings in Modern Music. p. 257.
  4. ^ "MPS". Retrieved 2020.


  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes