Paul Hession

Paul Hession's own site at is also available

Photograph copyright Jo Fell.

Born Leeds, 19 September 1956; drums.

Paul Hession started playing guitar and singing in the church choir at 7 and he credits his choir leader - also an improvising organist - with his continued interest in music. He started playing drums at the age of 15, being mainly self taught, and started off through the usual route of rock groups, cabaret, and working men's clubs. 'Seeing Elvin Jones at Ronnie Scott's Club in 1975 gave him food for thought for years.'

Having been drawn towards free improvisation, Hession formed Art Bart & Fargo with Alan Wilkinson (alto and soprano saxophones) and Pete Malham (tenor saxophone, congas) in 1979, and in the late 1980s and early 1990s did much of the organising for the Termite Club in Leeds, formed originally by Wilkinson and guitarist Paul Buckton to perform and promote free improvised music in the area. Since Hession has played with many improvisors, including Harry Sjostrom, Jay Oliver, Wolfgang Fuchs, Paul Rutherford, Hans-Peter Hiby, Derek Bailey (as well as taking part in Company Week in 1988), Evan Parker, Maggie Nicols, Phil Wachsmann, Peter Kowald, Paul Dunmall, Alan Tomlinson, Teppo Hauta Aho, Paul Rogers, Marcio Mattos, Lol Coxhill, and Peter Brötzmann.

Between 1985 and 1987 Paul Hession ran the Improvised Music Workshop in Leeds, he taught drumming in schools from 1989 to 1991, played music with silent films and worked with dancers Tamsin Spain and Derek Williams of the Northern Ballet Theatre, and he played bebop with Teddy Edwards in 1988.

The trios Hession/Wilkinson/Fell and Something Else! with Mick Beck and Simon Fell have been re-energised and are active once more. In recent years he was invited to play with Marshall Allen in Brussels, Poschiavo (Switzerland) and London, toured in the UK with Joe McPhee, works regularly with The Thin Red Line - an Anglo-Norwegian trio with Petter Frost-Fadnes and Rus Pearson - and has a Leeds based trio, Unit of Resistance, with saxophonist Richard Ormrod and double bassist Paul Moore.


Further reading

Entry in Lister, C. (1992), The Guinness encyclopedia of popular music from which some of above has been drawn.


Plain speaking, Prime PLP02. Green/Bellatalla/Hession.
1986, The healing, Spotlite SPJ 533. With George Haslam, Paul Rutherford, Pete McPhail, Tony Moore.
1986, Giant soft drum set, P-Ville 0001 CD. Solo.
Out the window, Prime PLP04. Green/Africa/Rogers/Lipere/Hession.
1988, The real case, Senti SE 101. Duo with Hans-Peter Hiby.
1988, Listen, Feetpackets, Discus 1 CD. Feetpackets.
1989, Termite one, BFC24/BF 32.
1989, Termite two, BFC25.
1990, Odeon's dropout piece, SLAMCD 401. Single Hession/Wilkinson/Fell piece on compilation CD.
1990, Laid back leisure spots, BFC23. Hession/Wharf/Fell.
1990, Millions of wishes come true in plastic film, BFC26. Hession/Wharf/Fell & Kretzschmar.
1990, Compilation II, BF 4/BF 26.
1991, Eight classic jazz originals you can play, BFC33.
1991, Bogey's, BFC36/BF 31.
1992, foom! foom!, BF 5.
1992, Rear quarters, BFC39.
1993, The horrors of Darmstadt, SX 025CD.
1993, Start moving earbuds, BF10.
1993, Music for 10(0), Leo Lab CD 013.
1993, Step up!, Division DIVCD 1. Derek Saw's Rhythm Division.
1994, St. John's, Ecstatic Peace! E#77. Hession/Wilkinson/Fell.
1995/96, Playing with tunes, BF20. Something else.
1996, Registered firm, Incus CD 33. Hession/Wilkinson/Fell/Morris.
1996, Giant soft drum set, P-Ville 0001 CD. Solo.
1998, Composition No. 30: Compilation III, Bruce's Fingers BF 27.
2000, Improvability, BF44. Hession/Wharf/Fell.
2000, The three b's, fencing flatworm ff019. Beck/Hession/Thomas.
2001, Live at the Red Rose, SLAMCD 313. The Anglo-Argentine Jazz Quartet.
2002, Pendle Hawk Carapace, SLAMCD 315. Haslam/Hession duo.
2003, A parallax view, SLAMCD 268. Joe McPhee/Paul Hession.
2003, Motion ejecta, CJR 1164. Fine/Beck/Hession.
2003, The Mahout, SLAMCD 318. Haslam/Bergman/Hession.
2003, MayDay, FMR CD144-i0404. Frode Gjerstad/Paul Hession.
2003, Cool moon, SLAMCD 319. The Anglo-Kuopio Quartet.
2003, Acts of love, Mutable 17519-2. Bergman/Coxhill/Hession.
2003, Live at the Termite Club, Loose Torque LT009. Frode Gjerstad/Nick Stephens/Paul Hession.
2003, Good cop bad cop, No-Fi NEU011. Derek Bailey/Tony Bevan/Paul Hession/Otomo Yoshihide.
2004, Meanwhile, back in Sheffield, Discus 21CD. Derek Bailey/Mick Beck/Paul Hession.
2006, Helios suite, SLAMCD 325. George Haslam/Stefano Pastor/Steve Kershaw/Paul Hession.
2007, Alignment, CJR 1217. The Thin Red Line.
2010, Do easy, Jellymould Jazz JM-JJ005. Home of the brave.
2010, Two falls & a submission, Bo'Weavil Weavil 44CD. Hession/Wilkinson/Fell.
2012/2015, Concretes, Bruce's Fingers BF128. Hession/Stefani.

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