Foils Quartet


Foils Quartet

Frank Paul Schubert – soprano saxophone
Matthias Müller – trombone
John Edwards – bass
Mark Sanders – drums


FOILS originally started as a duo with Matthias Müller, trombone, and Frank Paul Schubert, soprano saxophone (CD: ‚FOILS‘; fmr, 2011). Since 2012 it has been augmented to the FOILS QUARTET with John Edwards, bass, and Mark Sanders, drums. Since then, the quartet has been playing in Romania, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and the UK, and released the CD ‚The Jersey Lily‘ (creative sources, 2014).
„[…] Music that lives from the excellent communication between the participants. The contrast between the various tone colors of soprano saxophone and trombone is both unusual and attractive at the same time, yet there is a lot to discover beyond this obvious contrast. In general the quartet’s playing is very homogenous and on a very high energy level […] Even if the music is sonically investigative and intellectually challenging it is also emotional and gripping.“
Martin Schray,, August 26, 2014
„[…] What a joy to listen to! Never a dull moment here. Throughout they play intense and concentrated on a continuous high level. Thrilling playing by Schubert, what a player. […] It is above all the constant stream of musical ideas that make their interplay very rich and fascinating. Quite and subtle textures change for high-energy battles. Totally gripping music, emotional as well as cerebral if this distinction is of any meaning.“
Dolf Mulder, Vital Weekly #964, January 2015

Matthias Müller was starting playing trombone in the local brass choir at the age of 10. From 1994 to 1999 he studied jazz-trombone at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, where he also made his first steps into improvised music. His CD „Bhavan“, which was released in 2004, was produced by Chicago based musician and journalist John Corbett. In the same year he moved to Berlin and has since been regularly playing with internationally recognized improvisers such as George Lewis, Johannes Bauer, Jeb Bishop, Tobias Delius, Olaf Rupp, Sofia Jernberg, Eve Risser, John Butcher, Nate Wooley, Clayton Thomas, Michael Vorfeld, Axel Dörner, and many more. He is a member of the 24-piece improvising ensemble, “Splitter Orchester“, and was also a member of the “German-French Jazzensemble“ under the direction of Albert Mangelsdorff. In addition, Müller is also active in the field of contemporary music and writes music for theatre and dance pieces. He has toured Africa, Asia, Australia, North America and many countries in Europe, having played on numerous festivals, and released more than 40 CDs of his own projects, including a number on his own label „MaMüMusic“. His playing style is characterized by an extraordinary range of unconventional and partly self-developed techniques which stretch the boundaries of sound and improvisation while staying true to the musical process.
Frank Paul Schubert lives in Berlin since 1999. Schubert works regularly with Willi Kellers, Andreas Willers, Johannes Bauer, Paul Dunmall,  Matthias Müller, John Edwards, Mark Sanders, Uwe Oberg, Günter Baby Sommer, Alexander von Schlippenbach and many more. Tours led him to Poland, Romania, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, France, Spain, Holland, UK, USA and Canada. Festival appearances include Nickelsdorf Konfrontationen, Ulrichsberg Kaleidophon, Madrid Hurta Cordel, Sibiu Jazz&More, Hamburg ElbJazz and many more. He released several recordings on labels including Leo Records, NoBusiness Records, FMR, Creative Sources, gligg, JazzHausMusik, KONNEX, farai-NRW.
Frank Paul had the pleasure to collaborate with many fine musicians including the following (in alphabetical order): Antonis Anissegos, Rudi Fischerlehner, Paul Hubweber, Peter van Huffel, John Hughes, Hilary Jeffery, Kalle Kalima, Achim Kaufmann, Jan Klare, Meinrad Kneer, Olaf Rupp, Julie Sassoon, Harri Sjöström, Christof Thewes, Clayton Thomas.
John Edwards is a true virtuoso whose staggering range of techniques and boundless musical imagination have redefined the possibility of the double bass and dramatically expanded its role, whether playing solo or with others. Perpetually in demand, he has played with Evan Parker, Sunny Murray, Derek Bailey, Joe McPhee, Lol Coxhill, Peter Brötzmann, Mulatu Astatke and many others.
„I think John Edwards is absolutely remarkable: there’s never been anything like him before, anywhere in jazz.“ – Richard Williams, The Blue Moment
Mark Sanders has played with many renowned musicians including Derek Bailey, Henry Grimes, Roswell Rudd, Okkyung Lee, Barry Guy, Tim Berne, Otomo Yoshihide, Jah Wobble, Harold Budd, Sidsel Endresen , in duo and quartets with Wadada Leo Smith and trios with Charles Gayle with Sirone and William Parker. Mark and John Edwards have a long history as a rhythm section with many groups including Evan Parker Trio, Trevor Watts Quartet, with electro acoustic composer John Wall, `FOILS` with Frank Paul Schubert and Matthias Müller, Veryan Weston, John Tilbury, Agusti Fernandez and Mathew Shipp.
In situations using composition in one form or another Mark works in various projects including Christian Marclay`s `Everyday` piece for film and live music includes Mark with Christian, Steve Beresford, John Butcher and Alan Tomlinson. John Butcher`s `Tarab Cuts` interacting with Arabic music based backing tracks, with both projects he has performed major festivals and Biennales throughout Europe. For artist Henrik Hakensen`s film `The End` he has performed John Coxon`s music in Glasgow and Sydney playing with the Scottish and Sydney symphony Orchestras. With New York`s ICE Ensemble he has performed John Zorn`s `The Tempest` in London and at Huddersfield New Music Festival As a member of the group `The Langston project` with Hasse Poulsen, Deborah Cameron and Luc Ex they perform pieces based on the poetry of Langston Hughes.
Mark also works in trios with Lotte Anker & Adam Pultz Melbye, Toby Delius & Olie Brice, and in the groups of Paul Dunmall including Deep Whole Trio with Paul Rogers, and the ensembles of Mikolaj Trzaska, Gail Brand, Peter Jaquemyn, and Simon H Fell. He has performed in the USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Morrocco, South Africa, Australia, Mozambique and Turkey, playing at many major festivals including, Nickelsdorf, Ulrichsburg, Glastonbury, Womad, Vancouver, Isle of Wight, Roskilde, Berlin Jazz days, Mulhouse, Luz, Minniapolis, Banlieue Bleues, Son D`hiver and Hurta Cordel. He has released over 120 CDs.


„[…] The unapologetic climax of this year’s kaleidophonic urge to sound was achieved by the British-German four-star Foils Quartet. Two duos that had been cooperating for a long time – John Edwards (b) & Mark Sanders (dr) as well as Frank Paul Schubert (ss) & Matthias Müller (tb) – brought bonds and divergences into a frictional and amalgamating harmony. Using an outrageously relaxed and playfully lucid, but never obtrusive virtuosity. Thus complex analogies, straightforward directness, fuel and filigree images, gathered in a compelling order of ideas, had a nourishing foundation. Four wonderful musicians, deeply respectful and impartial of each other, created in free flight an extremely sensitive as well as wild, adventurous music with a distinct sense of timbres in bulk and the importance of form. Sold with enormous assertiveness.“ [transl.]
Hannes Schweiger and Christoph Haunschild in Freistil #61 about Kaleidophon Festival 2015 in Ulrichsberg