Monday 12 December 2016

NJN Jazz Advent Calendar - Engine Room Favourites (Dec 12th)

Behind door number 12 we find record label owner, composer and saxophonist Martin Archer and Engine Room Favourites.

Click here to listen to an extract from their album Bad Tidings from Slackwater Drag -

Martin Archer - Sopranino, alto, baritone saxophones, bass clarinet, bass recorder
Mick Beck - Tenor saxophone, bassoon
Graham Clark - Violin
Laura Cole - Piano and Fender piano
Corey Mwamba - Vibraphone
Seth Bennett - Double bass
Peter Fairclough - Drums and percussion
Johnny Hunter - Drums and percussion
Walt Shaw - Percussion
Steve Dinsdale - Percussion
A band of band leaders, comprising some of the most creative new voices on the scene plus some maverick veterans. You decide who is which. A front line which is as sophisticated as it is rough edged. Complex interplay from piano and vibes flanking them from either side of the stage. And a rhythm powerhouse of four percussionists, collectively able to move from the most delicate and unexpected little instrument textures through to a barely containable percussive storm. 
The band aesthetic remains true to Archer's earliest experience in creative music, as a follower of the AACM school of music pioneered by Art Ensemble of Chicago, Leo Smith, and Anthony Braxton. This is a style which has never been really followed up by European musicians, nevertheless it remains the model for Archer's contributions to jazz based music. Archer has said "the appeal of this style to me is that it remains considered, spacious and open, without sacrificing any of the improvisational heat and energy which places its exponent players firmly in the avantgarde tradition. And crucially, it never disconnects from its own past, in particular the blues, no matter how abstract it gets. It's that very mix of pure abstraction with the directness and energy of the sound that I continue to find so compelling in this music.". 
Engine Room Favourites are not postmodernists, not retro stylists, but instead keep their eyes and ears firmly on a forward path jazz might have taken in the next period, but never quite did.

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