Reviews that mention James Archer

November 28, 2013

Martin Archer

Blue Meat, Black Diesel & Engine Room Favourites
Discus 43 CD

Blending and contrasting vamping horns, violent percussion and spiccato strings, this CD mark a welcome return to Jazz by Sheffield-based reedist Martin Archer. Now mostly involved with electronic-oriented sound design and what he calls “creative Rock”, his dormant talents on sopranino, alto and baritone saxophones and bass clarinet are given full reign here, as part of a 12-piece acoustic band.

Besides a brief introduction the session is divided into the 25 minute “Of The Above”, composed by Archer and percussionist Peter Fairclough and the eight-part title track penned by the saxophonist. Although Archer links the performance here to pioneering Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (ACCM) sessions he does himself a disservice. Few if any AACM compositions are as concerned with the spatial pulsations arising from four percussionists – five if you count Corey Mwamba’s vibraphone – featured on both major tracks. More crucially the tunes’ frequent turn-arounds and transitions are based on chordal dissonance rather than other motifs. In other words reed and/or percussion narratives are usually re-directed by the angled piano pulsations of Laura Cole or jittery counter-melodies arising from Graham Clark’s violin. MORE