Sunshine! Quartet (Archer / Mwamba / Bennett / Fairclough)
A small group setting where each performer brings a composition to the session, with Discus family members Martin Archer on saxophones, Corey Mwamba on vibraphone, Seth Bennet on double bass, and Peter Fariclough on drums, for jazz that balances melodic and formidable free improvisation.
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Catalog ID: 59CD
Squidco Product Code: 23376
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Chairworks, in Castleford, England, on October 14th, 2016 by David Watts.
Martin Archer-alto saxophone, sopranino saxophone
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1. Four Free To One 11:22
2. It's Not Finnished 19:58
3. What On Earth Could You Mean? 6:07
4. Alsten 12:49
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London & UK Free Improvisation Scene
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sample the album:
"First release in a new series of small groups drawn from members of the Discus Music family. The concept is for the group to meet, write, rehearse and record in one single session - old school style! Sunshine! Quartet features four Discus regulars each bringing a composition to the table which together make for a spontaneous and exciting slice of pure jazz skill. Also our first collaboration with the fabulous Chilean artist Gonzalo Fuentes / Guerrilla Graphics."-Discus
• Show Bio for Martin Archer
"Martin Archer was born in Sheffield, England, in 1957. He started playing saxophone at age 15 and first got active on the Sheffield improvisational scene in 1973. In the early '80s, he recorded an LP with Bass Tone Trap, his first group. In 1983 he formed the saxophone quartet Hornweb, which, in ten years of existence, released three albums. It is during that time that Archer released his first solo album, Wild Pathway Favourites (1988) and founded the Discus label on which he since releases all his music.
In 1993, he disbanded Hornweb and turned to synthesizers and sequencers while shifting his activities from stage to studio. He developed a compositional approach in which he records improvisers soloing, then manipulates this raw material, combining it with electronics and structuring it into a whole new piece. This technique is illustrated on Wild Pathway Favourites, Ghost Lily Cascade (1996), and Pure Water Construction (with bassist Simon H. Fell, released in 1999). Later works such as Winter Pilgrim Arriving (2000) moved toward more constructed and less abstract pieces, even making room for melodies and rhythm tracks at times.
Apart from his solo work, Archer is also involved in Ask, a duo with guitarist John Jasnoch, and Transient v Resident, an ambient electronics project with Chris Bywater."-All Music, François Couture
"Martin Archer is a composer / improviser who is equally at home on stage or in the studio. His own distinctive saxophone playing is rooted in AACM jazz. Through his use of keyboards and electronics, and as a studio producer, he extends this interest into extended song form and leftfield rock music. He is also co-director of the uncategorisably avant choir Juxtavoices.
His principle music work is the Discus Music label, the imprint for his various releases, notably by the groups described below.
His current jazz based projects include Engine Room Favourites (current a 4 drummer, 14 piece big band), Story Tellers (6 piece group including shaman instruments alongside the conventional instruments), plus various ad hoc smaller groups. All of these are strongly aligned with AACM tradition and teaching.
Archer has a long running duo with veteran vocalist Julie Tippetts. Each of their highly acclaimed CD releases deliberately explores song from a different perspective - the duo aims to be truly progressive, and takes in elements from jazz, rock, soul and pure abstraction.
Archer's main live performance vehicle is the trio Inclusion Principle with Herve Perez and Peter Fairclough. The group operates in a space between electronics, nu-jazz, contemporary electroacoustic music and free improvisation. In performance you will hear pure jazz skill, electronic beats and areas of texture and abstraction all seamlessly woven into a fascinating and constantly shifting tapestry of sound.
The sprawling Orchestra Of The Upper Atmosphere was formed by Archer as an improvising rock group with shades of Terry Riley, Magma, Alice Coltrane and Sun Ra, very much in the progressive / krautrock tradition, and noted for its large scale string, horn and vocal arrangements.
Also in rock music, Archer is a member of the USA based heavier than plutonium prog / sludge / zeuhl group Combat Astronomy under the direction of Jamie Huggett.
Surprising, delighting and occasionally alarming audiences for a number of years now, Juxtavoices is a 30 piece choir for mainly untrained voices co directed by Archer with Alan Halsey which has racked up dozens of performances and issued three CDs.
This eclectic combination of sources and highly individual applications makes Archer a unique inhabitant of the school of English maverick composer / improvisers. "-Discus-All Music, Discus Records (http://www.allmusic.com/artist/martin-archer-mn0000146946)
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• Show Bio for Corey Mwamba
"Born and based in Derby, Corey Mwamba's commitment to jazz and improvised music in Britain and Ireland drives all aspects of his work, whether through composition, playing, or promoting new music. Corey predominantly plays vibraphone; he also plays dulcimer and uses audio processing software. He is recognised as a highly creative improviser and composer working across a wide range of jazz and contemporary music. Mwamba's distinctive approach and tone is instantly recognisable in any context: a potent blend of pure sound, highly melodic phrases and ethereal textures; barely whispered chords and ear-piercing robotic screams. Corey won a PRSF/Jerwood Foundation Take Five artist development award in 2007; was short-listed for the Innovation category in the BBC Jazz Awards in 2008; and was nominated for "Rising Star on Vibraphone" in the 62nd, 63rd, and 64th DownBeat Annual Critics' Polls.
Mwamba's main group is the critically acclaimed Yana with Dave Kane (bass) and Joshua Blackmore (drums). This group exemplifies a core ideal of creating an "open, living music"; listening and responding spontaneously as a unit to make music that has love, language and a groove. Their first studio release don't overthink it was hailed as "engaging and evocative" (All About Jazz) and described as "the sound of three minds working together in a utopian zone, way beyond the individual ego - and producing something quite beautiful in the process" (Jazzwise). Dave and Corey are also in an improvising sextet called The Spirit Farm, formed out of research by pianist Adam Fairhall. Mwamba and Fairhall also form a trio with drummer Johnny Hunter called Backyard Chassis.
He is a member of the Anglo-French quartet Sonsale with bassist Andy Champion, drummer Sylvain Darrifourcq and cellist Valentin Ceccaldi. Corey also works with Andy in an improvising trio with saxophonist Ntshuks Bonga. He plays in duos with saxophonist Rachel Musson; pianist Robert Mitchell; percussionists Martin Pyne and Walt Shaw; and the multi-instrumentalist Orphy Robinson. [...]
Mwamba was granted an AHRC studentship for a Master of Research degree in Music at Keele University, for which he was awarded a distinction in 2014. Through this research, he developed new dark art, which is a notational and theoretical music system that takes early European medieval music practice as a starting point to create modern music. He is currently undertaking doctoral research in Jazz Studies at Birmingham City University on a Midlands3Cities/AHRC studentship."-Corey Mwamba Website (http://www.coreymwamba.co.uk/who/)
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• Show Bio for Seth Bennett
"I've been earning money and having fun playing music for over twenty years, firstly as a bass guitarist, trumpet player and trombonist, and, for the last twelve years, primarily as a double bass player. I first bought a bass guitar on my eighteenth birthday, and started gigging with it shortly afterwards, in bars and cafes around Sheffield, where I lived at the time. On moving to Leeds to study in 1993, I formed my first proper band, Baby Harp Seal, playing Hardcore Punk, and, in 1994, did my first tour with them, in France, Belgium and Germany. We released our first 7 inch record shortly afterwards, and an LP in 1996. Two days after my last university exam , I left on tour with the band Headache, with whom I toured extensively in Europe for the next three years; we were on tour for an average of seven months out of each year. We released an album in 1997, and continued until 1999, when the band split up. I returned to Leeds, working on several different projects, including Snail Racing, a bass guitar trio with added drums, and touring with the band Almanac.
In 2001 I moved to London, and found work with the "nu-jazz" electronic act Hefner, with whom I toured several times, as well as recording a session for Gilles Peterson's Worldwide, and playing on his stage at the North Sea Jazz festival. Lee Jones, who ran the band Hefner, also asked me to play on an album he was producing by an act called Abraham, and I subsequently played live with them too, as well as recording a session for Jonathon Ross' show on BBC Radio 2. It was during this time that I bought my first double bass, and embarked on the lifetime's work of learning how to play it. Returning to Leeds in 2003, I started to concentrate more on the jazz and improvised music side of my practice, and around this time started playing in the band 7 hertz, an improvising ensemble who used their 'classical' instrumentation - violins, bassoon, clarinets and horn - to explore chamber ensemble playing in an improvisational context. In 2008, having slimmed down to a quartet, we released an album on the label Birdwar called 'Tender, Almost Vulgar'. During this period I was also working in a band called McWatt, a duo with flautist and accordionist Sarah McWatt, with whom I released an album in 2006.
Other projects around this time included the jazz band If Destroyed Still True, who won a Parliamentary Jazz Promoter's Choice award, as well as Jazz Yorkshire's band of the year award in 2010. They released the album 'Seven Dials' in 2009, and undertook a Jazz Services funded tour. The improvised Music and Dance project 'Mathilde' started around this time too, an attempt to reconcile improvisation in two different media, dance and music. You can watch video of Mathilde elsewhere on this site. The project continues to this day, with a recent performance in Leeds on a bill along with Jer Reid and Solene Weinachter from Glasgow. The project blog is here. More recently, I have been working as a sideman for Mary Hampton, the superb folk singer from Brighton and Laura Cole's Metamorphic. Alongside this, I have been running my own trio Nut Club, the Bennett-Cole Orchestra, and a co-operative trio with pianist Laura Cole and drummer Peter Fairclough. I recently stopped playing trombone in Swiss Afro-punk dadaists rchestre Tout Puissant Marcel Duchamp.
I have been teaching at Sheffield Jazz Workshops for the last three years, for which I jointly won a Jazz Yorkshire award for Best Teacher. In the summer of 2012 I taught on the Sound and Music Composer's Summer School at the Purcell School in Hertfordshire, and I am building a busy individual teaching practise."-Seth Bennett Website (http://www.sethbennett.com/about.html)
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• Show Bio for Peter Fairclough
"Since graduating from the City of Leeds College of Music with Distinction in Drums and Percussion, Peter Fairclough has performed and/or recorded with Keith Tippett, Paul Dunmall, Ute Lemper, Huw Warren, Peter Whyman, Steve Berry, John Harle, Kenny Davern, Peter King, The Matrix Ensemble, The Bournemouth Sinfonietta, The Mike Westbrook Orchestra and The Theatre Royal Company (York).
He has 5 CDs to his own credit:
IMAGO (Jazzprint JPVP132)CD - with Keith Tippett), Wild Silk (ASC CD8 - with Keith Tippett), Permission (ASC CD18) and Shepherd Wheel (ASC CD1). The most recent release is Momentarily with Hayley Youell, Fred T Baker & Dave Bainbridge.
In 1995 he was awarded the Peter Whittingham Award and he has toured extensively abroad, appearing at many top jazz festivals.
Peter teaches Drum Kit at The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts and Leeds College of Music."-Jazz CDs (http://www.jazzcds.co.uk/artist_id_60/biography_id_60)
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