66CD - Martin Archer + Engine Room Favourites - Safety Signal From A Target Town
This suite is the third and most ambitious release by my AACM influenced big band. Across three releases, the band has developed from the original idea of saxophone + percussion quartet + studio based orchestration as heard on the first release Blue Meat, Black Diesel and Engine Room Favourites, via a second CD Bad Tidings From Slackwater Drag, which gave the band a simple framework for live performance, and finally to the current release which features a larger group and more complex scores.
I’m not usually one for programmatic music, but these pieces were conceived and written very quickly in the final 2 months of 2016. The titles enable the listener to imagine their own story of a world moving in exactly the opposite direction to the version most people would wish to live in.
- Safety Signal From A Target Town
- Perfect Soldier
- The Playground In The Desert
- Happy Birthday! Mr President (aka POTUS F U)
- One Minute To Midnight
All the music was composed as audio in my studio, with all the parts performed by myself. Laura Cole somehow managed to turn my demos into the scores we used in the studio, and this music could not have been performed without her hard work. I’m incredibly lucky to have access to this fantastic group of players who learned and recorded the pieces from scratch over the course of two days in the wonderful Real World Studio in Wiltshire. Minimum edits and overdubs were made back at Discus Music Studio to complete the release.
AACM music has been a constant throughout my listening life, and when I consciously steered my own music back towards being essentially played live as opposed to studio collaged a few years ago, I was naturally drawn to make my own interpretation of that music, whose combination of considered spaciousness and white heat improvisation continues to be my ideal. However, those of you who know my non jazz music will also be aware that I’m equally drawn to the very English tradition whose spirit produced the finest music of the 1970s from folk and prog through to jazz and improv in this country.
So, I’m pleased and maybe a little surprised to find that the feel of Safety Signal From A Target Town seems to combine both of those traditions. I always stress to the Favourites that the music must always keep the blues close, no matter how abstract it all gets, because that’s the fuel for the passion which drives the music, and in this instance also informs the subject matter hinted at in the titles. But I’m also hearing echoes here from the very English tradition of ambitious, large scale jazz and jazzrock releases, the like of which are maybe not so common these days.
I hope I’m able to make a meaningful addition to that continuum with this release.
MARTIN ARCHER - saxophones
MICK BECK - tenor saxophone, bassoon
SETH BENNETT - bass
GRAHAM CLARK - violin
LAURA COLE - piano
STEVE DINSDALE - percussion
PETER FAIRCLOUGH - drums
JOHNNY HUNTER - drums
KIM MACARI - trumpet
GEORGE MURRAY - trombone
COREY MWAMBA - vibraphone
WALT SHAW - percussion
RILEY STONE-LONERGAN - tenor saxophone, clarinet
ANTHONY DONOVAN - sleeve artist
This new release awaiting first review