“A balance of compositional strength and clarity of execution ….. a labyrinth filled with jewels at every turn” – Mike King, Coda.
“A document of unbridled imagination and optimism”– David Ilic, Wire
“Strong and raw” – Mark Sinker, NME
Archer’s first solo recording is a cool, spacious and uncompromising blend of composition and improvisation, with different groupings of players on each track. The emphasis is decidedly on slow moving clarity as opposed to the frenetic density prevalent in much free jazz and improvisation, and the feel is mainly that of an all acoustic chamber ensemble. This classic album was voted a top 25 album of 1988 by The Wire. Recognising that most composers who write for improvisors fall into the trap of contrasting “the written bits” with “the improvised bits”, and therefore fail to achieve any integration at all between these totally different disciplines, Archer’s compositions instead allow composition and improvisation to coexist all the time, with the result that it is usually impossible for the listener to unravel the strands: thus providing a more coherent work with a defined mood and character which is ornamented and set alight by the improvised contributions.
Martin Archer – soprano saxophone, metallophone
Charlie Collins – woodwind
Nick Evans – trombone
John Russell – acoustic guitar
Mary Schwarz – viola
Michael Szpakowski – piano
Tim Cole – cello
Paul Shaft – double bass
Pete Infanti – drums, percussion
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