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Dark Metaphysic. The latest Jazz Direct Release featuring; James Tartgalia, Sax. Annie Whitehead. Trombone. Jenni Maidman, Bass. Mark Huggett, Drums. Matt Rattcliffe, Keys.Ben Thomas, Trumpet. Sonja Morgenstern, Vox. Lizzi Wood, Vox
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Priests in white Coats (edit)
Hermetic Emanations (edit)
Pornographic Scum (edit)
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Tribute to the Artist Bruce Naumann
DanWilsonMarkHuggettProject Max Roach Park
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Two of my favourite groupings are Sonny Rollins' trios of the late '50s (not just Way out West, but also similar units he used on live recordings, including the likes of Kenny Clarke and Henry Grimes), and Ornette Coleman's trio with David Izenzon and Charles Moffett. Nick and I are also strong admirers of Tim Berne's recent trio work. None of these bands sound "sparse": the horn-drum combination sees to that (unless by "sparse" is meant "lacking a harmonic instrument", in which case the objection is vacuously true). Neither are they "self-indulgent". Quite the opposite, since the trio format encourages players to work as a team. All three players are obliged to interact. There is no room for "cruising", which means more improvisation, and no room for "competitive" soloing. The saxophone takes the front line most of the time, of course, but that is simply its function within the jazz idiom.
What just about everybody has wanted to do since the eighties, has been to give classic '50s and '60s jazz a contemporary edge. The usual approach is to utilise advanced harmonies: stretching standard chord progressions to their limits through the systematic addition of dissonance. Sometimes the results are fascinating, sometimes they are grey. Our approach is different. We are a band influenced by free jazz, using a classic free jazz line-up. But we are playing changes: conventional, chord-based jazz. And this is what we think brings a freshness to the material. Rhythm and melody are to the fore. With our first album, Where can I go without you?, the focus is on jazz originals: all the compositions are by great jazz musicians. We hope that at least some of the excitement we feel about playing these fantastic tunes comes across in the recording.
James Tartaglia, 27/11/02
Paedophile Priest was conceived at once whilst I listened to a Radio 4 programme in which an Irish man told the story of how he had been abused in childhood by a local Priest. The solo saxophone introduction tries to alternate between the child and the Priest's perspectives on the situation described. The child had been lured into the Priest's house, and was trying to make innocent sense of what was going on, until this became impossible. Then he was taken to church, to hear the Priest deliver a sermon and sing hymns in a loud, impassioned voiceMy idea was to use Ayler's style of jazz to express the atmosphere of Britain at that time. But I also wanted to represent some of the difficult issues that were stirring up the hysteria. Paedophile Priest, for example, was conceived at once whilst I listened to a Radio 4 programme in which an Irish man told the story of how he had been abused in childhood by a local Priest. The solo saxophone introduction tries to alternate between the child and the Priest's perspectives on the situation described. The child had been lured into the Priest's house, and was trying to make innocent sense of what was going on, until this became impossible. Then he was taken to church, to hear the Priest deliver a sermon and sing hymns in a loud, impassioned voice. Everything you hear on this album is a first take. None of the musicians saw the charts until the day of the recording. We met the singers for the first time on the day of the recording. To prepare them for each track, I carefully described what I wanted to represent. And that was it – the tapes were rolling. Finally, the live recordings at the end of the album offer a snapshot of one amazing night at the Old Crown on New Oxford Street.
James Tartaglia, 10/6/03
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