Dice Factory: Dice Factory

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Dice Factory: Dice Factory London-based quartet Dice Factory gets its name at least in part from Luke Rhinehart's 1971 novel The Dice Man, a work which seems to have found new fans among the current generation of emerging musicians, writers and artists. Dice Factory contains four such emerging players, each a member of at least one other major UK group—saxophonist Tomas Challenger (Ma, Outhouse), pianist George Fogel (Ma, Andre Canniere Group), bassist Tom Farmer (Empirical) and drummer Jon Scott (Kairos 4tet).

Just how closely the band sticks to Rhinehart's dice-throwing philosophy on its eponymous debut isn't clear: although the balance of dice-throwing randomness with the more structured and pre-planned concept of the factory is reflected in the music. The players can swiftly move from gentle melancholy to wilder, freer, passages but they never allow chaos to reign however undisciplined the music might sound like it's becoming.

Challenger and Fogel contribute most of the tunes, with Farmer adding two of his own. Although Scott gets no writing credits his inventive percussion is consistently fine and gives the album some of its most enjoyable moments, such as his loose-limbed groove on Challenger's "You're Lucky." "Heyu Nantucket," by Fogel, is a microcosm of Dice Factory's approach: abrupt shifts of tempo and mood, excellent ensemble playing, solos which dart off in various directions but never so far as to lose touch. The band is also capable of a more fluid style as evidenced by Farmer's "Eternal Sleep"—where piano, bass and drums set up a rich mid-tempo rhythm over which Challenger crafts a sympathetic tenor solo—and Challenger's "Pipes," who's deceptively prosaic title hides a languid and reflective tune.

Challenger's "Gooch" is named for Graham Gooch, a former captain of the England cricket team. It's an immediately likeable track, a deceptively repetitive rhythm acting as a foundation for Fogel and Challenger to weave some rather beautiful harmonies. Maybe Dice Factory will single-handedly establish Mr Gooch's celebrity status in the world of jazz? It's a nice thought, but probably a little too random an occurrence even for Rhinehart. The establishment of Dice Factory's reputation seems like a much safer bet.

Track Listing: Heyu Nantucket; Gooch; Saribund; You're Lucky; Eternal Sleep; Zout; Eternal Moment; Pipes; T.N.G.; Saribund (Coda).

Personnel: Tom Challenger: tenor saxophone; George Fogel: piano; Tom Farmer: double bass; Jon Scott: drums.

Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Babel Label

Related Video


More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Absurdist Theater" CD/LP/Track Review Absurdist Theater
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 9, 2016
Read "Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974" CD/LP/Track Review Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Binary" CD/LP/Track Review Binary
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "For King & Country" CD/LP/Track Review For King & Country
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "More Essentials" CD/LP/Track Review More Essentials
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!