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Das Rad: Das Rad

Read "Das Rad" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

More from the imaginary artistic world of multi-instrumentalist, multi-reedman, producer Martin Archer and associates is a welcome surprise. Then again, the artist's Discus label offers a huge discography devised on dissimilar, futuristic and unorthodox outcomes. Other than the one-off modern jazz outings, Archer is a crafty, forward-thinking musician, spanning numerous ensembles, large and small. Here, the trio seemingly abides by a compose as-you-go rite of passage that embeds experimental jazz fusion, psycho pop, classic progressive rock and a slew of ...

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Martin Archer: Another Fantastic Individual

Read "Another Fantastic Individual" reviewed by Matt Parker

This album is perhaps slightly less immediate than some of Martin Archer's other recent releases, such as the eponymous debut album of the Krautrock-esque trio Das Rad, but no less essential and, perhaps, in a sense, more impressive given that it was performed in its entirety by Archer alone. Another Fantastic Individual is a slow burner which seriously rewards repeated listening; fans of SOS, for instance, will probably find much to love straight away given the reed-heavy arrangements ...

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Ron Caines - Martin Archer Axis: Les Oiseaux de Matisse

Read "Les Oiseaux de Matisse" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

The founder of this UK-based label, reedman/multi-instrumentalist Martin Archer and many of his longtime or more recent cohorts radiate a seemingly eternal sphere of invention. Other than ongoing projects with specific artists or ensembles, no two albums are distinctly alike. Hence, the element of surprise is a recurring element. Here, Archer and saxophonist Ron Caines co-lead the septet for a multidimensional jazz-tinged bash amid colorific textures, pulsating free-form sprees, quaint oddities and other captivating attributes throughout the 77-minute runtime.

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Martin Archer + Engine Room Favourites: Safety Signal From A Target Town

Read "Safety Signal From A Target Town" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Once again, British multi-reedman Martin Archer leads his large ensemble, Engine Room Favourites, through a myriad of persuasive developments. The band's assertive modus operandi is occasionally sectionalized during various motifs, where minimalist structures, free-form outbursts, structured horns charts and many other factors come into play. Indeed, they pack a mighty wallop coming from all angles on this 76-minute program. Vibraphonist Corey Mwamba is a colorist via his cool and sleek passages during more conventional modern jazz segments. Yet ...

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Martin Archer: Story Tellers

Read "Story Tellers" reviewed by Duncan Heining

We used to call records like this 'concept albums.' The whole idea soon became a term of derision thanks to Rick Wakeman and others. Nevertheless, let's stick with it for a moment. Martin Archer's Story Tellers is constructed as a series of interlocking vignettes, linked both by certain recurring themes, narrative threads and the attribution of certain functional roles to each of these six musicians. In that sense, you have here what can usefully be seen and heard as a ...

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Archer / Mwamba / Bennett / Fairclough: Sunshine! Quartet

Read "Sunshine! Quartet" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

You never know what path British reedman, multi-instrumentalist Martin Archer will traverse. Whether he's leading orchestral units, freely improvised trios, avant-rock and electronics tinged fare or his recordings with legendary rock and jazz vocalist Julie Tippetts, the artist underscores his experimental implementations with the element of surprise. On this quartet date with his fellow countrymen, Archer occasionally interweaves an abstract Birth of the Cool type vibe with forceful mini-motifs, sublime melodies and hearty improvisational sectors. Moreover, each musician contributes one ...

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Martin Archer's Engine Room Favourites: Bad Tidings From Slackwater Drag

Read "Bad Tidings From Slackwater Drag" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

British multi-reedman Martin Archer is a cunning maverick who exploits the seemingly limitless expanse of progressive jazz, electronica and improvisation, evidenced by his hearty discography, performing as a solo artist or when collaborating with many of his peers. Moreover, this large ensemble's second album is influenced by the Chicago, IL based, Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), founded in 1965 by pianist, composer and supreme improviser, Muhal Richard Abrams. AACM yielded modern era icons such as ...

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Martin Archer: Blue Meat, Black Diesel & Engine Room Favourites

Read "Blue Meat, Black Diesel & Engine Room Favourites" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

One never knows what direction British multi-reedman Martin Archer will impart as he surges forward in a stealthy world of avant-jazz, electronics, or discombobulated jazz-rock. Hands down, he's one of the more creative musical souls on mother earth. Each new album marks a distinct journey. His fresh outlook and cornucopia of disparate concepts, executed with large and small ensembles--along with several albums collaborating with legendary British vocalist Julie Tippetts--represent a succession of distinguished agendas. Here, Archer's bountiful resourcefulness once again ...

PROFILES

Martin Archer: Making A Difference, Doing Things Differently

Read "Martin Archer: Making A Difference, Doing Things Differently" reviewed by Duncan Heining

Martin Archer is a one-man music industry. Saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, band-leader and label owner--Archer has made a virtue of doing things differently. From early beginnings in music forty years ago, he has built his label Discus into a catalog that is as fine in quality as it is eclectic in taste and content. Based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire and far from London Jazz Central HQ, his career trajectory offers novel solutions to the problems facing the creative artist, from ...

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Julie Tippetts / Martin Archer: Ghosts Of Gold

Read "Ghosts Of Gold" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

British vocalist Julie Tippetts' teaming with eminent jazz-rock keyboardist Brian Auger dates back to the late 1960s, featuring her minor-classic covers of works by Bob Dylan and Donovan, among other little gems. Moving forward, she's become a prominent exponent of the European experimental circuit, largely enveloped within her homeland's free-jazz scene. With Ghosts Of Gold, she aligns with the always adventurous, avant-garde and free form artiste Martin Archer, here performing on an arsenal of keys, guitars, percussion instruments, woodwinds and ...