1LP - Martin Archer - Wild pathway favourites


Physical CD Only - No download.

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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. Reads academic, but sounds natural.


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


"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