Article XI came together in 2014 when Anton was commissioned by the Manchester Jazz Festival to create a new set of music for large ensemble. This record continues the group's explorations into large ensemble collective composition, with two new pieces alongside re-imaginings of two pieces from their debut 2018 album. "Live in Newcastle" was recorded at the Bridge Hotel during a concert for Jazz North East, long-standing supporters of improvised music, and a night which bandleader Anton Hunter has had a long relationship with over the years, including one of the first live performances of Beck Hunters (his trio with brother Johnny Hunter and legendary saxophonist Mick Beck – see Discus 46CD ‘The Hunt Is On’ and 78CD ‘Has It Been Found?’). The concert was part of a 2017 double-bill tour with fellow large ensemble, Cath Roberts' Favourite Animals.
The bulk of the set is two new pieces. ‘Municrination’ was developed from an initial melodic idea of Anton’s which he brought to a trio rehearsal with Johnny Hunter and Graham South. They improvised their way through and around the fragments, recording the results as they went. Elements from this session were transcribed by Anton and went on to weave their way into the final piece, as part of Article XI’s on-going experiments in creating a large ensemble music that allows the individual voices to shine through.
The second new piece, ‘Always A Fox’, is named in honour of Leicester City’s surprising Premier League title win in 2016, with a knowing nod to all those who adopted them as the season progressed. Compositionally, Anton takes inspiration from Ken Vandermark’s modular approach. The piece is set up with 7 different sections, and the exact path navigated between them is altered for each performance, maintaining an uncertainty that keeps it fresh. Again, the material that makes up the finished piece has had contributions from band members, this time Tullis Rennie, Cath Roberts, Sam Andreae and Seth Bennett all recorded their own improvised responses to melodic ideas presented by Anton, out of these a collective identity for the piece arose, which is built on in performance every time.
The remaining two pieces are reimaginings of tracks from the group’s 2018 debut record. ‘Not The Kind Of Jazz You Like’ is named after a Stewart Lee joke and ‘I Dreamed I Spat Out A Bee’ is named for a dream that Anton’s partner had, which in turn inspired the fantastic artwork by trusted long-term collaborator Angela Guyton.
Having featured on several of Martin Archer’s projects (Story Tellers, Ron Caines / Martin Archer Axis and the forthcoming fifth Julie Tippetts / Martin Archer album) as well as two Beck Hunters records, Anton is proud to be bringing Article XI into the fold at Discus Music.
Press quotes from the double bill tour:
“An absorbing and intriguing evening of uncompromising music making at the interface where the composed and the spontaneous conjoin to rewarding effect.” – The Jazz Mann, Birmingham
“A marvellous evening my only regret being that we only got to see one set of each band.” – Bebop Spoken Here, Newcastle
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