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Friday, February 09, 2018

CD Review: Anton Hunter - Article XI

(Review by Steve H)
Having seen and thoroughly enjoyed this band live last December I was very much looking forward to listening to the CD and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. Although the album is just about to be released (February 9*) It was actually recorded live in London and Manchester in 2014!  
The opening number, Retaken, is a fairly straight-ahead piece dominated from the outset by an almost mariachi-style trumpet and a bass solo that really slows things down a bit before the ensemble joins in for an uplifting finale. 

Innards of Atoms is slow and gentle with bandleader Anton Hunter’s guitar providing a lovely background hook throughout. A combination of alto and drums form the core of I Dreamed I Spat out a Bee and despite it being quite evocative of its title it is still a highly entertaining piece. 
C# Makes the World a Better Place has a very eerie dystopian feel to it. Peaceful Assembly the longest track on the CD refers to the title of this eponymous album which refers to Article XI of the European Convention on Human Rights – ‘Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and to freedom of association with others, including the right to form and to join trade unions for the protection of their interests.’ The early parts feature a striking trumpet solo the band then embellish proceedings delightfully before the trombone takes centre stage,  as on previous pieces the whole band unites to provide a glorious finish. 
I Almost Told You is a stop-start affair with the drums and trumpet centre stage with the rest of the band circling around giving a carnival-like feel. The album is brought to a close with Not the Kind of Jazz You Like which is exactly the opposite of how I felt about this joyous multi-instrumental bash.
In conclusion a very enjoyable album hard to categorise but easy to enjoy.
Steve H. 
* Today.
Anton Hunter - guitar
Alto Saxophone – Mette Rasmussen
Baritone Saxophone – Cath Roberts
Bass – Eero Tikkanen
Drums – Johnny Hunter 
Tenor Saxophone – Sam Andreae
Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Simon Prince 
Trombone – Richard Foote  Seth Bennett
Trumpet – Graham South, Nick Walters

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