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Perfect Houseplants - Snap Clatter - The Jazz Rag

30 September 1997
The Jazz Rag
John Eyles

A jazz group with a rock band name, what does this signify?

Firstly, this group is a democracy, a meeting of equals rather than one leader plus side-men. This is also obvious in the composer credits, saxophonist Mark Lockheart, pianist Huw Warren and bassist Dudley Phillips all contribute to the eleven original compositions here. Individual voices are secondary to the overall group. So, lockheart tends to produce short phrases that propel pieces forward and stick close to the melody line, rather than taking off on long improvisatory lines. Warren's piano is more adventurous, but does not hog the limelight.

Secondly, the group name comtains a playfulness and humour that is also evident in their music. Tracks tend to be fairly short (the longest is just seven minutes), melodic and rhythmic enough to dance to. This music is fun! We get some whistling from drummer Martin France, on Curiosity Threatens. Various other tunes have a knockabout cartoonish quality about them. Altogether a thoroughly enjoyable album.

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