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Perfect Houseplants - New Folk Songs - Sheffield Telegraph


23 February 2001
Sheffield Telegraph
Martin Lilleker

New Folk Songs may not sound like an apt title for a jazz album but the Perfect Houseplants are hardly your typical jazz band.

The line-up features four of the most distinctive players of British jazz - pianist/accordion/cello player Huw Warren, Mark Lockheart on saxes and clarinwt, bass player Dudley Phillips and drummer Martin France.

Through their radical colaborations with early music group The Orlando Consort and violinist supremoAndrew Manze, they are already regarded as one of the most interesting crossover groups in Britain.

So a project inspired by traditional songs is hardly out of character.

There is , for instance, New Song Old Song which is inspired by the famous 1908 recording of Joseph Taylor singing Brigg Fair. Earl Sloham Slog quotes from the English dance tune of the same name; Nancy uses sections from two traditional songs Nancy of Yarmouth and Jolly Jack the Sailor Lad; and The Bradford Angel was the local nickname given to hammered-dulcimer playerBilly Bennington from Barford in Norfolk who cycled from gig to gig with his dulcimer strapped to his back.

I continues Perfect Houseplants of drawing on everything from contemporary classical and ragtime to Brazilian and even cartoon music - and still sounding contemporary.

 


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