Born: February 29, 1964 Primary Instrument: Drums
Martin France began his recording career at the age of 19 for ECM records. Born in Rainham in Kent, France dismissed music college in preference for on the road tuition. He, with his friend and music cohort Django Bates, had been performing with Evan Parker and Kenny Wheeler, and through their friendships had been introduced to ECM. France went on to record several albums for the label, and toured with some of their bands throughout the 80s and 90s. A further turning point for France was his role as a member of the famously democratically organised 80s big band Loose Tubes where he began long standing partnerships with many of its members. In fact, founding member Django Bates and Iain Ballamy are now key members of the Spin Marvel live band. Since then, Martin has performed and recorded with some of the worlds best and most diverse musicians including David Gilmour, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Lee Konitz, Dave Holland, Steve Swallow, The Yellowjackets, Nils Petter Molvaer, Bugge Wesseltoft, Mike Gibbs, Maria Schneider and Sidsel Endresen to name a few, as well as non jazz activities such as TV and Film soundtracks.
For Martin Frances debut recording as leader, he is joined by a stellar cast of musicians. Bassist Tim Harries who has been described by the Guardian as, capable of a bone crunching death metal bassline, has also worked with Brian Eno, DJ Composer Producer David Holmes and David Sylvian. John Paricelli joins them on guitar and Norwegian Terje Evensen, whom France met while the the former spent some time studying in London, further cements the European sound with programming, sequencing and keyboards.
Spin Marvel is Frances solo project; a group of some of the best and most experienced British contemporary jazz musicians gathered together by France for both the studio and the stage. Journalist and broadcaster Kevin Le Gendre describes their recordings as,murky uberfunk that is way off the beatbox radar, and of a live show, the Guardian commented, they dazzled and perplexed the audience in equal measure genre defying madness a fabulously futuristic band whose heart and soul paradoxically seem to belong to a bygone age of musical experimentation.
Spin Marvel is eclectic to say the least. It is heavyweight yet deep. Inventive and challenging. Combining fluid groove playing with powerhouse virtuosity, France augments his conventional drum kit with electronic pads that trigger various loops and samples at times adding texture rather than pulse, at others, building from tightly woven complex phrases to exhilarating rhythms. His approach is unique. Rather than consider the rhythm sections input late in the creative process, Martin builds on the foundations of the music the drums and bass
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