Michelson Morley: Aether Drift

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COMPOSERS: Michelson Morley
LABELS: F-IRE
ALBUM TITLE: Michelson Morley: Aether Drift
WORKS: Aether Drift
PERFORMER: Jake McMurchie (sax), Mark Whitlam (drums, electronics), Will Harris (bass(
CATALOGUE NO: CD 66

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It’s fair to say that Bristol is making its mark in the current UK jazz scene with its newly established Jazz and Blues Festival. And among the latest crop of local talent to emerge is the trio Michelson Morley – named after two 19th-century scientists.

On this debut album, Aether Drift, some listeners may recognise shades of Get The Blessing (Jake McMurchie’s other band) from the complex sax runs but Michelson Morley is carving its own niche. Each player brings a wide range of inventive jazz styles. Throughout the album Harris’s double bass has a startling intensity, while on ‘Rice Rage’ McMuchie’s sax is experimented on with intriguing electronic effects – it works surprisingly well sounding like a jammed car alarm. Whitlam’s drums take on a gamelan quality, as he switches to an electronic drum pad on ‘Fringe Shift’. Eerie, menacing, furtive and wistful, Michelson Morley creates a sense of compelling unease.

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Neil McKim