Utoma Quartet //

Album label: 
Release date: 
01/04/2014
Recording date: 
Sunday, January 5, 2014
  • 1. Ninja (07:00)
  • 2. Gopi Dance (11:24)
  • 3. Jonah (08:47)
  • 4. Utoma (08:50)
  • 5. Goodbye My Fellow Soldier (05:56)
  • 6. Sea (08:23)

Mike Fletcher - alto saxophone, flute
Mark Hanslip - tenor saxophone
Colin Somervell - bass
Tony Bianco - drums

Borrowing from Elvin Jones' concepts, drummer Bianco's band uses 2 saxophones (Mike Fletcher and Mark Hanslip), bass (Colin Somervell) and drums, for energetic and ecstatic jazz compositions creating a continual pulse with long lines and looped synchronicity.

"It's funny how life seems to go around in circles, it's the ways of nature, living on a globe floating through space. A few years ago I was giving a workshop at Birmingham Conservatoir and there as students were both Mike Fletcher and Mark Hanslip. They were exceptional students back then that turned into for- midable musicians now. Along with Colin Somervell another formidable alumni of the Conservato ir we have the "Utoma Quartet".

My concept for this line up of 2 saxophones, bass and drums came from my favorite drum hero Elvin Jones. I really dug that band he had with Grossman and Liebman. My writing on this CD is an extention of my ideas I had on the CD's " Monkey Dance" and " Freebeat" (both released on FMR) and other recordings "In a Western Sense" and most recent "Inti". In these recordings my concept is to have a continual pulse or dance... it may feel like many time signatures but it's to bring a pulse into what maybe called free improvisation. Bringing no time to time and time to no time. In each piece the head sets up a different direction with this concept. The difference between this and my other recordings is there are no chords so there's more freedom in the improv.
Mark and Mike compliment each other. Mark's intellect and Mike's heart influencing each other while Colin holds it together through a drum hurricane while feet tap... something like that. The great thing about a band like this, besides the recording, is that we can move in any direction, being more than competent in any idiom. The word "Utoma" is a primal sounding name, actually one of the names of Vishnu. I changed the spelling a bit so as not to offend. The primeval or the ancient is where I believe The Drum lives"-Tony Bianco, from the liner