(Partikel (F-ire). Review by Chris Parker)
Partikel is a London-based trio led by composer/saxophonist Duncan Eagles (who wrote all the material on this, the band’s eponymous debut album) and completed by bassist Max Luthert and drummer Eric Ford. The trio have developed their approach by hosting Monday-night jam sessions at Streatham’s Hideaway, and their overall sound is, consequently, characterised by a rumbustious, imaginative energy; underneath the surface, though, there is a considered creativity that both draws on jazz’s legacy (Sonny Rollins is an immediately discernible influence, but Coleman Hawkins, Coltrane and Charlie Parker are also cited as souces of inspiration by Eagles) and enables the trio to mix a wide variety of contemporary styles, from hip-hop to latin and African music, into their arresting yet thoughtful playing.
Eagles’s compositions, in his words, ‘incorporate simple and lyrical melodies with more complex and sophisticated rhythmic form’; as a result, the album’s nine tracks (bookended by short ‘Intro’ and ‘Outro’ snippets) are able to draw listeners in to adventurous, hard-driving improvisations with a minimum of fuss, so that Eagles’s control and brio, Luthert’s bristling propulsiveness and Ford’s crackling energy are immediately appreciable throughout an absorbing and skilfully varied programme. A highly auspicious debut from a freewheeling, fiercely interactive band.
Partikel’s next London gigs are at the Vortex on Tuesday February 1st and at Charlie Wrights on Thursday February 17th