Thursday, 3 February 2011

What's in a name?

Before Pete came up with the name "Elvers" we played several gigs under the clever name of "Watson Marsh and May". If Paul had got in first we could have been; Between Gnomes, Beastly Idyl , Corpse Embers, Burrito Monkeys, Yobs Set Fire To Sheep or Refriend Beans

Paul May

Paul is a percussionist who makes an amazing variety of sounds from such a minimal kit, often just a snare a bell and a cymbal. He can be heard around town with duos and quartets regularly and his name on the bill guarantees that thoughtful and interesting music will be made. Paul doesn't do the internet so a while back I asked him who is influences were, this was his reply; "I would cite Bryan Spring, Paul Lovens, Blaise Cendrars, Harold Pinter and Tony Williams. Plus Frank Sinatra and Minutemen and Magma, of course I could go on."


Elvers is an instrumental trio formed in 2008 by friends who wished to explore a shared interest in improvised music making without rules, particularly improv rules. Its members have been playing together in various combinations for much longer though. Trumpet player Ian R. Watson, double bassist Peter Marsh and percussionist Paul May have been regular or semi regular fixtures on the fringes of the London free improv scene over the last few years. Watson and Marsh took part in many of Ashley Wales's short run club night "Back in your town" at the Red Rose until it's demise. But most of their playing is in different areas such as folk, jazz, rock and blues - May with Duke Garwood, Petra Jean Philliipson, Carolyn Hume and others, Marsh often in tandem with May with Clang Sayne, Neptune Is Mars and Lucy Jane. Watson currently plays with Solus Rex, 64 bit and The Treecreepers, a duo with Bellowhead percussionist Pete Flood. Marsh and Watson also collaborated in electric jazz outfit Lob.

Elvers' music is improvised but isn’t afraid to groove a bit on occasion or sometimes be almost pretty. This CD was recorded on the trio’s sixth meeting on a relaxed afternoon in Brixton, and will be released as downloads on Forwind records, a small label dedicated to electronic and electroacoustic musics. The limited edition CDr version of the album is not a "document", let’s call it a snapshot of that relaxed afternoon.