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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Don Mather, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf, Glyn Pursglove

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Accidental AC29CD




1. Fax
2. The Nightingale
3. Butterflies
4. Mayday
5. Pterodactyl
6. Atlas
7. Octet
8. Moyse
9. Ottanta
Finn Peters - Flute, alto sax, percussion, gamelan
Tom Herbert - Bass
Dave Okumu - Guitar
Nick Ramm - Piano, ARP synthesiser
Tom Skinner - Drums, percussion
Matthew Yee-King - Computers
Kadialy Kouyate - Kora (track 1)
Darragh Morgan - Violin (tracks 1, 5)
Benji B, Dave Price - Gamelan (tracks 3, 6)
Jonny Enright - Trombone (track 9)

In the days when they used to print things like "File under Jazz" on record sleeves, this album would have raised some dilemmas. It definitely contains elements of jazz but there are lots of other styles and influences apparent in the music. There are strong hints of various forms of World Music - especially oriental (note the presence of the gamelan) but also from South America, Africa and elsewhere. The gentler parts of the album recall the ambient "New Age" music that found fans among people who preferred dreamy, drifting sounds which didn't startle the listener. You might say this CD is a hotch-potch of styles, except that Finn Peters makes it a convincing mix through the integrity of his vision and the technical facility of his musicians.

Finn plays several different instruments but his flute is central to most of the tracks, all of which he composed or co-wrote. The flute creates a mellow atmosphere, and most of the tunes are reflective rather than extrovert. The Nightingale even uses real birdsong in the background (recalling both Messiaen and Respighi), merging in with Finn's fluttering flute. The title-track is based on traditional Balinese gamelan music. Every track has a natural feeling about it, despite the presence of Matthew Yee-King on "Computers" - which apparently means that he processes the music through synthesisers and other devices.

Finn's group provides sympathetic support - notably guitarist Dave Okumu, whose solo on Octet is one of the album's highlights. The general approach of the album is restrained - a welcome change from those jazzers who think they need to blast our ears. Only occasionally does the group burst out noisily, as in Mayday, where they appear to be enjoying free improvisation. Altogether this CD is refreshing: synthesising a variety of musical forms to create unique moods.

Tony Augarde

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