Given the division in the UK around the recent election, counteraction seems to be the only option, so the time is fitting for the release of Counteraction, the latest album from Partikel.
Usually performing as an acoustic trio, Partikel consists of Duncan Eagles (sax), Max Luthert (double bass) and Eric Ford (drums). While they are undeniably at the heart of this album, the additions of electric guitar, flute and baritone sax, as well as a raft electronics, bring a perceptive intervention. Almost a counteraction to the acoustic.
There’s a beautiful touch of blues and folk inspiration, especially on Bolden Days, a tribute to Buddy Bolden, which includes great violin from Benet McLean and Matthew Sharp’s cello.
The additions of Ant Law’s electric guitar, Anna Cooper’s flute and baritone sax combine beautiful both with the trio, strings and with the electronics of Siri Lu throughout the album. There’s a freedom about Land and Sea, followed by a darker touch on Scenes and Sounds which is counteracted by Eagles’ sax dancing around Cooper’s flute.
If you were ever looking for a definition of the word Counteraction, the title track provides that. There’s a strange and almost disturbing theme playing between violin and Eagles’ sax that sums up the days in which we live.
The compositions are largely the work of the undoubted talent of Eagles, one of the new breed of musical creatives contributing to the burgeoning British jazz scene. And it is Eagles’ sax which so often flies above the tracks, giving way to the guitar or the flute at times, then weaving together and melding with strings. Like most great albums, this one takes several listening sessions to fully appreciate.
Duncan Eagles - Saxophone
Max Luthert - Bass
Eric Ford - Drums
Ant Law - Guitar
Benet McLean - Violin
Anna Cooper - Baritone Sax and Flute
Siri Lu - Electronics
Matthew Sharp - Cello
Record Label: Whirlwind Recordings