Release date: 4th December 2017 (CD and digital album)
An expanded version of Cath Roberts’ quintet Sloth Racket, Favourite Animals was formed for Cath’s Artist In Residence commission at Lancaster Jazz Festival 2016. The aim was to broaden the sound pallette through the extended instrumentation, whilst continuing to explore the territories between composed music and improvisation that are the focus of Sloth Racket’s ongoing work as a band. Favourite Animals’ debut performance, headlining Lancaster Jazz Festival 2016 in the studio space at The Duke’s Theatre, was warmly received by enthusiastic festival audiences and prompted discussions of future plans for the ensemble.
This recording was made almost a year later, when the group gathered to revisit the Lancaster material in the studio. Recorded over two days at City, University of London by Alex Bonney, the album comprises five of Cath’s compositions. Constructed as frameworks for group improvisation, the scores necessitate interpretation and ‘arrangement’ by the ensemble and create space for the individual voices of the improvisers to shape the music. The production and release of the Favourite Animals album was made possible by a crowdfunding campaign: 90 backers pledged their support, raising enough to cover the mixing, mastering, CD production, packaging and the musicians’ travel expenses for the session. The album is available from Luminous on CD (with hand-printed linocut artwork by Cath) and digital download.
Favourite Animals will play live this December on a double bill tour with Anton Hunter’s Article XI. The two bands – which share several members – will appear in Birmingham, Sheffield, Morecambe and Newcastle to coincide with the release of this album (and anticipate the upcoming Article XI album, due out on Efpi Records in 2018).
Dee Byrne – alto saxophone
Julie Kjær – bass clarinet/flute
Tom Ward – bass clarinet/flute
Graham South – trumpet
Tullis Rennie – trombone
Cath Roberts – baritone saxophone
Sam Andreae – tenor saxophone
Anton Hunter – guitar
Seth Bennett – bass
Johnny Hunter – drums
Compositions by Cath Roberts
Recorded at City, University of London in August 2017.
Engineered by Alex Bonney with studio assistance from Vincent Ott.
Mixed and mastered by Alex Bonney.
Design and printmaking by Cath Roberts.
Luminous Label 2017 | LU008
Digital album available now. (CD sold out!)