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Full Monte

Full Monte: Chris Biscoe - saxes and alto clarinet Brian Godding - guitar synth  Marcio Mattos - double bass Tony Marsh - drums
photo: Chris Biscoe/Sue Avenell ©
Chris Biscoe - saxes and alto clarinet  Brian Godding - guitar synth 
Marcio Mattos - double bass  Tony Marsh - drums 

Formed in 1988, Full Monte is an improvising group with the ability to build extended melodic and rhythmic performances - spontaneous composition which can sound like written music. The musicians have common links - and many different musical experiences. The result is a music which moves seamlessly through different styles and combines these influences in unique ways. 


Reviews:
A high octane nexus of technical expertise and spontaneous creativity - delivered with energy and excitement from a quartet of natural born improvisers. 
George Kerr, The Newsletter, Belfast

Some of the most innovative and original music to be heard in the increasingly commodious area covered by the term "jazz". 
Chris Parker, The Times

Ensemble passages whose raw power and intensity were utterly thrilling. 
Trevor Hodgett, Irish News

To me it embodies the blues influence, the passion and the inspired interaction of the very best of jazz. 
Humphrey Lyttleton, BBC Radio 1

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The Musicians

CHRIS BISCOE - saxes and alto clarinet. Early jazz and improvisation experience with Ben Sidran and Roger Turner. Later toured extensively with George Russell, Mike Westbrook, Chris McGregor and Grand Union. Also leads and writes for his own bands. 

BRIAN GODDING - guitar synth. First heard with he innovative rock band Blossom Toes, he came into jazz with Keith Tippett, then worked extensively with Mike Westbrook. He continued to tour with such rock acts as Kevin Coyne, Eric Burden and Magma. One of the first to explore new guitar technology. 

MARCIO MATTOS - double bass. Has worked with Evan Parker, John Surman, Mike Osborne, Marylin Crispell, Eddie Prevost, Chris Burn and others. Also with Ballet Rambert, and Extemporary Dance Theatre Company, as well as electro-acoustic groups such as the West Square Electronic Music Ensemble. 

TONY MARSH - drums. First came to prominence in the innovative fusion group Major Surgery, which developed its compositions collectively from group improvisations. Later worked with Mike Osborne, Howard Riley, Mike Westbrook and Harry Beckett.

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OTHER FULL MONTE PROJECTS: 

Dialogic:
Music written by Chris Biscoe and trombonist Mark Bassey for a collaboration between Full Monte and The Blowpipes trombone trio. The music was written and premiered with support from an A4E Express grant.

Review extract:
The second part featured music especially written by Biscoe and Bassey and soon established some real dialogue. The clear acoustic of the Blackheath Recital Room highlighted a detailed sound, in which everybody both created and gave their own space. One memorable section set the turbulence of a Full Monte workout against the calm of a trombone chorale. 
(Martin King, SAI March 1998)


Full Monte with special guest Dick Pearce :
A project specially formed for a Jazz Services Tour in early 2001 which showcased various guest trumpeters - Dick Pearce, Henry Lowther and Harry Beckett - this one looks set to run and run. Following a return bout with Henry Lowther in July, Dick Pearce rejoins Full Monte for its next appearance in Southend.

DICK PEARCE - trumpet and flugelhorn. One of Britain's most lyrical brass players, Dick was Ronnie Scott`s frontline partner for fourteen years. More recently he has been heard with Gilad Altzman, Tim Richard`s Great Spirit, the Stan Tracey Quintet and Clark and Stan Tracey's Ellingtonia. He is also touring with Alan Barnes and Don Weller in A Tribute to Cannonball. The solo Dick created on "Negev", recorded with NYJO when he was just 19, has been transcribed and played by many trumpeters. Since then he has made important contributions to several big bands, including Mike Westbrook's The Cortege and Tim Richards' Great Spirit. Best known for his work on the mainstream jazz scene, Dick also played extensively with Chris Biscoe in the freebop group Broken Biscuits, the fusion band Redbrass, the Mike Westbrook Orchestra, and broadcast with Brian Godding's GLS. His own Quartet, both live and on record (listen to "Big Hit" on FMR Records), demonstrates his interest in extending the boundaries of his music.

Dick Pearce plays the most exquisite, heart stopping music.his elegant, flowing lines are up there with anything by Bobby Hackett, Chet Baker or Miles Davis that I have heard. 
Brian Blain, Musician


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