The Hidden Notes

JohnMartin_HiddenNotes_AlbumCover_LowRes_RGBThe Hidden Notes is my latest project. It is a celebration of the saxophone and all the beautiful sounds that are hidden just beneath the surface.

The project has grown out of an in depth study of advanced saxophone techniques and is the culmination of several years work in developing a tonal approach to multiphonics and overtone patterns.

Throughout this process I have discovered many beautiful and effecting sounds, which I have used as a starting point for a new body of compositions.

These sounds range from: Ethereal, delicate two-note whispers, rich full chords, earthy split-notes, Powerful Metallic dissonance, rocky over-driven distortion; to a clean and pure sound evocative of an African guitar.

Combine all these new colors with the natural sound of the saxophone, Circular breathing, allowing for complex continuous rhythmic patterns and you have a rich and varied sound-scape, opening up many new exciting rhythmic and textural possibilities.

see the feature page for more info.

New dedicated website here:

John Martin Quartet “Dawning”

John Martin tenor and soprano sax, Tim Fairhall double bass, Andy Ball drums and Jonjo Grisdale piano.

Dawning’ is the debut album from the John Martin Quartet and reveals a young saxophonist/composer with a warm and engaging voice. The eight original tracks (all by Martin) that make up the album have a strong sense of melody with thoughtful interplay between the composed elements and the supple improvisations of the Quartet. It has been recorded beautifully at Artesuono studio in Italy, and is characterized by a warm and open sound, and a certain emotional directness (which is nonetheless far from naïve). Martin’s uncluttered improvisations and the dynamic structures created by the band respond to a wide range of inspiration, from English jazz and folk and the ECM sound to Wayne Shorter and the downtown New York scene.

See feature for more info.

“This Album should be heard and bought” Kenny wheeler

“the lyrical sway of Andy Sheppard, the atmospherics of Jan Garbarek, the pensiveness of Kenny Wheeler and the country-chime of early Keith Jarrett…. this quartet are players of real promise”  John Fordham, The Guardain

“This is an honest, cohesive and sophisticated release – a band to listen out for in 2011 and a credit to the F-ire collective ” Iain Ballamy

The artwork was painted from the music by Jon Braley, who was a finalist in 2010 for the prestigious John Moores painting prize.

more info here

Metamorphic Coalescence

contempary folk jazz
Our latest Album ‘Coalescence’ has been getting lots of excellent reviews! see below.
4 star review from John Fordham in the Guardian;
4 star review from Peter Quinn at Jazzwise, June 2013: “a compelling and ear catching collection…Laura Cole has one of the most distinctive compositional voices around”
Coalescence also receives 4 stars from Ian Mann, June 2013:
“a highly personal record that embraces several different musical genres in an interesting and distinctive way. Cole is developing a unique conceptual and compositional style that makes Metamorphic one of the most interesting groups around on the UK scene”


Metamorphic The Rock Between

contempary folk jazz Metamorphic are: Chris Williams, alto sax (Led Bib); John Martin, tenor sax (The John Martin Quartet); Kerry Andrew, vocals (Juice Vocal Trio); Tom Greenhalgh, drums (World Sanguine Report); Paul Sandy, bass (Hey Negrita); and Laura Cole, piano/composer/arranger (The Common Place Orchestra). Metamorphic ‘The Rock Between is sextet Metamorphic’s first album. It is a collection of largely song-based, often emotional journeys through original composition, arrangements of well-known pieces, and improvisation; the album is an attempt by bandleader Laura Cole to chart her experience of RSI, depression, recovery and motherhood.



The Root Source

Andrew Fairclough – Hammond Organ, Rhodes Piano, Wurlitzer Piano, Clavinet, Percussion. Benjamin Packer – Guitar, Roberto Ares Rio – Percussion. Larry Clack – Drums, Spencer Brown – Double & Electric Bass. Tom East – Flutes, John Martin – Tenor & Soprano Sax.

The Root Source have returned, with a quality and timeless follow up to their self titled debut album released in 2007 (FSRCD019).

Upon its release, the London based septet were lauded by the likes of Nicola Conte, Snowboy and Gilles Peterson and discerning dance floors around the world took a real heel bashing whenever any of these top DJs played the tracks from the album in their club sets!

Other projects I am currently involved in:

Metamorphic Hot orange big Band Awale, Congo Dia Ntotila The Root Source Afric Bawantu, Super Luckies, Viva La Revolucion, Yak Attack, Dee Anderson. Williams Cumberbach,

Other recordings

Guillemots – trains to brazil

Songlines Choir, On Westminster bridge –