Rhodri Davies Archif Project


For about a year in the late-90s I ran jam sessions in a church hall in the West End, inviting people I thought were cool on the free improv scene to just hang for an evening and play without an audience or any real agenda. Two decades later, a recording of one of those sessions has emerged.

It's a bit like looking at an old photo of myself. My intention in running these sessions was to find like-minded folks to do gigs with. At the time I really wanted to break into that scene but I wasn't ready for that musically and free improv wasn't quite the right space for me to be in (I'm still working that one out). Still, on the tape I'm not too loud and I can at least brag about the company I'm: Tom Chant on sax, Matt Davis on trumpet and Rhodri Davies on harp. I remember Tom, in particular, filling the room with energy that night and the recording attests to that.

I also note that even here I'm clearly happier on piano than guitar, where I'm struggling with a Roger Smith-derived approach to nylon-string that I never mastered, and often I'm really playing percussion. But despite the odd inevitable cringe on my part I enjoyed the listen and it gave me a perspective on how my ideas about music have changed and what's stayed the same over the intervening years.

This recording has emerged because Rhodri is putting many of his old tapes on Bandcamp under the heading Archif: a remarkably sane, productive and positive response to COVID-19. There's lots of good stuff there already.