Chance Element play music that is particularly hard to pigeonhole. Most of its members had a standard, classical college training, but all subsequently worked in rock and jazz contexts. All these influences are there, but the music is hardly rock, certainly not strict jazz, and would not be recognized as classical by most people. The UK band was formed in 1983 when Rod Arran (soprano saxophone, reed synthesizer, recorders), John Thomas (keyboards) and Brian Lenehan (guitar), all at London’s Trinity School of Music, got together to try out some compositions using tapes and live instruments. The band still uses taped material, devised, realized and assembled by Arran, as an underpinning for the live performers. There is virtually no improvisation (nor any random procedures, despite the band’s name) and Chance Element has been primarily a vehicle for Arran’s compositions, which draw on a variety of traditions. This has not stopped the band being labelled (more than somewhat inaccurately) as jazz-funk. Chance Element also comprises former Itchy Fingers member Martin Speake (flute, alto saxophone).
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