Martin France

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Martin France ARAM Hons
Born (1964-02-29) 29 February 1964 (age 52)
Origin Rainham, South East England
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Drummer
Years active 1980s to date
Labels Babel, EG, ECM
Associated acts Perfect Houseplants
Iain Ballamy, Django Bates, First House

Martin France ARAM Hons (born 1964 in Rainham – then in Kent) is an English jazz drummer based in London. He has been the rhythmic backbone on more than 70 albums working with some of the world's finest musicians.

Martin began performing at the age of twelve backing singers in Working Men's clubs with Organ trios in and around Manchester. He studied under Geoff Riley, Kenny Clare, Joel Rothman, and Richard Smith, Principal Percussionist with The Hallé.

In 1983 he began his recording career performing on several records for ECM records. With his friend and music cohort Django Bates, he had been performing with Evan Parker and Kenny Wheeler, and through their friendships had been introduced to ECM. France went on to record several albums for the label, and toured with some of their bands throughout he 1980s and 1990s.

A turning point in his early career was his role within the 1980s big band, Loose Tubes, where he began long standing partnerships with many of its members.[1] His association with Django Bates has led to many diverse projects away from the jazz environment they normally occupy with Human Chain and Delightful Precipice. These include film soundtracks, jazz theatre, cross cultural collaborations and recording projects involving orchestras such as The London Sinfonietta, BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra and the ASKO Ensemble in Amsterdam.

He is also active as a studio musician working on TV and film soundtracks and is involved in programming and composing for many projects and artists, including his own band, Spin Marvel, in which he plays mostly electronic and sequenced drums.[1]

Along the way Martin has performed and recorded with some of the world's best musicians including John Paul Jones, David Gilmour, Elvis Costello, John Taylor, Kenny Wheeler, Ralph Towner, Lee Konitz, Dave Holland, Arild Andersen, Marc Johnson, Steve Swallow, Bob Mintzer and The Yellowjackets, with Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip, Gianluigi Trovesi, Nils Petter Molvaer,[2] Bugge Wesseltoft, Mike Gibbs, Maria Schneider, Gil Goldstein, Stephen Warbeck, Joe Lovano, Victor Bailey, Sidsel Endresen and Maria Joao. He is also a regular performer with NDR radio orchestra in Hamburg.


As leader[edit]

  • Spin Marvel (Babel, 2005)

As sideman[edit]

With First House

With Billy Jenkins

  • Uncommerciality Vol 3 (1986)
  • Aural Art Exhibition (1992)
  • Suburbia (1999)
  • Mayfest (2001)
  • True Love Collection (2001)

With Iain Ballamy

  • Balloon Man (1989)
  • All Men Amen (1995)
  • Mirrormask: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (2005)
  • Anorak: More Jazz (2007)

With Django Bates

With Julian Arguelles

  • Phaedrus (1991)
  • Home Truths (1995)
  • Skull View (1997)
  • Escapade (1999)
  • As Above So Below (2004)

With Perfect Houseplants

With Mark Lockheart

  • Through Rose Coloured Glasses (1998)
  • Imaginary Dances (2002)
  • Moving Air (2005)

With John Taylor

  • Angel of the Presence (2006)
  • Whirlpool (2008)

With others



  1. ^ a b Kelman, John (18 November 2007). "CD/LP Review: Spin Marvel". All About Jazz. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 
  2. ^ May, Chris (21 June 2010). "CD/LP Review: Spin Marvel 2: The Reluctantly Politicised Mr James". All About Jazz. Retrieved 29 October 2010. 

External links[edit]