“Instead of the noisy squawks and atonal meditations of free jazz, Martin’s interest in the horn’s extended techniques lies in a more quietly lyrical and painterly expression of his themes…a charmingly expressive alternative to some of the more in-yer-face enterprises in current UK jazz.”

★★★★ Selwyn Harris – Jazzwise, August 2016 



Jazz Journal 

“A genuinely new reed idiom…Each disc is a separate Gulliver’s voyage to somewhere marvellous…A band of young giants” ★★★★ Brian Morton – Jazz Journal, September 2017



The Arts Desk

The Hidden notes review The Arts Desk

“Few new releases come with quite such a specific technical claim as this double release from British saxophonist John Martin…Martin’s originality is explorative rather than explosive…a technique of infinite subtlety and a restless sensitivity that ruffles and wrestles with existing modes of expression…The understated brilliance of the multiphonics is Martin’s defining feature”

 ★★★★ Matthew Wrighter – The Arts Desk


 The Hidden Notes

“thoughtful and technically adventurous music…Martin builds improvisations with a fine concern for tonal subtleties, shrewdly making use of multiphonic sounds and advanced fingerings… a distinctive voice and an explorer of restless promise” 

★★★ John Fordham – The Guardian

The Jazz Mann

The Hidden Notes Review - Thejazzmann

“Highly distinctive… I was very impressed with “Spirit Of Adventure which lives up to its name as Martin and his associates attempt to navigate fresh ground and a new soundthis is a very well balanced and well integrated group… that gives full reign to Martin’s innovative saxophone techniques”

★★★★ Ian Mann – Thejazzmann



All About Jazz


“Martin has put enormous effort into bringing out and controlling the harmonic possibilities of the saxophone…The important thing to realize, however, is that this is most definitely not a gimmick, and sounds completely natural in his hands. Furthermore, all of the compositions on this very impressive double CD release are by Martin, and it is only the music itself, as realized by the group, that ultimately matters to the listener…The Hidden Notes -Spirit Of Adventure is a fine body of work that is music which can be enjoyed at many levels. Martin has indeed staked out some new territory and made it his own, and the discs are well worth extended listens”  ★★★★ Budd Kopman – All About Jazz

Jazz Views – CD review

The Hidden Notes review Jazz Views



“The sounds that Martin finds and works with have an elegance to them that is markedly different from the sort of jarring, squawking that one might associate with overtones and multiphonics and that way in which Martin and his band build these into the pieces is stunning” 

Chris Baber – Jazzviews—the-hidden-notes-spirit-of-adventure.html

Jazz Views – Interview—finding-the-hidden-notes.html

AP Reviews

The Hidden Notes AP Reviews

“post-bop jazz…shot through with Martin’s gruff, harmonic clusters and richly-phrased soloing…an expansive journey spangled with unexpected musical glints and refractions” 

Adrian Pallant – AP reviews



Bird is the Worm

Unknown-3It’s particularly interesting how tenor saxophonist John Martin gets his sound to phase in and out of tunefulness, shifting between a sweet melodicism and raw ferocity.  But what marks the success of Spirit of Adventureis how the quintet The Hidden Notes shifts their ensemble sound to either shadow Martin’s changes or perfectly counterbalance them in a fusion of light and dark.

Jazz In York

The Hidden Notes Review Jazz In York

”John Martin has a rare ability to combine lyricism & traditional jazz language with the extended techniques used by the free improvisers…

Martin’s combination of flowing melodic lines & extended techniques, over a backdrop of classic vibraphone and modern guitar has taken the music in a new & engaging direction”  

John Marley – Jazz In York


The Jazz Breakfast

The Hidden Notes album review The Jazz Breakfast

“You could be forgiven for thinking on occasions while listening to this band of vibraphone (Ralph Wyld), guitar (Rob Updegraff), double bass (Tim Fairhall) and drums (Tim Giles) that it was fronted by multiple saxophones. That is because John Martin, who plays tenor throughout, is a master of multiphonics” 

Peter Bacon – Jazz Breakfast