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New Mellow Edwards, The – “Big Choantza” – [Skirl]

A wide assortment of jazz styles and moods on this release from NY trombonist Curtis Hasselbring’s long-running ensemble. These days the NMEs roster consists of Hasselbring, John Hollenbeck on drums, Chris Speed on reeds, and Trevor Dunn on upright bass. Hasselbring composed the material, with the exception of #7, an energetic jazz-rock version of a Sonic Youth song. The musical moods range from slow and creepy-crawly to high-energy and kind of nutty. An air of inscrutability seems to hang over the proceedings–who or what is Choantza, what does Helkakelka mean, who are Backfat and Fumi, what’s that thing on the cover? We’ll probably never know. But don’t worry about understanding it–if you’re a jazz lover there will be plenty of things here that grab you.

  • Reviewed by Max Level on October 25, 2011 at 9:14 pm
  • Filed as CD,Jazz
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