Album Review

Industrial Jazz Group – “Star Chamber, the ” – [Innova/American Composers]

Max Level   1/7/2006   CD, Jazz

Pianist Andrew Durkin leads his IJG ensemble through seven of his compositions, an edgy brand of scaled-down big band-style music, carefully arranged. The group has varied over the years, from a quintet to an 11-piece, whatever that’s called… here it’s a nonet configuration with 3 reeds, 2 trumpets, a trombone, piano, bass, and drums. The compositions are fresh and irreverent, owing something to left-field jazz explorers like Thelonius Monk and Carla Bley, maybe some Frank Zappa too while we’re at it. The soloists (all interesting) on each track are listed, a fine nod to big band convention. Track lengths are 5 to 10 minutes in length. Durkin’s BMI publishing is under the name of “Ugly Jazz”, an ironic way to describe his music, which is actually pretty delightful. Plenty to dig here, no matter what your favorite kind of jazz is.

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