Album Review

Fight The Big Bull – “All Is Gladness In The Kingdom” – [Clean Feed]

Thurston Hunger   7/19/2013   CD, Jazz

Many flavors on this 2010 Richmond, Virginny tentet CD led
by guitarist Matt White. Eddie Prendergast prenderguests
to help build the bridge of electic bass sighs from “Eddie
and Cameron” into “Satchel Paige” on track 7. Steven Bernstein
does more than guest, he waves the red flag and composes
or arranges 4 of the 9 pieces here. Pinson Chanselle pounds
and Brian Jones massacres tons of percussion at times, but
this is not a Brotzmann blood bath. A lot of tastefills
and trap thrills. White must be one helluva foreman, as this
jury never erupts into 12 angry men. They get all misty eared
on “The Sacred Harp” then go drunk dixieland on The Band’s
“Jemima Surrender” after an Indy 500 intro. The Bull tiptoes
through the proverbial china shop on “Rockers” but winds up in
a space effects wormwhole. “Martin Denny” felt more like an
homage to Philip Cohran At times I heard this weird
Bob Ezrin/Alice Cooper ghost, but that is probably just me.
Bernstein definitely brings his punchy, stripper-grind savory
faire sure to make this a crowd pleaser. A lot of mellow
moments for a big band, but I dig the moments when brass tactics
are employed in force. But usually that’s for a few bars as
each song comes with several segments. Bullish on this for sure.

-Thurston Hunger / KFJC

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