Italian Instabile Orchestra – “Totally Gone” – [Rai Trade]

WCMurphy19   3/16/2011   CD, Jazz

Italian Instabile Orchestra is an 18-piece jazz big band from Italy??? they bill themselves as avant-garde but to me they sound more orchestral. Their playing is clean and lively ??? reminds me of Zappa (it has lots and lots of itty-bitty fast little notes).

They say they are influenced by The Dead and Timothy Leary, but I don???t hear it. If you are looking for a bright sounding palate cleanser this???ll do. It???s kind of nice to hear a big band that doesn???t affect an exaggerated blues or NYC influence to fake credibility??? they???re very Euro.

Page of Wands, 2/23/11

Satoh, Masahiko & Soundbreakers – “Amalgamation” – [Phoenix Records]

WCMurphy19   3/16/2011   A Library, CD

Amalgamation is a 1970 project by Japanese jazz piano virtuoso Masahiko Satoh and the Soundbreakers, evoking the spirit of Bitches Brew, Pink Floyd and Satoh???s own ruthless use of themes from the war and post war industrial experience. The effect is more of a visual audio poem than a 1970s modern jazz-rock jam, though it advances the spirit of the times.

Track one (15:45) opens with a grumbling, spreading atomic roar over the drums of Detroit-based Louis Hayes, then the sounds of machine guns and archaic radio voice of someone declaiming in the Japanese language (the Emperor?). It relaxes into a composed horn section, then picks up again with guitarist Kimio Mizutani and Hayes throwing shadow punches at each other, and eventually turns into a thrashing Fender Rhodes solo by Satoh, and visits with the Wehnne Strings Consort along the way.

Track two (21:17) is more Bitches Brew, but at every moment you can tell the horn player, traditional Japanese instruments player, drummer and pianist are reaaaally listening to each other.

Very well composed and moving through many phases, I like this one. Your listener will not get bored; this is more an extended composition than spastic-fest.

Page of Wands, 3/16/11

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