Spanish Surrealist, Modern Art & Architecture and Jazz? Sure, why not? With graphic design that directly quotes the Miles Davis / Gil Evans masterpiece ‘Sketches of Spain’ this is the first of 3 in a suite of jazz compositions inspired by Dali, Miro and Gaudi. Recorded in San Francisco in 2001, this has a kind of post-bop cool flavor, not really very surreal at all. Still, it is a nice work and it should be interesting to hear the other two sessions. Added Note: Dali, Miro and Gaudi were all from the Catalonia region but are often misclassified as “Spanish Artists.” Some (many) Catalonians do not consider themselves to be part of Spain – there is a strong separatist movement. review by David Richoux
The mixing of improv jazz and the writings of Edward Gorey is not a far-fetched thing. Macabre poetry, twisted words and spooky imagery and pooting saxes, plopping pianos and tweezy guitar & synths seem to go together like black oil on toast. This is mostly very minimal style, moody and sparse, some attempt at melodic lines (but some tracks pick up a little steam after a while.) The lyrics are read not in exact time with the music. Lol Coxhill and Julie Tippett take turns with the readings, but ‘duet? on #2. I like it all! *review by David Richoux
very nice but energetic vibes-bass-drums instrumentals. A bit different feel from other recent vibe trios, maybe because the leader is the drummer. Most tracks are originals but there are a few covers of Bud Powell and others. It is hard to have “Edgy” music on vibes so this tends towards “Easy” instead. *review by David Richoux
Just a trio, you say – but when all 3 players are multi – instrumentalists of great skill this becomes a miniature big band! All kinds of flexibility with shifting combinations of reeds, strings, percussion and piano following squirty paths and furious sheets of intertwined improv – very driving, yet very beautiful results. This is all live recording with no multi-tracking but you might think otherwise. There are a few grunty/shouting vocals with not much word action, but mostly this is instrumental. Sam River’s liner notes give the best possible description of this incredible performance – all true!
Track 3 is a bass solo – all the rest are trio form. *review by David Richoux
Some Fun, Fine, Funky, Punky, Hip-Hop Jazz from Seattle. Saxophonist Skerik (he has been on many other recordings with groups like Critters Buggin’, Frog Brigade and Galactic.) There is a lot of variety here from Horn Driven Groove-Monster to Zappaesque Aligned Noodles, but nothing is too scary – I could have almost put this in A library… all tracks are instrumental – no vocals. No idea on Skerik’s real name. Recorded Summer of 2003 live in one session at the Owl & Thistle club in Seattle.
Track 2 has an odd Latin beat – not quite sure if it is a Rumba or something else, but it is way fun. Track 4 is just a short introduction to Track 5 a mostly very happy, pop rock jazz thing – let it play through! Track 6 features a twisted analog synth-piano and B-3 Organ duet with wild guitar.
Track 9 is a Double Bari-Sax Monster Mash -YOW!
The group name comes from the 1930’s Anti-Drug Czar Harry J. Anslinger – it was the term he used for the “Rhythmic and Moral Contamination that is Jazz? *review by Studebaker Hawk
Proving the often stated case that early Jazz Musicians were nothin’ but a lot of Dope Smokin’ Vipers that would soon corrupt the moral values of our “Youth”- this is a GREAT collection of songs that relate to the drug culture of the 1920s through the 1940s. There are solos, small groups and big bands singing about Dopey Joe, Minnie the Moocher, Jerry the Junker, Texas Tea, and all that other “Fine stuff.” These are some of the songs that inspired the revival of jug bands in the 1960s and the re-revival by groups like the Asylum Street Spankers and many others. Sometimes funny but there are some sweet-sad songs as well. Remember, grass was quasi-legal up until about 1937 so these were songs that fit into the culture of the times. Just the thing for your “4:20 Break” and as far as I can tell the lyrics are all clean (if suggestive…) 1996 release date. We also have another version in Blues *review by Studebaker Hawk
Starting off with an old, scratchy recording of a pleasant little city park band (strings and horns) playing a waltz on a Sunday afternoon, the Grove County Philharmonic is a quaint look back at another century of music. THEN THE EVIL CLOWN HITS YOU IN THE FACE WITH A TURD PIE, KICKS YOU IN THE ASS WITH HIS FLOPPY SHOES AND STOMPS ALL OVER YOUR EARS WITH A SCREAMING, DISCORDANT MUTANT CIRCUS BAND FROM HELL!!!!!!
Actually, after that first shock things get stranger, nicer, and back to strange again – all over the place, musically until the band kinda just fades away down the road …. I like it! *review by Studebaker Hawk
Take a whole bunch of people to recording studios in Houston and New York and turn them loose – what you get is an amazing mixture of jazz, funk/soul, noodles, beats, poots and honks – some great, some don’t go much of anywhere (and they cut after a few seconds – watch out!) A few tracks have a ska/rock flavor but overall it is mostly more leaning towards somewhat structured jazz. Very nice when they get going… *review by Studebaker Hawk
Some local brass wackos have formed this modern New Orleans Brass Band to put the SF/Improv flavor into some old standards and new tunes. Jon Birdsong (Lords of Outland) on the sousaphone really sets the funk pace but everybody else does a lot of interesting stuff here as well. Goofy fun in a “live in studio recording” (must have been some party!) Mostly instrumental with some incidental vocal things between songs. Track 7 is a nice take on a Steve Wonder tune and is actually 16 minutes long with a little gap – the end is a dub take (very odd) so let it play! *review by Studebaker Hawk
The avant-garde music scene in New Orleans is a bit rough – there is so much other great musics going on there it gets ignored by most. Jonathan Freilich (New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars) put this group together to explore the outside possibilities of New Orleans & klezmer traditions. The others in this orchestra come from some of the best brass/funk/punk/junk bands. Some of the compositions are a bit stiff and “anti-funky” – something that is very hard to do in “The Big Sleazy,” but the rest have an unusual energy. Track 5 takes klezmer harmonies at an analytical pace so you can really hear the complexities of the chords and rhythms. *review by Studebaker Hawk
Back with Attitude – the Youngbloods have jumped up several levels since their last CD. with special guest vocal by Ike Willis (ex-Zappa) track 4 and lots of & rap-poetry stuff with Talib Kweli and Mike Ladd – some bits of bad language tracks 7 & 8, DJ Skooly scratching and a solid brass section, lead by “The Warrior” on Sousaphone (check out his acoustic-weird tones on some tracks using no electronic effects…) These guys are from the suburbs of Madison, Wisconsin but they still live in the heart of New Orleans Soul. *review by David Richoux
Yet another in the “Radical Jewish Culture” series – this one finds Ben Goldberg noodle-ing around on his clarinet – mostly minor key and mysterious (even the Freylekhs are pretty slow,) Dan Seamans rumbling around the basement and Kenny Wollesen holding the whole thing together on percussion. Very dark and sad yet beautiful music on this CD. *review by David Richoux
Rhino RecordsWith all the attention on Cuba and New York based Afro-Cuban Jazz people tend to forget another long time center for this style – Los Angeles. Dizzy Gillespie really focused this in the 40’s. Here we have a true all-star cast of musicians and singers (some were in that Dizzy Band) deep in the roots of Cubanisimo doing some hot, danceable, exciting and driving ensembles. Thanks to the folks at Rhino for producing this original (not reissue) session.
– *review by David Richoux
Knitting FactoryBack again with another wild recording – Steve Bernstein, Briggan Krause, Tony Scherr and Kenny Wollsen (and many guests) step into the void left by the death of Lester Bowie to totally fuck with some jazz and pop classics. This time it is Rock and R&B instead of “spy movies” and the stuff is outstanding!
Imagine if you will: “Ruby Tuesday,” “Please3” or “For What It’s Worth” done by a rowdy buncha New Orleansish New Pork funk horns, a giant rubber band bass (with a string section and a bit of turntable action on some tracks!) YOW!
Watch out for a lot of really short tracks between the real stuff – not exactly introductions, but they are separate things. Track 17 features the Sex Mob Children’s Choir. *review by David Richoux
Don’t confuse this George Lewis with the jazz trombone player.
This one was a New Orleans clarinetist who took the original jazz style (less solo, more ensemble) out to the world. Playing to what were called “Moldy Figs” or trad revivalists (mostly white) -G.L. sparked a great deal of interest in this New Orleans style. He played an Albert System clarinet, so the tuning can sometimes sound a bit off, but folks really liked it. This recording was done in 1953 (a peak year for the revival) San Francisco with a great touring band. Some vocals – great music… *review by David Richoux
As the liner notes tell you, Albert Nicholas was one of the important clarinet players in the early years of jazz and he kept on playing well into the 60’s. Check out the list of bands he played in! On this 1959 session with pianist Art Hodes (Ho-dez, I think) and his band you will hear some great “classic traditional” jazz – not “Dixieland,” not “Trad Revival” – just some great tunes played with inspiration and long-term knowledge of what to do with them. all instrumental, with some alternate takes. *review by David Richoux
Much like the Bay Area band “Royal Society Jazz Orchestra,” Mora’s Modern Rhythmists from the LA area have worked very hard to recreate the early 20’s-30’s orchestra style of jazz. Meant for both dancing and listening, these “Society” bands had a smooth yet hot sound (very polite for jazz) playing in posh hotels, ocean liners and fancy parties. On this recording there is an interesting mix of tunes from the early eras of jazz and proto-swing. The style of singing and playing is not a total imitation of Paul Whiteman recordings, but there sure is a lot of influence. Fun stuff… *review by David Richoux
Like the other Clusone 3 recordings we have, this is some fun stuff! More bird inspiration, and I don’t mean Charlie Parker.
Reijseger on cello is WAY out there, but Moore and Bennink don’t do anything to bring him back. Goofy and silly jazz at times but then things settle into a groove – no explanations. *review by David Richoux
Hoonkh, Blurt, Weerrbbble, Scree, Poot, Groan, Grummph, etc.
Fun stuff from the lower register from Albuquerque – Bari Sax, Tuba, Bass Clarinet and some higher things as well – very strange but not really scary when compared with some of the other things we have been getting lately. Seems to be total improvjazz but it is hard to tell these days… Mark Weaver on tuba is showing a lot of chops!
*review by David Richoux
While Ragtime was not invented in New Orleans, it was very popular and was a major part of the development of jazz in that city. John Robichaux (Row be show) had a band and did a lot of ragtime arrangements in the early 20th century. In 1965 these charts were found and a band was formed in 1967 to play them. The musicians on this 1967-1970 recording also played in the early Preservation Hall bands in the ’60s and some were playing jazz in the 1930s and ’40s.
Not a slick band (check out the New England Ragtime Conservatory band if you want polish) – there is some problem with intonation and the pace is a bit ragged, but these are some sweet tunes. All instrumental and of an era that will not come round again… *review by David Richoux
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