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Music Reviews

New Klezmer Trio – “Short for Something ” – [Tzadik]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

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

Riley, Steve & the Mamou Playb – “Happytown ” – [Rounder Records]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Country

Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys are of the generation that followed the modernization and revival of “Cajun” music by Beausoleil, Zachary Richard and a few others – Steve has taken the style just a little closer to mainstream rock using electric guitar and some electronics. Just a bit. They are still an exciting band, especially in a live setting. This recording covers a lot of different styles from straight old traditional Cajun waltzes to some eerie & dark swamp funk. Instros and some vocals – in Cajun and some English. *review by David Richoux

Caravana Cubana – “Late Night Sessions ” – [Dreamer Music /Rhino]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

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

Sexmob – “Solid Sender ” – [Knitting Factory Records]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

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

Lewis, George New Orleans Jazz – “Hello Central ” – [Delmark]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

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

Nicholas, Albert & Art Hodes – “Albert’s Back in Town ” – [Delmark]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

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

Mora’s Modern Rhythmists – “Mr. Rhythmist Goes to Town ” – [Mr. Ace Records]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

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

Clusone 3 – “An Hour With… ” – [Hat Hut]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

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

Amh Trio – “Live at Field & Frame ” – [Plutonium Records]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

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

New Orleans Ragtime Orchestra – “Grace and Beauty ” – [Delmark]

David Richoux   1/15/2005   CD, Jazz

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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