среда, 19 января 2011 г.

Kolkhöze Printanium - Vol. 1 Kolkhöznitsa (2008)

Kolkhöze Printanium - Vol. 1 Kolkhöznitsa (2008)

Personnel:
Paul Brousseau: keyboards, voice and drums
Maxime Delpierre: guitars and effects
Hugues Mayot: sax
Philippe Gleizes: drums
Jean-Philippe Morel: bass and effects

Tracklisting:
01 - Sans Le Savoir
02 - Our Faces At the Motown (Part A)
03 - Our Faces At the Motown (Part B)
04 - Stalker At79
05 - Fsy Tokyo
06 - Kolkhöze
07 - Ssen Soupape
08 - Chaotic Mantra
09 - Kolkhöze Talk
10 - Morgenrot (Part A)
11 - Morgenrot (Part B)
12 - Errance Digitale
13 - Petrovsky 1988
14 - Surround
15 - Mana

Creating a unique voice is not easy, and especially not in the very crowded fusion genre of rock and jazz, but what this French band creates is totally unusual, rich and intense. This is possibly one of the darkest albums I have heard in years. The rock rhythms are heavy, over which slow gloomy, unison themes of sax, guitar and keyboard are woven, with electronics, ambient sounds and the slow declamation of texts in Russian. The rhythmic backbone is industrial, repetitive, like heavy production machinery churning out endless identical products at the end of an assembly line. The great tension in the music arises from the solo instruments, trying to escape this repetitive horror, trying to liberate themselves, complaining, yearning, pleading in the meantime. Once in a while, the tune of the piece becomes joyful, almost ironic, as a sugary coating to hide the horror beneath, as on "Stalker AT79". But beauty has its place too, as the slow sax solo on "FSY Tokyo", played with a background of a-rhythmic bells, metal sounds and undefined scraping. Despite the wide variety of approaches in the 15 tracks, the coherence is extremely strong, including in the art work of the album, which depicts "Worker and Kolkhonitza", a Soviet sculpture made by Vera Moukhina in 1937. The band creates a musical world, something apart, very profound without falling into the trap of exaggeration. It is not about the effects, it's about the music. It is also very French, continuing the roads taken by Camisetas and Limousine, but taking it a step further. There is a little bit more drama, more cinematic effect, more staging, but that's part of the listening fun. Not everything works though, and in my mind the last track could have been left out, but that's a minor comment. Despite the music's dark edge, the ultimate hope for humanity message comes through loud and clear. Absolutely impressive. [Free Jazz]

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вторник, 18 января 2011 г.

David Lee Jr. - Evolution (1974)

David Lee Jr. - Evolution (1974)

Personnel:
David Lee Jr.: cowbell, bells [hand bells, orchestral bells], percussion [beads], chimes, congas, cymbal, drums, gong, organ, piano, vibraphone, timpani, tambourine, voice
Bob Cranshaw: electric bass
George Davis:
guitar, tambourine

Tracklisting:
01 - Revelation (2:53)
02 - Spirit Voice (2:51)
03 - Cosmic Vision (1:20)
04 - Wymbo-Ngoma (2:07)
05 - Regeneration (1:24)
06 - Freedom Bells (1:13)
07 - Acknowledgement (0:33)
08 - Love Parable (2:45)
09 - Nova Reflex (1:27)
10 - Evolution (10:39)
11 - Cosmopolitan (0:52)
12 - Second Line March (1:43)
13 - Constant Search (1:30)
14 - I Want Our Love To Always Last (2:50)
15 - Mystic Sound (1:26)

Soul Jazz Records/Universal Sound are releasing this ‘lost classic’ radical deep spiritual jazz album from David Lee Jr.

Originally released in New York in 1974 (400 copies only ever pressed!), ‘Evolution’ is composer and drummer David Lee Jr’s extraordinary one-off solo album, pressed on the artist’s own Supernal Records, a record company whose slogan ‘seeking creative progress’ and dedication ‘to peace and freedom’ clearly displayed artistic intent over any commercial or market-led forces.

Dave Lee Jr was born in New Orleans and the deep experimental drum-compositions featured on ‘Evolution’ are as rooted in this southern city rhythmically as they are in the spiritual and metaphysical musical ideas of John Coltrane, Sun Ra and other futurist soul-searchers.

In the early 1970s Lee headed off to New York, playing in Roy Ayers’ Ubiquity for a couple of years before immersing himself in the thriving loft deep jazz scene playing with Leon Thomas, Lonnie Liston Smith, Harold Alexander, Charles Rouse and recording for independent labels such as the classic Strata-East, India Navigation and Flying Dutchman.

New York left-field jazz meets New Orleans syncopation and military parade rhythms to produce an avant-garde drum suite as hypnotic as Roy Ayers circa ‘We Live in Brooklyn’, as radical as fellow drummer Steve Reid or Rashied Ali’s musical excursions in the early 1970s. [Soul Jazz Records]

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Splatter - Music For Misanthropes (2009)

Splatter - Music For Misanthropes (2009)

Personnel:
Anna Kaluza: alto
Noel Taylor: clarinet
Raúl Monsalve: electric bass
Pharoah S Russell: drums

Tracklisting:
01 - Might As Well Start
02 - Get Ready To Jump
03 - Slippery Slope
04 - Grim Reading
05 - Downward Spiral
06 - Past Caring
07 - Merciful End

The music is sweet, gentle and accessible, free and quite mature, in contrast to the adolescent scribblings on the back cover. And entirely improvised. And I must say, well improvised. The lyricism and interplay on some pieces make it sound as if it's thoroughly rehearsed or at least pre-conceived, but apparently not. The bass guitar of Monsalve is one of the most distinguishable and defining factors of the music. He gives color, punch and rhythm, allowing for the double reed front line to interlock phrases and melodies, and giving the excellent drummer the opportunity to play on or around the beat at leasure. Both Kaluza and Taylor are really good and creative, not trying to imitate, but making their own sound. It all sounds young, crisp, fresh, modern, with rock-influences of course, and with vision and coherence. They give the Claudia Quintet as possible reference, and in terms of sound there are indeed analogies, but not conceptually. Chris Speed and Jim Black are somewhat better for comparison, albeit a little more free.

And misanthropes? Not at all. They have a sensitivity and emotional content that is too gentle.

A really strong and enjoyable debut.
[Free Jazz]

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