Friday, October 28, 2016
Pablo does a great job getting around on his baritone, fleet and swinging when that is the ticket, open and free for those numbers that call for it. He deserves wider attention for sure.
Joe LaBarbara can swing like a mother and does, but he also understands and excels at the freetime role when that is in order.
John Lindberg's bass playing comes through beautifully throughout. Whether bowing or pizzicato, whether responding to Pablo, soloing, or as a front line articulator, he is superb.
And when you put it all together this is an album of great merit, something you should hear for a fine example of where avant jazz is right now. Get it!
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
The Organ Grinder pioneers its way through the metal psychedelia jazz that is its trademark, but also adds some roots, a little hardbop and old school funk to open things up a bit.
And that gives us the listeners a little changing up and plenty to latch onto.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Yet like the best art of continuation this goes forward from there. What is this? Marcos Varela's album San Ygnacio (Origin 82711). Varela puts on an exemplary bass attitude throughout as bandmate and as soloist. He is joined by a core group of masters: Billy Hart on drums and George Cables on piano (for all but a couple of tracks). They are enhanced and forwarded by the solid fire of Logan Richardson on alto for most of this. Clifton Anderson on trombone, Dayna Stephens on tenor, and Arnold Lee on alto (and Eden Ladin on piano plus Kush Abadey on drums on several tracks) add substance as well.
The mix of one standard and a bunch of contemporary mainstream originals (by Varela, Hart, Cables, Mraz, Ladin, Anderson) sets up a very conducive situation for great blowing.
It all swings and makes for a terrific listen. Varela has arrived.
Friday, October 14, 2016
I suppose you might call this laid-back psychedelics. Cameron picks through some nice note choices and expands the compositional frameworks with smarts and taste. It's not an album you put on and exclaim, "holy living cow!" Instead it quietly sneaks up on you and does its work until you are under its spell.
Cameron is not so much out to impress though sooner or later you may well feel that way. He is in a making good music mode. And he strings it all together very well, with a lyric touch. Worth hearing. Mizell is a talent.
Thursday, October 6, 2016
The arrangements are really fresh and unexpected. They climax when you do not expect them to and do so with vocal-instrumental singularity. And then it goes up another notch and you did not expect that. There is a band in there that is disciplined. Nice guitar-vocal interplays, fully orchestral keys, drums not stuck in a rut, some real soundscapy moments of beauty. And it's the careful brilliance of the flow that makes it so, like POSTMODERN? No, POSTPOST. Heavy when you least expect it, transparent in moments, then heavy again. Ironic and obliquely assuming the other but not connect to him or her except in fleeting moments?
The structure of the band's routines and the wonderful vocal placements. Not Imogen Heap but something equally vocally interesting. Like what my dad said about the last World Series he watched before he died. "The pitchers and the catchers...". Well, yes, it's like that. You can label it but it goes considerably beyond what you can name, for now. The pitchers and the catchers....the routines and their placement. Like that.
This album floors me. It is so fully itself and successfully so that you cannot map out a song before you hear it and some groups get that kind of predictability now and again.
"Every lawn is green, every fence is white, and you're the only one I see when I close my eyes." Poetic weirdness, evocative imagery in the lyrics and then a damned ton of power from the band obliterates the delicacy for a while because life is getting in the way again?
This is a rock album of the year for me so far. Maybe the? Maybe! It is a game-interrupter. The damndest music I've heard in a long time....
Oh, they are touring the US this October, opening for Dillinger Escape Plan. Check the net.