Aug 17 2015
Recommended: Ghost Train Orchestra – “Hot Town”
There’s a spellbinding quality to the new release from the Ghost Train Orchestra that grows stronger with successive listens. Brian Carpenter‘s arrangements of hot jazz compositions from Roaring Twenties Chicago and Harlem is warm sunshine given sonic form. The up-tempo nature of Hot Town, even at the peak of its velocity, possesses the casual ease of a Summer day in the shade. And it’s that friendly handshake of easy-going enthusiasm and abounding good cheer that makes return visits ever more compulsory.
Baritone and bass saxophones are as light on their feet as banjos, clarinets and drums. The de facto triangulation of tuba, viola and banjo create appealing contrasts of tone as accompaniment to an otherwise straight-ahead traditional sound. The vocal track “You Ain’t the One” maintains the album’s galloping cadence and lazy river ambiance without stifling the vocalist’s emerging presence.
It’s pretty hard not to fall for this album once you’ve accepted its invitation.
Your album personnel: Brian Carpenter (trumpet, harmonica, arrangements), Dennis Lichtman (clarinet), Andy Laster (alto & baritone saxophones), Petr Cancura (tenor & alto saxes, clarinet), Curtis Hasselbring (trombone), Mazz Swift (violin, vocals), Jordan Voelker (viola, musical saw), Cynthia Sayer (plectrum banjo), Ron Caswell (tuba), Rob Garcia (drums) and guests: Colin Stetson (bass sax) and Andrew Stern (tenor banjo).
Released on Accurate Records.
Jazz from NYC.
Explore more of Ghost Train Orchestra’s music on their Soundcloud page.
August 18, 2015 @ 11:25 pm
Hi Dave, well, not exactly my cuppa tea but I’m glad you like them. Bet they would be fun live.
Found an album on eMusic that is really doing it for me. Norwegian, Jon Kette, alto sax player, founder of Jazzway records and leader of Jazzmob. It’s a live date at the Oslo Club. Not sure the year but sounds like a throwback to the late 60’s – a bit like John Surman’s Way Back When. Can’t stop playing it over and over. Just hits a spot almost nothing else does. Cheers, Robert
August 19, 2015 @ 8:50 am
Y’know, it’s kind of weird how this stuff works… I gave GTO’s previous albums a spin when they came out and thought, nice, but nothing that really inspires to write or talk about them. That was sort of my reaction, too, to their most recent recording “Hot Town” (tho that first track is pretty damn good). I threw it back on a month later in a what-the-hell-why-not kind of moment and the album really started to sink its teeth in me. The thing is, I can’t really explain why. My best guess is that its sound provides me some very necessary contrast to all of the other music I listen to all the time.
Pretty sure that Klette album is on one of my current lists, probably the first-pass list that triggers a definitive listen. The album cover looked very familiar.
August 18, 2015 @ 11:28 pm
Oh, yeah, and it’s called Electro Gravity. RM
August 18, 2015 @ 11:30 pm
My typing is bad today. Correct name: Jon Klette. 🙂