Jan 11 2013
Tiny Reviews, featuring: Roller Trio Roller Trio, Greg Duncan Chicago, Barcelona Connections, and Old Time Musketry Different Times.
Roller Trio – Roller Trio
Roller Trio‘s debut album is best approached as modern Jazz with some Avant-Pop tendencies, which means it’ll give you your jazz fix while at the same time present flirtatious allusions to pop rock music. Chaotic and scarred sounds that seamlessly shift into melodic beauty, post-bop intensity that can grow into a rock conflagration, and avant-garde disassemblages that coalesce into everyday songs.
Your album personnel: James Mainwaring (tenor sax), Luke Wynter (guitar), and Luke Reddin-Williams (drums).
Opening track “Deep Heat” gets right down to business. What begins as a jaunty bop-n-hop tune shifts into post-rock ambient melodics. In fact, several of the album tracks begin quite similar, but each head off in their own direction. “The Nail That Stands Up” veers off into trip-rock ambiance with some Motown R&B sax blowing. “Howdy Saudi” also echoes the post-bop of the opening track, but descends into Rock dissonance, whereas “The Zone” takes a course that drives right through prog-rock territory. “The Interrupters” pretty much stays the course, but hiccups out some saxophone screeching and electronic bursts at opportune spots.
However, some tracks stay away from traditional post-bop motifs. “Roller Toaster” begins with a murmur and a drone, then builds intensity with a fiery sax section. “R-O-R” floats a languid sax atop a pleasantly insistent rhythmic chatter, a beautiful song and one with many of the same talking points as more-rock-than-jazz counterparts In The Country.
The type of album that will keep the listener guessing throughout, and one that’s has some pretty exciting moments to bring ’em back for repeat plays. Good stuff, and a pretty ambitious recording for a debut.
Released on the F-IRE Collective label.
Jazz from the Leeds, UK scene.
Greg Duncan – Chicago, Barcelona Connections
This is about Flamenco Music and this is about Jazz. It’s also about neither of those things. Chicagoan Greg Duncan set out to present the differences between the two, and yet fuse them together and present them in a straight-forward way. On Chicago-Barcelona Connections, Duncan delves into the various forms of Flamenco, displays how they differ from what is commonly referred to as Latin Jazz, and yet has recorded a Jazz album that can be enjoyed on the listener’s own terms, without needing awareness of artist motivations or goals, without requiring a background knowledge in music theory or genre categorization… just simply kick back and listen to some good ol’ fashioned Jazz. A result of time spent in Barcelona immersing himself in the music and culture, and also his participation in Chicago flamenco pop groups, Duncan has produced an thoroughly pleasant and accessible recording. I find it reminiscent of flautist Miho Wada‘s similar immersion in Cuban music, and the solid jazz album, Para Ti, which resulted from it. Good stuff.
Your album personnel: Greg Duncan (trumpet, flugelhorn, palmas), Corbin Andrick (alto & tenor sax), Stewart Mindeman (piano, Rhodes), Jon Deitemyer (drums, percussion), Patrick Mulcahy (acoustic & electric bass), and guests: Javier Saume (cajón) and Patricia Ortega (vocals, palmas).
Self-Produced, though released on Duncan’s own New Origins Records label.
Jazz from the Chicago scene.
Old Time Musketry – Different Times
Interesting debut album from the Old Time Musketry quartet. As is the case with many debut albums by younger musicians, the recording is a bit unfocused when viewing the album as a singular whole. But when regarding each of the separate album facets on their own, there’s plenty of promising signs for things to come.
Most of interest to me personally is their expression of a folk-jazz sound that comes very close to walking the same territory as fellow Brooklynite Jeremy Udden. The album opens with “Star Insignia,” the type of tune that I would refer to as “back porch serene” were I reviewing a Udden recording. “Cadets” follows that same path, and brings a nice contrast of lilting sax and accordion lines with march formation rhythms. At first blush, “Hope For Something More” might seem to fall in line with that, too, but slips in a bit of a pop music for a nice bit of softness. “Floating Vision” ends the album much as it began, but with a whisper.
A couple tracks have some Balkan flavor to them, though breaking out the accordion and putting it out front can sometimes give that impression, especially if an accompanying saxophone wants to take the tune in a boisterous direction. “Anger Dance” is interesting in how it breaks down in the middle, and dispenses with form and structure, then coalesces for the big finale.
There’s also a more standard post-bop nature to this recordings. “Underwater Volcano” has ax taking the lead, but it’s the keyboard notes gurgling up from beneath that gives the tune its foundation. “Parade” is another straight-ahead tune with a pleasant shuffle rhythm, and buoyant statements of melody. “Different Times” begins as standard post-bop fare, then spends the rest of the song methodically deconstructing itself.
Your album personnel: Adam Schneit (sax, clarinet), JP Schlegelmilch (keyboard, accordion), Phil Rowan (bass), and Max Goldman (drums).
Released on the SteepleChase Lookout label.
Jazz from the Brooklyn scene.
Download a free album track at AllAboutJazz, courtesy of the artists and label.
The Greg Duncan and Old Time Musketry reviews are original to Bird is the Worm, but I originally used the intro paragraph of the Roller Trio review for my Jazz Picks weekly article for eMusic, so here’s some language protecting their rights to that reprinted material as the one to hire me to write about new jazz arrivals to their site…
“New Arrivals Jazz Picks“ reprint courtesy of eMusic.com, Inc.
© 2012 eMusic.com, Inc.