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Bebop Spoken There

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As we all know there are no live gigs taking place in the immediate future. However, any links to jazz streaming that are deemed suitable - i.e. with a professional approach - will be considered for posting.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Exchange Orchestra - Download review.

Eirik Svelar; Aubin Vanns - Guitars; Matt Anderson, Ben Lowman - tenors; Emlyn Vaughan - Bass; John Arnesen - Drums.
Formed in Autumn 2011 under the initiative of the guitarist Eirik Svela, The Exchange Orchestra (TEO) is an homage to the late Paul Motian's great sextet (the electric bebop band). With the unusual line up of two guitars, two tenor saxophones, bass and drums TEO resonates with a powerful sound capable of executing a broad range of textures. Anchored with a solid foundation in the jazz tradition TEO is driven by the present and seeks to fuse the sound of the individual players with a sense of purpose as a band.
Jazz legend and pianist Thelonious Monk is recognised for having been ahead of his time. With his unique style of playing and writing he was able to fuse the roots of jazz with the avant-garde back in the 1940's. TEO seeks to build on these elements in Monk's compositions and through them expose its own individual band sound. This is not a tribute, but a homage suited to an original like Monk; self-discovery through the intimate exploration of music.
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The above was sent to me by Eirik Svelar and in truth there is little to disagree with. Monk's music, in itself, always strikes me as a little quirky (in a nice way!) so any attempt to personalise Monk's music whilst at the same time paying tribute to another musical maverick - Paul Motian - is a journey fraught with danger.
However, these guys from Leeds - it's always Leeds! - make a decent fist of it. Personally, I'd have preferred tenor and alto rather than two tenors although their tones are sufficiently different to avoid it being an issue.
It's not a smooth sound but Monk's never was and the four tracks are very listenable.
Little Rootie Tootie has a section I'd describe as "Collective Improvisation" rather than "Free" and it works without jarring the senses.
The guitar solos are facile and totally in keeping.
It may be a work in progress but the Exchange Orchestra are getting there.
Judge for yourself - theexchangeorchestra.bandcamp.com.
Lance.

1 comment :

Ann Alex said...

Lance, I loved 'Little Rootie Tootie' but couldn't possibly explain why. Each line (Bar?) of the music sounds wonderfully unfinished, as if they've missed a note off every time, and it's really intriguing.It reminded me of Eric Satie's piano music (Avant Garde classical). He didn't even use bar lines at all.
Ann Alex

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