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12,535 (and counting) posts since we started blogging 12 years ago. 254 of them this year alone and, so far, 105 this month (Feb. 24).

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

CD Review: VOLE – The Hillside Mechanism


Roland Ramanan (Trumpet); Roberto Sassis (Guitars); Javier Cormona (Drums)
(Review by Steve H.)
The Hillside Mechanism kicks off with No Knees, a piece which  lets you know what you're in for right from the start; a cornucopia of Trumpet, Guitar and Drums weaving in and out of the tune with thumping abandon. 
Rampicanti  is a more gentle improv. whilst Slow Burn is self explanatory - a slow build up of assorted bumps and squeaks before climaxing in a rock inspired finale.  Following on, Voiced Unvoiced  starts with a mellow trumpet solo and the rest of the trio join in with the mood to provide an ambient reflective piece. 
Improctober continues this meditative vein with an eerily dawn like intro developing into a subtle dream inducing mood. Tims Frosties is Great!  All the band contribute to a magnificent  cacophony of sound - Mingusesque! 
The penultimate, At Times Their Skins Peel  Off  is another squawking combustive effort with a most charming finish.  The album concludes with Before  which  has an almost Latin feel to it at the start before subsiding to a floating tranquil conclusion.
This debut album by the multinational trio is a very challenging affair (although since this recording Pianist Alexander Hawkins has joined the band and Tom Greenhalgh has replaced Cormona on Drums). It is definitely on the free improvised side of the Jazz genre so not for those who like a happy  tuneful melody but it kept this listener thoroughly entertained and interested throughout.
VOLE – The Hillside Mechanism was released on the Babel label on April 8.
Steve H..

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