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Wednesday, November 06, 2013

CD Review: Jazz Combustion Uprising - Self Immolation.

Henry Hung (tpt); Grant Levin (pno); Andrew Ryan (dms); David "Elaine" Alt (saxes); Kenny Annis (bs) + Gabe Davis (bs); Alicia Bell (voice); Wendell Hanna (bassoon); Jane Lenoir (fl).
(Review by Lance)
This came in today as a late contender and, whilst it may not grab the top spot, it's going to be up there!
Fiery compositions, Equal parts, Innovation and Dedication with Blistering Solos and a Vintage Rooted Sound. So said the album notes and hey - they were right! My review done by them in a single sentence!
But no, I've got to earn my virtual corn and expound further.

The eleven tracks are split into three groups - Blues, Standards, Modern and alongside each title is the inspiration e.g. Roberta, Roberta (Louis Jordan, Dexter Gordon); Oxtail Soup (Horace Silver, Charles Mingus); Series of Adjustment (Thelonious Monk, Lester Young); Rising (Wayne Shorter, Abbey Lincoln); The Unmemorable Evening (George Russell, Steve Lacy); Bike Lanes, Coming, (Sonny Rollins, McCoy Tyner); Bike Lanes, Going (Pharoah Sanders, Sun Ra, Gil Scott-Heron) etc.
This isn't just jazz of whatever persuasion it's also jazz theatre and performed with the drama, passion, humour and emotion that comes with good theatre and this is good jazz theatre
Alt, not sure why his middle name is "Elaine", blows great tenor and alto and Hung blows like Kenny Durham. This is one of those albums that came out of left field and sent me into orbit - seriously it is that good. There are even moments when they venture "outside" but not many and, by and large, these are contemporary boppers who, on these forays beyond the city walls do so to hog-tie the critters outside and bring them in!
Love it, not least because it reminds me that jazz can look to the future without forgetting its past.
The disc is dedicated to the late Tunisian street grocer Tarek Al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi. "We salute his courageous spirit and the self-activity it has inflamed." 
I don't know anything about Tarek but if he can inspire the music on this disc he must have been one helluva grocer!
Jazz Combustion Uprising - Self Immolation is available on the Flaming Hakama Label .
Lance

3 comments :

James said...

Lance, Tarek Al-Tayeb Mohamed Bouazizi is widely credited with starting the Arab Spring, protesting the Tunisian corruption and draconian laws with an act of self immolation, causing riots leading to regime change that spread across large parts of Asia. I think you might have heard about that?

Lance said...

Thanks James, now I know!

Unknown said...

Thanks for the review!

I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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