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Bebop Spoken There

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Saturday, January 12, 2019

CD Review: Theon Cross - FYAH

Theon Cross (tuba); Nubya Garcia (tenor sax); Moses Boyd (drums) + Wayne Francis (tenor sax - 2 tks); Artie Zaitz (guitar  -2 tks); Tim Doyle (perc. - 1 tk); Nathaniel Cross (trombone - 1 tk).
(Review by Lance).

If there's anything worse than having to listen to a banjo record, bagpipes excluded, it's a tuba record! As such, I viewed this, albeit highly acclaimed album, with suspicion. Still, it is creating waves in the jazz media and the tubaist, Theon Cross, won the 2016 APPJAG gong for the Best Jazz Newcomer and those folks know a good one when they see one - believe me!

So I played it and, whilst it wasn't 10 on the Richter Scale, it did make enough ripples to, say, demolish a small village such as Snods Edge in Co. Durham. Not that we would wish such a fate on that lovely community.

It works well, tuba, sax and sticks come at it trilaterally with each member throwing ingredients into the pot resulting in a meal that is both hotter than a Vindaloo and cooler than vanilla ice cream.

I'd read about Garcia but had missed out on her recent CD - she lives up to her rep and I need to check her album out. Boyd, I knew from his collab with Binker, but Theon Cross was new to me. I have this nightmare where I'm dodging around a corner to avoid a banjoist only to be confronted with a tuba player plumbing the subterranean depths of his instrument. However, if that tuba man had been Cross my nightmare would have morphed into a pleasant dream - the sort you have just before you awaken to reality.

Cross brings an almost Jay Jay-like sound to his solos as well as throwing in Roswell Rudd when the fire (FYAH?) is lit. Together, all three (plus extras) can hold their heads high (not easy carrying a tuba!)
Amazing album.
Lance.
PS: FYAH?

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