Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Tati, In Case We Die Rehearsing My Choir, I'm [a] Burning Star


Italian trumpeter, Enrico Rava, who cut his teeth with free/avant jazz artist like Don Cherry, Steve Lacey, and Cecil Taylor, joins Italian pianist Stefano Bollani, and drummer Paul Motian to create some beautiful post-Miles minimalist jazz. Check out his haunting version of the standard “The Man I Love” and the swinging, yet abstract “Mirrors” and “Jessica Too.”


Bassists William Parker’s newest album opens with bright Monk-like abstractions, shifts into Coleman-like avant tones, then buzzes through Ayers-like free jazz. And that’s just the first cut. Recorded live at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and Montreal’s Souni Per Il Popolo, Parker, and his talented band mates, Hamid Drake (d), Rob Brown (as), and Lewis Barnes (t), integrate [reharmonize] 60 years of improvisation and innovation into a breezy structured free jazz – yea, I know it’s a contradiction, but that means you have to get the CD and find out how they pull it off…and how good they are.


I discovered, or should I stay stumbled upon, Australia’s Architecture in Helsinki when they where doing an in-store at Austin’s great indie record store (yes, you can still call them a “record” store) Waterloo Records. I was impressed enough to catch their show at Emo’s, on Austin’s infamous 6th street (which, since my distant college days, has lost some of its indie funk). The 8 musicians crammed on to Emo’s outdoor stage and weaved catchy and quirky melodies with rich aural layers that includes everything from trumpets and trombones to various organs & synths to bird chirps to even power saws (I think). Their most recent album captures the energy of their shifting multi-instrumental performances; plus, they have the best band name.


Zapped by the zombie
zapped zapped by the zombie
Zapped by the zombie in the two door dodge;
twiced baked brioche and danish pastry pocket
sand lock’s it’s two door dodge.

So begins the middle of “Candymaker’s Knife In My Handbag” the third song on The Fiery Furnances wacky and wonderful concept album about their Grandmother’s life in Chicago. Fractured narrative bouncing through funky fractured melodies laced with honky-tonk piano, avant art songs, neo-cabaret, and all manner of idiosyncrasies.

COHEEH AND CAMBRIA Good Apollo I’m Burning Star IV.Vol 1

Another concept album, actually part of a series of concept albums. Ambitious, but I don’t get it musically. It strikes me as a cross between rehashed Rush and rejects from the Rent soundtrack. I didn’t like prog rock the first time (OK, I admit I owned Moving Pictures on cassette and can sing along to “Tom Sawyer”) so I don’t think this prog rock revival is for me.


At 6:14 AM, Blogger Richard Lawrence Cohen said...

David, thanks for the tips. I'll trot down to Waterloo and spend some more money -- probably on Coltrane's "Stellar Regions." Of the ones in this post, Rava sounds like the one I'd like best. (Hopelessly middlebrow.)

At 9:56 AM, Blogger David Leftwich said...

I'd hardly call Rava middlebrow.


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