Monday, February 27, 2006

citizen jazz update

Erwin Vann - Let's Call Ed
A very interesting album that's hard to describe. Vann's saxophone sound and playing is fairly traditional, but the accompaniment is very abstract-electric. It begins and ends in a fairly Milesian space-funk mode, but veers totally away from that. I was struggling for things to say until I struck upon the idea of a story about a flesh-and-blood human (Vann's saxophone) lost (his playing is spare and distant in the mix) in a decrepit (the electronics are vintage) robotic world, looking for another human to love (cf. flow of track titles and Vann's decreasing restlessness). The quest seems succesful, as on the last track a funky back-beat is slowly assembled. Come to think of it, the first track is called "Twister," which may indicate a "Wizard of Oz"-style mode of transportation into this foreign world.

Operazone - The Redesign
A laughable Bill Laswell-goes-to-the-opera project. A classical ensemble plays overly-famous arias, straight-up, Graham Haynes (magnificent) on cornet and flughelhorn) and Byard Lancaster (much less magnificent) on tenor saxophone are the "singers" and there are stodgy beats underneath. It could have been a kind of revamped "Sketches of Spain" (which is what Haynes's playing and the general concept suggest), but it often turns into a farce.

Pascal Schumacher Quartet - Personal Legend
Faithful readers already know I love this one.

Robin Verheyen & Harmen Fraanje
A condensed version of this concert review.