Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Metal Rouge Ephemeroptera 02 CDR
Deepchord Presents: Echospace The Coldest Season
The Band s/t
The Band Music From Big Pink
Mozart Requiem
William Parker & Hamid Drake Piercing the Veil
Fred Anderson & Hamid Drake From The River To The Ocean CD

Listened to this followup by Metal Rouge to their top-notch Winter Calling disc. That one achieved a haunted and sublime desolation all the way through, but this Ephemeroptera 02 disc is kinda all over the place. It's got some serious music on it, but I was put off by the way it jumped around from experiment to experiment, most of them with a notably more aggro tone than Winter. I'll let you know how the next listen goes.... Basic Channel fans take note - The Coldest Season is worthy, and, Deepchord Presents: Echospace wins for 'band name I'm most likely to get wrong, look up, then get wrong again 2 seconds later'.... Co-worker's been into The Band lately so we listened to their two classics. I said it a few years ago in Blastitude, and judging from today's evidence I still think it's true: The Band is great, of course, but Big Pink is about 5 times better. Compared to most 'classic rock' records The Band may be a masterpiece, but next to the free-flowing psychedelic soul of Big Pink half of it sounds like a bunch of show tunes from a Broadway musical about 'America,' I'm not kidding. On Big Pink it sounds like they're still wearing street clothes but on The Band they were most definitely starting to play dress-up. That said, "Whispering Pines", "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down", and "Look Out Cleveland" are three of the most sublime tunes they ever did. Nice little Hamid Drake spotlight tonight - the duet album with William Parker is a good one - very grooving/pulse/trance-out music, you could dance your ass off to it, it's not really a 'free jazz' album - and I really like the one with Fred Anderson too. Despite the way it's billed, it's not a duet album - Jeff Parker plays guitar, Harrison Bankhead plays cello, piano & bass, and Josh Abrams plays bass and guimbri also, great Chicago lineup. The title track is fantastic - I heard it on the radio (WNUR) a while back and it was one of those deals where I sat in the parked car until the song was over, hoping the DJ would announce who it was. He did, and I bought the album a few days later, just like in the old days... The track reminded me of Sun City Girls, especially because of Parker's guitar. I don't think I've ever heard him play with Tortoise, his highest profile gig, but when I have heard him - on the first Azita album, at random improv gigs around Chicago - he's been sweet, not a JAZZ musician, not a POST-ROCK musician, just a guy playing MUSIC. And of course you could say that about Drake and Anderson too, they are all real musical treasures in this city and they all draw from a deeper well than the one marked POST-BOP. Tent City... "Arizona desert punks" garnering Don Cherry comparisons, released on the Night People label... wow, I'm digging this, more on these guys later...

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