Blue Mongol acquaints trombonist Roswell Rudd's unmatched tonal mastery with the musical traditions of Mongolia, resulting in the most culturally respectful, spiritually uplifting, and musically interesting release of the year. While the Mongolian Buryat Band's combined instrumental performances on bamboo flute, horse head bass and fiddle, dulcimer, lute, and zither are comparable to the best classically trained chamber ensemble, Battuvshin Baldantseren's throat singing and Badma Khanda's beautifully expressive vocals defy comparison.
Although the band has aptly dubbed the music "trombolian, Blue Mongol consists primarily of traditional Mongolian pieces and music that Rudd composed specifically for this project. Essentially it's a forum for the Buryat Band and Rudd to meet, explore each other, strut chops, and in the process create new music that builds on the strength and uniqueness of the participants.
Beginning with an unworldly demonstration of deep throat singing and ending with Rudd's own instrumental growl, "Camel changes from a gorgeously soulful beast, courtesy of Mitry Ayurov's elegant fiddle, to an exciting gallop as Rudd punctuates the full band's jam with his own trombonal blasts. Rudd's "Gathering Light is a wonderful blend of Eastern melody and bluesy jazz tellingly portrayed by Baldantseren's flute, Rudd's horn, and Khanda's voice as she easily navigates both worlds.
The swinging "Buryat Boogie has all parties doing just that and includes some hot Rudd vocal scat. Khanda is a powerfully passionate vocalist who matches Rudd's potent horn on "Behind the Mountains, the quick-moving "Bridle Ringing, the solo vocal/t-bone tradeoff of "Ulirenge, and the free-formish wailing title cut.
"Four Mountains pairs Rudd with Baldantseren's throat singing, one on one, with incredible sonic results; and "American Round has flute and trombone interpreting "Swing Low Sweet Chariot, "Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer, and "Amazing Grace against an Eastern musical backdrop. The world would be a better place if more people listened and took heed from the cultural lessons inherent in the delight that is Blue Mongol.
Track Listing: The Camel; Gathering Light; Behind the Mountains; Steppes Song; Djoloren; Four
Mountains; Buryat Boogie; Blue Mongol; Bridle Ringing; Ulirenge; American Round; The
Leopard; Honey on the Moon
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds
I love jazz because I was born and raised here in America, and it is one of the most significant cultural contributions we have given to the world. It is an incredibly sophisticated artform that continues to challenge boundaries while delighting and engaging listeners of all different ages and backgrounds. I love how jazz can involve musicians who may have never met each other can coming together and making incredible music by referring to the Great American Songbook and musicians who have been playing together for years, who have a deep connection and who explore and create original music that is at the cutting edge of musical innovation in every sense. Performing jazz music requires a virtuosity and technique that only strict discipline can teach as well as a spontaneity and playfulness that reflects the simple folk roots of the music.
I was first exposed to jazz as a student in college. Only knowing I wanted to play guitar, I enrolled in an applied music program that focused on Jazz rhythm section playing. The subsequent journey that I have been on since the time that I enrolled in that class has helped me grow not only as a musician but more so as a person.