Mambo Mantis: Everybody Knows Something (2006)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Do not let the word "mambo" in this band's name fool you. There is nothing of the famed Cuban genre on this album, recorded live at the Bowery Poetry Club and ABC No Rio. The group's sound is experimental as it getswith surprising neurotic sounds and hard rock influencesas heard on the introduction to "According to Type and "Minute Openings.
On the opening track, "Royal Mambo, reedman Blaise Siwula brings a frontal attack that sounds as if a swarm of bees are in chase; meanwhile saxophonist Bonnie Kaye plays a soft melody that seems completely out of place, but somehow soothes in the process. "Crisp Tornado opens with a drum solo by Ray Sage, and halfway through, sounds come in far away from the mics, giving the impression of an impending storm. But then it subsides, leading the way to "Biocurrents, an abstract mix of electronic sounds, distorted saxophones and strangely incoherent drumming.
On the final track, a lengthy straight jazz drum solo gives way to a cacophony of woodwind sounds. For some moments, guitarist Will Redmond plays against the general feel as if he were in some kind of dazeor at least trying to confuse the listener.
Everybody Knows Something is not for everyone, but the album is recommended for those patient enough to understand from where the musicians are coming and what they expect you to [mis]understand in the process.
Track Listing: Royal Mambo; According to Type; Dazzling Brilliance; Crisp Tornado; Biocurrents;Minute Openings; No One Knows Quite Enough.
Personnel: Blaise Siwula: reeds; Ray Sage: drums; Will Redmond: guitar; Bonnie Hane: saxophone, flute,
Record Label: WOO Music
Style: Beyond Jazz