How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Los Angeles percussionist Brad Dutz spends more time outside on Nine Gardeners Named Ned. With names like Kris Tiner, John Fumo, Sara Schoenbeck, and Ellen Burr joining the ensemble for a session of snails and adventure, the listener can expect some rare and exotic blooms. Throw William Roper's wry words into the mix, and they morph into genetically modified organisms.
Dutz's compositions require genre-melting sensibilities from the players who eagerly accommodate him. His contributions as a player add more to musicality and sound than stimulating beat fever. The nine pieces hang together like a suite.
Dutz manages a percussion fanfare preceding the sly theme of "Look at the Pretty Weeds... They're Dead." Dutz (on bongos) and drummer Chris Wabich throw beats back and forth while Kim Richmond circulates on clarinet. John Fumo blows the flame hotter on trumpet. Sara Schoenbeck bends and molds her rich bassoon sound around charted flourishes. "Rotted Vegetables... Too Late to Pick introduces the Nine Neds via one of Roper's inventive tall tales. After a brief ensemble sojourn, "Rotted fruit... infested with insects becomes a bawdy retelling of the Eden expulsion myth by Roper. Near humid drumming opens "Distribute Fertilizer... Evenly, where Wabich's gentle steel drums lurk through the shady theme.
A flurry of drums, shakers, and beatables open "I Like Brown Leaves Especially When They're Torn. The ensemble riff sets up a marimba solo by Dutz and a veering bass clarinet run by Bob Carr. "Leaf Blowers Are Stinky... And Loud briefly explores angular counterpoint, then "Norbert Rakes Bark... And Mulch leads with the drummers playing a field snare march. Flutes and piccolos counterpoint bassoon, tuba and bass leading to a military meltdown.
The moody ensemble piece Wicked Late For Nite Blooming... But Not Dusk, shifts and changes, with entertaining group improvisations opening up along the way. "Plant the Bulbs... Frequently rides a clown car through Nino Rota land.
On Nine Gardeners Named Ned Dutz and company create a rich musical landscape composted with restrained improvisations, a garden where the hours fly by.
Track Listing: Look at the pretty weeds...they're dead; Rotted vegetables...too late to pick; Rotted
fruit...infested with insects; Distribute fertilizer...evenly; I like brown leaves especially
when they're torn; Leaf blowers are stinky...and loud; Norbert rakes bark and mulch;
Wicked late for nite blooming...but not dusk; Plant the bulbs...frequently.
Personnel: Brad Dutz: mallet percussion, hand percussion; Chris Wabich: drumset, steel drum,
percussion; Kim Richmond: Bb clarinet; Bob Carr: bass clarinet; Sara Schoenbeck: bassoon;
Ellen Burr: C flute, alto flute, piccolo; John Fumo: trumpet, piccolo trumpet; Kris Tiner:
trumpet, flugelhorn (4,8,9); William Roper: tuba, spoken word; Trey Henry:
acoustic bass; Dean Taba: acoustic bass (4,6,8,9); Anders Swanson: acoustic bass solo (1);
Jasper Dutz [age 9]: bass clarinet, Bb clarinet.