The Hanuman Sextet: Confusing the Devil (2004)
The CD consists of four songs, all recorded live at Dee Pop's venerable Freestyle Series at CBGB's Lounge. Each song is a generous outpouring of improvised music, an auditory treat of layers and textures, melodic dissonance and emotional urgency. The music is grounded in the talents and imaginations of the improvisers, allowing them tremendous creative freedom; the songs turn sound inside out, and slip into places you never knew existed. The musicians play with total commitment, and each song is a fascinating journey that only improves on repeated listening.
One hint of where the Hanuman Sextet is coming from can be found in the song "Incestuous Amplification"; according to the liner notes, incestuous amplification is "a condition in warfare where one only listens to those who are already in lock-step agreement, reinforcing set beliefs and creating a situation ripe for miscalculation." The quote's relevance to current events is clear, but the concept of incestuous amplification also applies to music: by conforming to set ideas about what jazz is, we simply reinforce existing beliefs, and make the tragic mistake of negating original voices. Fortunately groups like the Hanuman Sextet are keeping the flame alive, creating music that takes firm steps into the unexpected.
Track Listing: 1. Confusing the Devil -- 16:43 2. Incestuous Amplification -- 21.59 3. String over Skin -- 7:31 4. In the Djema el Fna -- 12:00
Personnel: The Hanuman Sextet is Andy Haas on shofar, raita (Moroccan oboe), sax, and electronics; Don Fiorino on banjo, lotar (Moroccan lute), and lap steel guitar; Mia Theodoratus on electric harp; Matt Heyner on bass; David Gould on drums; and Dee Pop on percussion.
Record Label: Rent Control Records
Style: Modern Jazz