Sethstat: Rolling Garage (2004)
Rolling Garage is the fourth release by a jazz combo previously known as Seth. It marks a huge leap forward for the band and a great successor to the previous release, simply titled Sethstat. Well versed in the so-called art of jazz, the band's members are informed in nearly every jazz style that has ever emerged. Thus, this release is a showcase of their technical proficiency and diverse tastes. As a result of that, on Rolling Garage they've composed some pretty mind-blowing original material and a few ambitious, interpretative gestures of a few jazz standards. It is one of the most focused and intensely grooving albums the band has ever released.
The opening track is Wayne Shorter's "One by One," a dynamic tune with free jazz leanings. Even in the beginning they are setting the scenery that will mark this record throughoutdynamics, proficiency, chemistry and intricate arrangements. The second track, "Rolling Garage," is an upbeat tune with funky percussion and bass lines, as well as brilliant brass arrangements which show the band at its best. The intro resembles the beginning of Miles' "Pfrancing" from Someday My Prince Will Come and the high spirits continue on "Chopsticks."
It seems that the rhythm section (Darkovski, Drobicki, and Naumov) can handle anything that the brass section (Nikolovski, V.Dribicki, Bojadzhiski) throws at them and vice versa. There are impressive solos by Bojadzhiski on sax and Bujukliev on synth. "Are You Ready" has melodic leanings in the vein of Zorn's Masada Quartet, but all of that is playfully transposed and traversed by a dynamic rhythm section and bizarre synth sounds. The following tracks, "MVP" and "Say Hey," are nothing short of brilliant. And just to reiterate their inclination for instrumental reinvention, Sethstat closes this record with a recognizable yet slightly demented rendition of Billie Holiday's "God Bless The Child."
As for the sound, the production of Rolling Garage is more reminiscent of a rock album than a jazz recording. The interesting crossover between different genres and sounds on this record subverts any expectation concerning the structure and the melody of any given tune. This is just a very good, solid disc packed with strong performances and material.
Track Listing: One by One; Rolling Garage; Chopsticks; Are You Ready; Troyka; Say Hey; Flowers; MVP; God Bless the Child.
Personnel: Aleksandar Nikolovski: trumpet; Vasko Bojadziski: tenor saxophone; Vladan Drobicki: trombone; Pance Bujukliev: synthesizer, blues harp; Pavel Drobicki: electric bass guitar; Lazar Darkovski: drums; Goce Naumov: percussion.