Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls: Seize The Time (2009)
The quintet dishes out sprightly calypso jazz, anthem-like themes, bop and other frameworks, where Sirota serves as an accelerator at various pulses. The three-soloist frontline attack offers a study in warmly crafted harmonics, amid fiery dynamics and abundant contrasts. They fuse Stephen Foster's Americana classic, "Hard Times (Come Again No More)," into a jazz ballad, sparked by saxophonist Greg Ward and Geof Bradfield's swirling bass clarinet lines.
Sirota tackles dub on "Tollway," featuring guitarist Dave Miller's rhythmic chord voicings and phased single note licks, all treated with a dash of echo. The drummer then pays homage to the late Max Roachon his melodic and polyrhythmic solo jaunt, "Viva Max! (Improvised Drum Solo)." In other regions of sound, the band swings hard and delves into some rough and tumble improv segments, then gels with an African pop-jazz vibe on legendary vocalist Miriam Makeba's "Polo MZE Pt. 1 & Pt. 2."
Variety is a primary ingredient throughout this radiant set, brimming with nicely placed dynamics and jubilantly enacted hooks and motifs. Simply stated, the band sparks and sustains interest at various levels on an album that beckons repeated listens. They uncannily intertwine a good-timey vibe with enviable jazz chops and more.
Track Listing: Clampdown; 13 De Maio; Free Cell Block F, 'Tis Nazi U.S.A.; Hard Times (Come Again No More); Killa Dilla; Tollway; Viva Max! (Improvised Drums Solo); J.Y.D.; Polo MZE Pt. 1; Polo MZE Pt. 2; Little D; The Keys To Freedom.
Personnel: Geof Bradfield: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Dave Miller: guitar; Jake Vinsel: acoustic bass, electric bass; Ted Sirota: drums.
Record Label: Naim Label
Style: Modern Jazz