Composer Greg Tate leads Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber through melodic and harmonic structures, using a unique repertoire of physical gestures and expressions known not as conducting but as conduction.
Tate christened this ensemble to honor the communal exploratory nature of Sun Ra's Arkestra and the Wu Tang Clan's 36 Chambers: I wanted to conflate those two mystical generations. Both are in the tradition of mystic composers. Their sound comes from these ideas about science and art and philosophy and spirituality. As a listener to both of them, you feel like the metaphysics are as important as the ...read more
This band partly signifies the New York City downtown aura that resides as a major genre-slashing musical force, spanning several decades. Led by bandleader Greg Tate who lifts a few pages from conductor/composer Butch Morris' conduction modus operandi, where hand gestures, eye contact and motion serve as the guiding light.
With structured song forms and hefty doses of improvisation amid translucent harmonic evolvements, the band captures some of bandleader Sun Ra's off-kilter large digressions and spacey breakouts. And there's the jazz-fusion element, shaded with world-beat coatings and modulating background treatments.
The festivities commence with the three-part ...read more
Eclectically inclusive music can often sound clinical or stilted. But when disparate styles are blended seamlessly, the results can be sublime, supporting the notion that it's all music and genre labels are meaningless.
Burnt Sugar If You Can't Dazzle Them with Your Brilliance, then Baffle Them with Your Blisluth Trugroid 2005
Such is the case on Burnt Sugar's latest If You Can't Dazzle Them with Your Brilliance, then Baffle Them with Your Blisluth, a sprawling 2-CD set of live performances culled from 2004. Using Butch Morris' system of conduction , Burnt Sugar mastermind Gregory ...read more
There are live albums where you just had to be there, and there are ones that take you there. This documentation of a 2001 Burnt Sugar performance is of the latter variety. It's nice to see somebody putting their money where their mouth is. Cultural critic Greg Tate isn't content to just judge other peoples' art. In Burnt Sugar he conducts a fine group of musicians. But to call this Tate's project would be unfair to these excellent musicians; music like this, based on interplay, has to be the sum of its parts. The scribe helps move the ...read more