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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Reconnaissance Fly: Flower Futures

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Vocalist, flautist Polly Moller concocted the premise for this album based on collections of Internet-based spam poetry, or as the press release states, “spoetry." It's quite kooky, yet thoroughly engaging. Slight comparisons to small ensemble Frank Zappa, largely from a lyrical standpoint, come to fruition as the band performs with a theatrical flair, and an ideology that could be framed on a soundtrack for a guileful Off-Broadway production. They merge a consortium of unruffled, breezy jazz passages amid brusque unison breakouts and thorny time signatures with the musicians' penchant for mimicking the human element. This enterprising group is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Butterfly Effect Ensemble: Chimera

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Butterfly Effect Ensemble is a trio of three veteran Israeli musicians--woodwinds player Stephen Horenstein, known for his decade long association with innovative trumpeter Bill Dixon, a dedicated educator and passionate collaborator with cross-genres artists as dancers; percussionist Jeffrey Kowalsky, the principal percussionist in Israel symphony and philharmonic orchestras, who plays on myriad of ethnic percussive instruments (Indian, Arabic, Caribbean and African) and a close collaborator of Horenstein in many of his projects, and pianist Lior Navok, a contemporary composer and soloist of many chamber outfits and symphony orchestras all over the world. The trio began working ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Robin McKelle & The Flytones: Soul Flower

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First, Robin McKelle & The Flytones Soul Flower is not neo-soul. Neo-soul is what Amy Winehouse was and Cee Lo Green is (at least on his “Forget You"). Neo-soul is a cheeky attempt to cash in on a classic style while, at the same time, not taking it seriously. Second, Soul Flower might be better termed retro-soul, except that McKelle avoids the pitfall of clinging too tightly to the old style that has plagued other artists trying to put a new spin on the soul canon. A mixture of originals with some clever covers make up Soul Flower. McKelle is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fly: Year of the Snake

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While there are numerous jazz trios, few leave a lasting impression. This is not the case for Fly, consisting of younger but fully established jazz artists-- saxophonist extraordinaire Mark Turner and his equally talented cohorts, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard. At just over ten minutes, the episodic “Kingston," from the trio's sophomore ECM release, Year of the Snake , encapsulates rousing composition and exhilarating improvisation. What begins tentatively, with inquisitive probing--elongated unison lines and gentle militaristic drums taps--evolves into a powerfully funky groove with an elastic tenor solo moving like a cobra as the bass ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Fly: Year of the Snake

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Fly Year of the Snake ECM Records 2012 When a group of musicians works together more often in extracurricular configurations with other leaders, what do they do when they come together for their own project? In the case of saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard--who, individually and collectively, have worked with everyone from pianist Brad Mehldau and guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel to trumpeter Enrico Rava--it's Fly, the trio that released its self-titled debut on Savoy Jazz in 2004, making the jump to ECM in 2009 with Sky & Country. With a shorter ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Flying Burrito Brothers: Authorized Bootleg: Fillmore East, Late Show, Nov 7,1970

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Gram Parsons began The Flying Burrito Brothers with Chris Hillman when the two men left The Byrds in 1968, but the group continued on admirably without Parsons, under Hillman's stewardship, in the role of bassist, singer and songwriter. Authorized Bootleg: Fillmore East compares favorably with the latter-day Burritos' live Last of the Red Hot Burritos (A&M, 1972), if only because the bulk of the material consists of originals Parsons wrote himself, like the streamlined chug of “Lazy Days," or collaborations including the harmony-laden “Cody Cody." Never a reliably polished performing unit in its early days, The Burritos, circa ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Fly: Sky & Country

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The near-unanimous acclaim that has greeted Fly's sophomore effort (and ECM debut) tends to see the trio as a second coming of the legendary Bill Evans Trio that recorded the classic Waltz for Debby and Sunday at the Village Vanguard (Riverside, 1961). That's the way people are talking about the record, anyway.The record doesn't sound like the Evans trio, nor is there any good reason why it should sound like a record almost fifty years old. The similarity has more to do with the unusually high level of empathy and collective purpose among the players.The distinctive ...



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