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Lucien Dubuis: Tovorak (2005)

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Lucien Dubuis: Tovorak How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Lucien Dubuis answers the musical question which Miles Davis' later bands always sought to resolve. Why can't jazz bands be entertaining like rock bands? Dubuis tackles that one on Tovorak while shaking you, sometimes violently.

Sure sure, jazzbos have injected punk attitude and funk into their music for some time. Think of early Ken Vandermark with Big Head Eddie, John Zorn and Marc Ribot's 1980s Knitting Factory work, and the Lounge Lizards. All shared rock sensibilities, their real musical heritage and upbringing.

Enter Swiss-born saxophonist Lucien Dubuis, who has enough attitude to hold his own with punks, neo-cons and George Clinton! Tovorak is a followup to his trio's 2001 disc Sumo. Powered by the well-placed heavy bass licks of Roman Nowka, Dubuis powers through this disc, alternating between the squawking alto saxophone and the deep notes of his bass and contrabass clarinets. Yes, he fires up sounds from the deep darkness of bass clarinet-ville.

The deep tones raise the reggae beat of "Bal les masques!, making it an especially interesting composition played against the Hammond organ. When he's not mixing unusual combinations, Dubuis brings the funk, as on "Non pas and the P-Funk/blues thriller "Mammouth. The group gets to a Blue Oyster Cult sound on "Insomnia before breaking up somewhere (hopefully) over an open ocean. Boom!

This band isn't just rocking in the free world here; on "Boubouille and "La goutte au nez, the trio pieces together some slow-paced and adventurous sound explorations.

These blues children fashion their basic premise from the blues. Combining heavy beats and an exceptional feel for the deep notes of Dubuis' clarinets, this is a special recording.

Track Listing: Non pas; Bouillie de carottes; 'veux pas dormir; Bal les masques!; HPC1erE; Insomnie; Boubouille; Gg Fat Baby & Orangus the Gutanis; Dear Mr Crunch; Avril-Gutanis' Hairs; De nuit; La goutte au nez; Mammouth; Ingalit transbionique ressort.

Personnel: Lucien Dubuis: alto saxophone, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet; Roman Nowka: bass, guitar; Lionel Friedli: drums.

Record Label: Tovorak Records


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