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The Wrong Object: After the Exhibition

Glenn Astarita By

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Wrong Object is a Belgian band that has made significant inroads to accomplishing an exalted presence in the jazz-rock and progressive rock communities. The band's sound and strategy encompasses intermittent nods to the fabled British Canterbury progressive-rock scene with inferences to Frank Zappa and jazz-rock extrapolations akin to vintage Soft Machine. Toss in a few Albert Ayler-esque sorties and guitar whiz Michel Delville's psychedelics, and you have the complete package. Best of all, the sextet has developed a patented sound and style. The diverse set includes spunky world-music interludes, outside jazz treatments and scorching movements amid majestic, prog-like escapism. It's all consummated by sizzling soloing spots and the artists' fresh concepts and tuneful thematic opuses.

The modern jazz element is somewhat of a common denominator underneath the various excursions and slants, including the hornists' festive choruses and impassioned soloing. The preponderance of these works are concocted with sinewy plots, hummable riffs and subtle intricacies. Delville's distortion techniques signal various eras and genres. However, the ensemble finalizes the engagement with a pseudo, jazz-waltz groove on "Stammtisch," along with guest artist, vibraphonist Benoit Moerlen (Gong) who generates a cool and pliant textural layer over-the-top. The dual sax-attack of Francois Lourtie and Marti Melia render the blustery choruses and align with Moerlen for developing the cheery motif that takes an ominous turn and is reverse engineered into pungent, linear passages anchored by Antoine Guenet's soft piano voicings. Subsequently, all hell breaks loose as they morph matters into free-jazz terrain via some good-natured pandemonium while revisiting the buoyant harmonic aspects of the main motif. Thus, it should come as no surprise to find this magnificent gem on a host of yearend best-of lists. But finding other worthy candidates that supersede the ensemble's unrelenting energy, resilient compositions, supreme technical faculties and insightful vision may be a tall order.

Track Listing: Detox Gruel; Spanish Fly; Yantra; Frank Nuts; Jungle Cow Part I; Jungle Cow Part II; Jungle Cow Part III; Glass Cubes; Wrong but Not False; Flashlight into Black Hole; Stammtisch.

Personnel: Michel Delville: guitar, Roland GR-09; Antoine Guenet: keyboards, vocals; Marti Melia: bass, tenor saxophone, clarinet; Francois Lourtie: tenor saxophone, alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, voice; Pierre Mottet: bass; Laurent Delchambre: drums, percussion, objects, samples; Benoit Moerlen: marimba, electronic vibraphone (2,3,5-7, 11); Susan Clynes: vocals (8).

Title: After the Exhibition | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Moonjune Records

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