349

Fight The Big Bull: All Is Gladness In The Kingdom

Martin Longley By

Sign in to view read count
Fight The Big Bull: All Is Gladness In The Kingdom Such an unwieldy band name and album title is almost perversely suitable for the ambitious music contained herein. Fight The Big Bull (FTBB) is, doubtless, dominant on the Richmond, Virginia alternative jazz scene, but possesses the powers to be equally noticeable on the much larger stage of, let's say, New York City. From this very place, trumpeter Steven Bernstein made the pilgrimage by car, invited to be an artist-in-residence. He okayed a heavy schedule, but did he really realize how productive his stay would be? Gigs, workshops and, oh yes, the studio recording of this very disc. Bernstein took a pair of tunes and three arrangements, but FTBB's leader, guitarist Matt White, also contributed strongly with his own majority of six compositions. The combination was eminently suitable. FTBB is a horn-heavy 11-piece that can move with ease from bell-chiming spaciness to severe charging, though the latter is probably its ideal state.

Bernstein is, unsurprisingly, dominant on the soloing front, his agile muted splintering often stepping into the foreground. This is not to say that the six other horners are much less extroverted. This is why Bernstein fits in so easily, as the band enjoys a similarly lusty approach to retro reclamation. Stalking themes grab the ears with both fists, as most of the tunes reel with memorable riffs that could certainly draw in many rock aficionados. The pieces are very visual, inhabiting genre zones that invariably inspire filmic connections: imaginary seedy activities relating to guns, drugs, monsters, chicks, fast cars and murderous machinations.

FTBB craves the climactic blowout. Much of its unusualness lies in the percussion patterns of Brian Jones and Pinson Chanselle (the latter a star of one of those movies?). When these atmospheric chimings are audible, this means that FTBB is taking a rest from its brawling, oily, big band barging, an occasional respite from the slugging, brutalist majority. Sluggingly brutal with a refined intelligence, of course.


Track Listing: Mobile Tigers; Mothra; The Sacred Harp; Jemima Surrender; Gold Lions; All Is Gladness In The Kingdom; Eddie And Cameron Strike Back/Satchel Paige; Martin Denny; Rockers.

Personnel: Jason Scott: tenor/alto saxophones, clarinet; J.C. Kuhl: tenor saxophone, clarinet; John Lilley: tenor saxophone; Steven Bernstein: trumpet, slide trumpet; Bob Miller: trumpet; Reggie Price, Bryan Hooten: trombones; Matt White: guitar; Cameron Ralston: bass; Brian Jones: percussion; Pinson chanselle: drums; Eddie Prendergast: electric bass.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Love Dance CD/LP/Track Review Love Dance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Honest Woman CD/LP/Track Review Honest Woman
by James Nadal
Published: February 20, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 14, 2016
Read "Lost at Last" CD/LP/Track Review Lost at Last
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "Live at the JazzRoom" CD/LP/Track Review Live at the JazzRoom
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 17, 2016
Read "Revolution Before Lunch" CD/LP/Track Review Revolution Before Lunch
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 2, 2016
Read "Winds Of Mouth" CD/LP/Track Review Winds Of Mouth
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 8, 2016
Read "Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 13, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!