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 Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968" CD/LP/Track Review Groovin’ Hard - Live at the Penthouse 1964 - 1968
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 11, 2017
Read "Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive" CD/LP/Track Review Strange But Not Entirely Unattractive
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 21, 2016
Read "Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974" CD/LP/Track Review Panthalassa: The Music Of Miles Davis 1969-1974
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Eos" CD/LP/Track Review Eos
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Cada Fuego Es El Primero" CD/LP/Track Review Cada Fuego Es El Primero
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "More Essentials" CD/LP/Track Review More Essentials
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 12, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!