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The Free Jazz Heptakaidectet: An Immusical Journey

Jim Santella By

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The Free Jazz Heptakaidectet: An Immusical Journey This mighty band of seventeen creative improvisers knows what kind of collective sound it wants and doesn't much care who objects. From start to finish, you get over 71 uninterrupted minutes of shrook, zoom-boom, harrumph, wankle-wankle, choosh, sizzle-bam, glassassassinki, doink, land-o-mercy all-sakes-alive, raise-the-roof in hell-bent animation. Nonstop, The Free Jazz Heptakaidectet breathes up your nose with oozle-boozle, goongers skronking and plenty of caffeine-laced swanks. With their full-on ensemble wall of sound, you get no individualism from them. The bicycle horn, the sarangi, the saz, the alto flugelhorn, the sarrusaphone and all the other instruments blend into one big wallop of a sustain.

At [10:22] you'll notice a small change in the texture as the reeds move to the foreground. Nevertheless, the skritch whoosh dangling and fwup-fwup pitter-patter of the combined forces manages to hold steady. Noted veterans all, the band members prefer to remain collective in their pursuit during this session.

At [12:49] you'll notice another change in the ensemble's texture: this one more obvious. It's an attack by William Jefferson through his garden hose attachment, making his tenor saxophone sound like so many science-fiction gadgets. He repeats his attacks every few seconds and then gives way to George Herbert's bagpipe attachment, making his alto saxophone sound nasal and unsure of itself. From joool-fooool whiz-bang coucheteries to knotted folds of thwangesium, the alto parades its way through the band's arcade.

At [17:13] the percussion guys, Dwight David, George Walker, John Fitzgerald and James Abram, take a short break while the ensemble's strings take control. Their long and loud sthwang causes the ensemble to bend and break as volleys pass back and forth from fwoomple to schlompers and then over to braaaaack.

Not until [70:40] do you get any kind of break in the action. At that point, the ensemble decides that humming, hooneeckle and boondoocker wrap things up so well that a minor decrescendo can be allowed. Nevertheless, no holes are allowed as this mighty band of seventeen free jazz stalwarts play havoc on the ears with a follow-up hinkle dinkle vroomp whoomp dizzering that lights up the sky with fireworks that fly oomie goomie rally puzz fumigth and orech chuurlg upshingle all the way to the end.


Track Listing: Love Potion Number 99; 86 Steps to Heaven; Cherokee Chief Thaddeus; Larabee?s Lament; Siegfried?s Follies; I Asked You Not to Tell Me That; Shoe Phone Boogie; LAX Wakin? Max; DC Caravan; Time Bomb After Time; Smart Misbehavin?; Phone Booth Blues; Poison Pen Pal Polka Parody; Mel Brooks Infirmary; KAOS in the Night.

Personnel: William Jefferson: tenor saxophone with three-foot garden hose mouthpiece; George Herbert: alto saxophone with bagpipe attachment; Chester Alan: manzello; William Howard: stritch; Ulysses Simpson: sarrusaphone; Lyndon Baines: flute, alto flute, bass flute, ney, kaval, gaita; James Knox: pocket trumpet, alto flugelhorn; Franklin Delano: contratenor trombone; William Henry: guitar, dobro, saz, pipa, bouzouki, Glissentar; Richard Milhaus: upright acoustic piano; Rutherford Birchard: double bass, sarangi; Gerald Rudolph: bicycle horn, balloon air release, rubber band propeller; Dwight David: wooden shoes, body percussion on top of head, cajon; mridnagam; Warren Gamaliel: playing card on bicycle spokes; James Abram: piano wires on inverted gong; George Walker: mirrored glass xylophone; John Fitzgerald: riq, quijada, reco-reco, guiro.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Cacophone Records | Style: Modern Jazz

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