All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

323

Mike Dillon's Go-Go Jungle: Battery Milk

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Vibes player and bandleader Dillon explains the concept behind his genre-mashing Go-Go Jungle ensemble this way: "I wanted to write some blues heads like Milt Jackson might have written had he grown up listening to Led Zeppelin, and play them over a go-go groove.

Right from the opening "Go-Go's Theme you can tell that Dillon is hell bent on merging the improvisational, jazz vibraphone tradition with the aggressive attack of his personal skull-crushing, hard rock favorites such as the Bad Brains and the Henry Rollins Band.

("Go-go is a percussion- and call-and-response-heavy style of funk popularized in East Coast clubs by bands such as E.U. and TroubleFunk, of which "Da Butt from the Spike Lee joint School Daze was probably the commercial pinnacle.)

Dillon lured most of his longest-standing musical co-conspirators into this Go-Go Jungle debut, including tenor saxophonist Mark Southerland, bassists Ron Johnson and J.J. "Jungle Richards, and the expertly-named Go-Go Ray Pollard on drums. The result is genuinely democratic jazz-rock fusion that roars with the power of jazz and rock in equal parts.



Tenor sax and vibes lead the somewhat twisted bop melody of "Go-Go's Theme, even as the bass and drum stomp this nimble rhythm down into funk that almost instantaneously erupts into a timbales/percussion beat-down rendered in genuine Go-Go style. It's also expertly produced: Dillon's vibes roll out the melody in one speaker, Southerland honks out King Curtis gutbucket tenor in the other, while bass and drum, placed dead center, roll through and bust up the joint.

The rhythm section churns even more frantic and brutal through "Lunatic Express, hauling its weighty ass like a runaway freight train while Dillon's vibes radiate a harsh, buzzing psychedelic edge. An oddly-shaped, quicksilver melody that settles into a simmering Latin and rock and funk and jazz groove behind soloists who play with pronounced senses of adventure and humor (especially Dillon), "Lopsided Melon Ball sounds like Frank Zappa in more than just its title. Placed in between, this cover of Aaron Neville's New Orleans lament "Hercules sparkles like a compact crystal that sounds completely out of place in the midst of such madness. So, conceptually, it fits.

To close, Dillon honors a kindred jazz bad-ass spirit, saxophonist and composer Eddie Harris, with the angled blue phrasing and tone of his solo, and the finger-popping jaunty melody, for the electrifying "Harris Country.


Track Listing: GoGo

Personnel: GoGo Ray: drums; J. J.

Title: Battery Milk | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Hyena Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

GoGos Theme

GoGos Theme

Mike Dillon
Battery Milk

CD/LP/Track Review
Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Functioning Broke

Functioning Broke

Royal Potato Family
2016

buy
 

Bones

Love Records
2014

buy
Band Of Outsiders

Band Of Outsiders

Royal Potato Family
2014

buy
 

Urn

Love Records
2012

buy
 

People Gardens

Love Records
2010

buy
Battery Milk

Battery Milk

Hyena Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Memories of Maynard CD/LP/Track Review
Memories of Maynard
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: February 20, 2018
Read Cosmic Playground CD/LP/Track Review
Cosmic Playground
by Don Phipps
Published: February 20, 2018
Read For Gyumri CD/LP/Track Review
For Gyumri
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: February 19, 2018
Read Sextet (Parker) 1993 CD/LP/Track Review
Sextet (Parker) 1993
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 19, 2018
Read "Serenity Knolls" CD/LP/Track Review Serenity Knolls
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 14, 2017
Read "Truth, Liberty & Soul Live in New York: The Complete NPR Jazz Alive! Recording" CD/LP/Track Review Truth, Liberty & Soul Live in New York: The Complete...
by John Kelman
Published: May 20, 2017
Read "Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman" CD/LP/Track Review Shropshire Lads: Songs to the Poems of AE Housman
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 23, 2017
Read "Chrome" CD/LP/Track Review Chrome
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "Ultimate Hits" CD/LP/Track Review Ultimate Hits
by Doug Collette
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Open Air" CD/LP/Track Review Open Air
by John Kelman
Published: June 2, 2017