All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Sean Noonan: Being Brewed By Noon

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Few musicians since Miles Davis have had such a penchant for boxing as drummer Sean Noonan—the CD photos for Being Brewed by Noon show him bedecked in all the trappings of the sport, and he boxes with a pumpkin-headed monster in the video version of "Pumpkinhead Part 2" in the accompanying DVD.

This new record is not so much the boxer's follow-up to the fine Stories to Tell (Songlines, 2006) as it is a second kick at the same can. Six of the twelve numbers on this package were also featured on the earlier effort, and more generally, the musical project is the same: a simmering brew (indeed) of West African guitar and rhythm with Celtic elements, graced by the participation of at least two leading lights of the New York scene—the swooping, borderline free-viola of Mat Maneri and the humid, heavy-metal guitar of Marc Ribot.

And it's a project worth checking out, though not every record library would need to include both Stories to Tell and Being Brewed by Noon. Both have points in their favor: the more recent release benefits from a DVD with a long and somewhat sloppy documentary by Tom Asma.

This effort has a loose, live feel, and if the former record sounded like a collective with shifting personnel, this one sounds like a real band. That impression is fostered by generous footage of the band performing on the documentary DVD. The record shares that loose feel with the underrated Live at the Caravan of Dreams by drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson with Twins Seven Seven (Caravan of Dreams, 1986), and likewise echoes its fusion of chiming, relentlessly positive jazz with West African musical building blocks. (Maneri's viola stands in here for Akbar Ali's violin on the Jackson record.)

Noonan takes the notion of Afro-Celtic fusion quite seriously, with Susan McKeown singing in Gaelic and Abdoulaye Diabaté and Thierno Camara in (I think) Wolof and Bambara. The substrate upon which this fusion occurs is a layer of earnest, ponderous 70s-FM rock and roll. The 70s connection is especially apparent in the marvelous "No Strings Attached."

"Pat the Cat," meanwhile, is the best of the new numbers, if only half brewed—a punky, rock segment, followed by several minutes of dreamy, brooding Gaelic verse, punctuated by Ribot's riotous guitar.

This music has a certain drunken grandiosity—and amiability. It sounds spontaneous, but cannot help but let you glimpse the considerable musical intelligence that holds it together. Letting Noonan talk about his musical philosophy on the DVD—and providing visual evidence of his kinetic drumming style (in the agitated lineage of Jack DeJohnette), adds to the experience.

Track Listing: CD: Esspi; Zaman; No Strings Attached; Noonbrews; Karaslama; Jamaladeen; Pat the Cat; Dr. Sleepytime; Pumpkinhead - Part I. DVD: Being Brewed by Noon documentary by Tom Asma; Pumpkinhead - Part 2; Masana Cisse; Urban.

Personnel: Sean Noonan: electro-acoustic drum set, compositions; Mat Maneri: viola; Marc Ribot: guitar; Aram Bajakian: guitar; Abdoulaye Diabaté: vocals, guitar, percussion; Jamaladeen Tacuma: bass; Thierno Camara: bass, vocals; Susan McKeown: vocals.

Title: Being Brewed By Noon | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Innova Recordings


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Pussy Cat's Gone Wild

Pussy Cat's Gone Wild

Sean Noonan
Man No Longer Me

Bruised by Noon Bout 3

Bruised by Noon Bout 3

Sean Noonan
Sean Noonan Bruised by Noon

Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
My Favourite Things
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow CD/LP/Track Review
Fill Up Your Lungs and Bellow
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Transatlantic CD/LP/Track Review
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Criss Cross CD/LP/Track Review
Criss Cross
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 22, 2018
Read So Far CD/LP/Track Review
So Far
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2018
Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read "Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass" CD/LP/Track Review Comes Love - A Tribute To Ella Fitzgerald And Joe Pass
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Out Of Silence" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of Silence
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "N.O. Escape" CD/LP/Track Review N.O. Escape
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: June 8, 2017
Read "Tether" CD/LP/Track Review Tether
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Mellophonium Memoirs" CD/LP/Track Review Mellophonium Memoirs
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 8, 2017