168

Mark Whitecage & The Bi-Coastal Orchestra: BushWacked

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
It may be true that the "eye of the needle Jesus spoke of in the gospels has been widened by our current President Bush to allow for CEOs to drive their SUVs straight into heaven, but they won't, and they cannot, motor with their windows open as the voices of opposition grow louder. Such is the message from Mark Whitecage, saxophonist and leader of the Bi-Coastal Orchestra. Like recent recordings from Charlie Haden's Liberation Orchestra and the Chicago Underground Trio, Whitecage intends to take on the current administration head-on with his own protest music.

The saxophonist has been most recently heard as a member of The Nu Band with Roy Campbell, Jr., Lou Grassi, and Joe Fonda on Clean Feed and Konnex. His saxophone work is a very grounded free-bop sound that has been well documented on Cadence's CIMP label. Together with his wife, clarinetist Rozanne Levine, he has played as part of the New Reed Quartet, Chakra Tuning, and RoMARKABLE.

The majority of the tracks are dominated by the reading of texts over the music. The voices choose newspaper articles, political quotes, parts of the Declaration of Independence, and Christian "hate" speech. This common poetic device sheds an alternative light on the state of our imbalanced union. While the vocal deliveries aren't polished, their message is clear. The band provides often off-balance music spiked to give the words a bit more kick—the squeal of the saxophone, the humor of a ragtime piano riff, the dusting of a cymbal. Outside and in, the Koyaanisqatsi-ish sounds highlight the out-of-whack state that BushWacked has gotten us into.

The wordless fourteen-minute track "Follow The Money allows listeners to concentrate on the pure music-making. Opening with the underwater sounds of Scott Steele's guitar, the track edges into a compelling blues interlude before a searing saxophone solo and a bit of wandering before swinging end, complete with the electric noodling of Steele's underwater guitar.

As the emperor's approval ratings drop, Mark Whitecage's certainly begin to soar.

Visit Mark Whitecage on the web.


Track Listing: In Our Name; 0 For 5000; Follow The Money; Jesus; Who

Personnel: Mark Whitecage: alto saxophone, clarinet, voice; Rozanne Levine: alto clarinet, Bb clarinet, voice; Scott Steele: guitar; Bill Larimer: piano, voice; Robert Mahaffay: drums.

Title: BushWacked | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: W.E.R.F.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "The Crave" CD/LP/Track Review The Crave
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "The Lovers card" CD/LP/Track Review The Lovers card
by James Nadal
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "East West Daydreams" CD/LP/Track Review East West Daydreams
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Get 'Em" CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Still" CD/LP/Track Review Still
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Janus" CD/LP/Track Review Janus
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 1, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.