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Camisetas w/ Jim Black: Camisetas

Mark Corroto By

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Pulled from the "what the hell was that? files, the latest project from drummer Jim Black spins out of the digital information center. Jazz/rock doesn't begin to describe this music, nor does prog/rock, grunge, fusion, or fission. The American drummer teams up with a French cast to create music that patently rejects fusion for the tastier: collision.

Black—whose quirky percussion skills have been called upon in bands by Cuong Vu, Ben Monder, Satoko Fujii and Laurie Anderson— was a defining role in the development of the NY sounds of Tim Berne's Bloodcount, Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell Trio and Ellery Eskelin's bands. His musical vision came to fruition in his band AlasNoAxis with Chris Speed, Hilmar Jensson, and Skúli Sverrisson.

Like AlasNoAxis, Camisetas is not interested in 'the tradition,' as much they are musical bandits, lifting sounds from jazz, noise, and rock. The metallic feedback intro to "La Meinau gives way to the rock'd out drumming of Black before Médéric Collignon delivers a Mike Patton-like scream chorus. Elsewhere, they borrow a synthesizer intro from a Devo record circa 1980 for the track "Sheep, Sheep, Sheep, followed by a very simple machine-melody. The same beat is employed on "No Radio with guitar and more wordless chanting. The pulse here and throughout this recording is quite infectious. They stay at 1980 for "Mime Marcel, Arnaud Roulin's clavier playing some lines lifter from a Joe Zawinul Weather Report concert, but twisted and dragged forward into a sluggish electronic future.

In this future of music, where everything is permitted, Camisetas' music is at once strange and quite familiar. The spacey "La Shoe de Sue accented by the electronics and the randomness of static plays off the very blue cornet playing of Médéric Collignon. These improvised flights are juxtaposed against the rock tinged track "Baeckeoffe and the organic Bill Frisell-meets-Chicago Underground Trio mix of "Legend Of The Dangerous Bean.

Camisetas are the confusing mix of being quite "out"' yet very accessibly "in."


Track Listing: House Of The Sleeping Dwarfs; La Shoe de Sue; Baeckeoffe; Legend Of The Dangerous Bean; Week-end a laval; Mime Marcel; Sheep, Sheep, Sheep; La Meinau; Pneu Lisse; No Radio; Si Fait

Personnel: M

Title: Camisetas | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Chief Inspector


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