All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

138

Sean Noonan/Aram Bajakian: CHiPS

Nic Jones By

Sign in to view read count
So is this the kind of thing produced by skinny kids who spend far too much time in their bedrooms? The insert photo of guitarist Aram Bajakian presents us with whatever the opposite of a jock might be, and the music reveals him to be an accomplished guitarist who has happily heeded the advice of Bill Evans in learning his technique and then forgetting about it. Sean Noonan works over an augmented drum kit, and the music the two produce is more or less entirely free of stylistic allegiances ' no small feat in itself ' and the range of the music is all the more remarkable considering the limited ' though occasionally augmented ' instrumental palette. Rock without the blustery grandstanding, jazz without the nerdy introspection.

There are echoes of prime Soft Machine on "Masana," not least in the slightly tart tone of the anonymous alto saxophonist echoing Elton Dean, and the trickier passages here are suggestive of a similarly less generic style of fusion in which self-indulgence is not an end in itself. "Our Country" has the core duo indulging in some studiedly fluffed syncopation, only to branch out into a form of warped hoedown that would have the denizens of the Grand Ole Opry forming a posse and saddling up the horses.

The semi-anonymous quartet ' the saxophonist turns up again, as does a nameless bassist ' shows that it can wax reflective on "Esspi," only for some wired interplay to transform the mood effectively.

Quite what it all has to do with a questionable eighties cops 'n' motorbikes 'n' mirror shades show is open to question, and ultimately irrelevant in view of the fact that what we have here is a potent antidote to smooth jazz. Shame about the lack of information, but then maybe critics shouldn't insist on such precision, especially when there's enough here to get a soul energised for the day.


Track Listing: 1. CHiPS 2. Goliath 3. Scabies 4. Car Bomb 5. Karaslama 6. Masana 7. For You 8. Esspi 9. Robot Love 10. Our Country

Personnel: Sean Noonan, Drums; Aram Bajakian, Guitar. With Dan Magay, Jim Pugliese, Thierno Camara.

Title: CHiPS | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Innova Recordings

Tags

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 Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Charlie & Paul CD/LP/Track Review
Charlie & Paul
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Sunlight CD/LP/Track Review
Sunlight
by Jeff Winbush
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 25, 2018
Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read "Necessary Arrangements" CD/LP/Track Review Necessary Arrangements
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Cycles of Animation" CD/LP/Track Review Cycles of Animation
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 24, 2017
Read "Due North" CD/LP/Track Review Due North
by Doug Collette
Published: October 29, 2017
Read "Storm" CD/LP/Track Review Storm
by Jim Olin
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "A Wing Dissolved In Light" CD/LP/Track Review A Wing Dissolved In Light
by John Sharpe
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Bright Force" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Force
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 20, 2018