124

The Beston Barnett Quartet: Curious Melodies from the Lost Travel Diaries of Sir Albus Manchild

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
The Beston Barnett Quartet: Curious Melodies from the Lost Travel Diaries of Sir Albus Manchild Curious Melodies is an interesting, even prophetic recording by guitarist Beston Barnett that combines intelligent musical composition with a fun fictional narrative, making a story that doubles as its own soundtrack. The overriding theme is the discovery of compositions by the fictitious widely traveled Sir Albus Manchild, a polymathic wanderer. A narrator introduces the musical document by introducing the enigmatic Manchild. The recording recounts the travels of the Knight of the Realm and the music that inspired his composition.

Even if you're not interested in the subtext of the story, the music is provocative and compelling. Beston chooses a Middle East motif that's heavily accented with Hebraic influence and instrumentation. Beston plays a Django Reinhardt-inspired gypsy guitar, fronting a bass-drums rhythm section. Michael Schwartz sports a soprano saxophone that gives the music its most potent regional flavor.

"Zautreg has the most densely ethnic sound, developing a theme that is mixed with other influences as the disc progresses. "Port-de-la-Bonne-Mort adds a Caribbean patois, while "Delola City is a Jimmie Rodgers country blues that Manchild picked up while traveling the cotton rows, transforming it, as Django stylistically did, into the complexity of "Gia Mang.

Each composition retains elements of the previous ones, providing a polyglot palette. This relatively small quartet has the ability to sound very large and full. It remains to be seen if the recorded marriage between music and narrative will be a marketable commodity. The music in these Curious Melodies is superbly composed and played, warranting a spin beneath the laser.

Track Listing: Zautreg; Otoku; Port-de-la-Bonne-Mort; Delola City; Gia Mang; Mmabandjouma; Kocediq; Praz'k; Al-Tanaabanna; Home.

Personnel: Michael Schwartz: soprano saxophone; Dave Pschaida: kit drums; Patrick Marion: upright bass; Beston Barnett: acoustic guitar.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Art Hurts Records | Style: Beyond Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Central Line" CD/LP/Track Review Central Line
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "The Whistle Blower" CD/LP/Track Review The Whistle Blower
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 23, 2016
Read "Machine Gun: Live At The Fillmore East First Show" CD/LP/Track Review Machine Gun: Live At The Fillmore East First Show
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: November 6, 2016
Read "Interesting" CD/LP/Track Review Interesting
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Life on the Edge" CD/LP/Track Review Life on the Edge
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 13, 2017
Read "Disorder at the Border Plays Ornette" CD/LP/Track Review Disorder at the Border Plays Ornette
by Nicola Negri
Published: December 24, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!