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David Aaron's Short Memory: Cynical Rat Bastard

Mark F. Turner By

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With a title like this, you might not know what to expect. But the music for the most part is jazz, with equal amounts of modernism and mood. A Toronto native and New York resident, saxophonist David Aaron has a firm handle on what he calls "aural voyeurism." His recording takes on a seductive and cinematic feel which isn't cliché, thanks to robust performances by each member of his quartet—players who know the languages of mainstream and experimentalism.

Things start off with a nice drum intro on "Landshark, which segues into the eclectic swing of "For Ever Green, with memorable guitar and bass solos that are just outside the typical mainstream fare. The first thing that grabs you is Aaron's brawny tenor, illuminated not by breakneck soloing but by elongated notes and deep phrases—like the repeating riff on the title selection, which could easily be part of a film score.

The group delves into an interesting Indian modality on "Schnerdle, but much of the music continues in the vein of abstract film noir. The tongue-in-cheek antics of "Soy Sauce Chicken on Rice are simply sophomoric, especially the band's bantering vocals, but things improve on "Corn Dog Hamper and the mellow closing "Sydney. Cynical Rat Bastard also includes a hidden track where Aaron's tenor sings with pronounced inflection and warmth.


Track Listing: Landshark; For Ever Green; Cynical Rat Bastard; Schnerdle; Nobbylocks; Ila's Furnace; Sophia's Diary; City Eyes; Soy Sauce Chicken on Rice; When I'm Alone, Chicks Go Wild!; Dutch Courage; Corn Dog Hamper; Sydney.

Personnel: David Aaron: tenor saxophone; Rob Ritchie: guitar, vocals; Greg Ritchie: drums, vocals; Matt Wigton: bass, vocals.

Title: Cynical Rat Bastard | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Self Produced


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