5

Old Time Musketry: Different Times

Dave Wayne By

Sign in to view read count
Old Time Musketry: Different Times Brooklyn-based Old Time Musketry is a band whose moniker foreshadows one aspect of the sound it's after, steeped in folk music and Americana. But the quartet's debut, Different Times, contains so much more. First and foremost, Old Time Musketry is a jazz quartet. Sure there's quite a bit of accordion and clarinet on this recording, but these guys are jazz guys. Mostly.

The title track, with its rhapsodic tenor and piano melody sprawling over pattering free-ish rhythms, evokes memories of '70s-era pianist Keith Jarrett and his quartet with saxophonist Dewey Redman. On "Underwater Volcano," saxophonist Adam Schneit's tenor rides a headlong rush of crisp drums and funky Wurlitzer piano like a crazy surfer. Different Times' most memorable tune, "Parade," marries a truly jaunty lead line to a chugging second line rhythm. Here, pianist JP Schlegelmilch's rapier sharp solo invokes Monk, Don Pullen and Jarrett without imitating. The CD's two ballads—"Hope for Something More" and "Floating Vision"—have a yearning sort of sound and loping rhythms that lapse into a slow-rock feel. "Hope for Something More" has an especially lovely, almost stark, melody that's echoed by Schlegelmich's oddball keys, with Schneit's understated clarinet drifting over the rhythm section like a lonely bird.

The rootsy, Americana side of the band—if it could even be called that—comes to the fore on the album's remaining tracks. It's not a straight-up, Ken Burns style of Americana; instead, Old Time Musketry deals in the odd, the difficult, and the spooky. Musical kindred spirits include artists such as guitarist Bill Frisell, percussionist John Hollenbeck, and clarinetist Andy Biskin—all of whom have constructed complex, multihued musical worlds that embrace the entirety of American music. Composer Charles Ives and pianist Cecil Taylor. Pianist Duke Ellington and singer Woody Guthrie.

The one thing these pieces have in common is the extensive use of clarinet and accordion, instrumentation that really lends itself to a sort of "otherness" that associates itself with old-time music as well as Eastern European ethnic music. It's practically archetypal. "Star Insignia," with its plodding rhythm and accordion drone, seems an odd choice for an opening track, but the tune builds and grows dramatically, providing a fine example of Old Time Musketry's stellar song-craft. Before veering off into some fairly abstract territory, "Cadets" features a strong melody and really interesting changes that recall some of Hollenbeck's work with Claudia Quintet. "Anger Dance" and "Highly Questionable" both seem to draw some inspiration from Klezmer and Eastern European music without being purely ethnographic explorations. As its title implies, "Anger Dance" gets pretty aggressive, tottering on the edge of free jazz before going off in an entirely different direction.

Really, that's what Old Time Musketry seems to be about: confounding expectations; not just going to unexpected places, but finding something unexpected in places that might be seem all too familiar. Different Times is a beautifully realized snapshot of a fully matured band with massive compositional and instrumental chops, and, most importantly, some very interesting ideas.


Track Listing: Star Insignia; Parade; Different Times; Cadets; Hope For Something More; Anger Dance; Hightly Questionable; Underwater Volcano; Floating Vision.

Personnel: Adam Schneit: saxophones, clarinet; J. P. Schlegelmilch: piano, Wurlitzer, accordion, glockenspiel, synthesizer; Phil Rowan: bass; Max Goldman: drums, melodica.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Steeplechase Lookout


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Fourtune" CD/LP/Track Review Fourtune
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 9, 2017
Read "The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Life Compass On!" CD/LP/Track Review Life Compass On!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 5, 2017
Read "Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)" CD/LP/Track Review Presidential Suite (Eight Variations on Freedom)
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 25, 2016
Read "Perceive React" CD/LP/Track Review Perceive React
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 31, 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!

Buy it!