Meerkat Parade: Disturbed Nature

Geno Thackara By

Sign in to view read count
Meerkat Parade: Disturbed Nature
If Disturbed Nature's nature isn't quite as disturbed as advertised, it's still a bit unsettled much of the time on Meerkat Parade's second recording, and always in interesting ways. Guitarist David Series has a knack for spinning pieces just a little off-kilter, as is evident from the outset. "Nostalgia" coasts on a slinky zoot-suit-noir groove that would almost be catchy if it wasn't served up with some perversely odd-timed rhythm-skipping. It's in this manner that the offbeat quartet makes everything familiar sound a little alien at the same time.

The same cast remains in place from Meerkat Parade (Self Produced, 2017), and their chemistry is noticeably a step smoother, particularly in how Series and Huw Rees trade unison and counterpoint on guitar and keys. If you've ever wondered what "Drunken Frogs" might sound like, there's a somewhat unexpected answer here: quaintly light-skittering bebop that's too precise to fit the title after all. The title track benefits from a guest sax spot by Martin Kershaw, which makes it feel vaguely like a Blue Note session from an alternate world, while spots like "Let's Go" bounce from simple folk patterns to easy-shuffling lounge jam and back again. Series mixes some familiar and even sometimes old-timey jazz elements alongside his vaguely spacy modern fusion, making a mix suitable for casual cocktails, either here on Earth or somewhere out in space.

Disturbed Nature eventually drifts off with one of its more unsettled moments, a sort of haunted meditation carried by a vaguely spooky fairground organ. For the most part, though, it's not disturbing so much as simply restless—a sign of a group creatively itchy and disinclined to settle into anything too obvious. Even when Meerkat Parade goes straightforward, they still do it their own way—always true to their own nature, however skewed it might be.

Track Listing

Nostalgia; The Goat; Green; Let go; Disturbed Nature; Open Up; Drunken Frogs; Too Much; Oceans and Skies.


David Series: guitar; Huw Rees: keyboards; Max Popp: drums; James Lindsay: bass.

Martin Kershaw: saxophone (5).

Album information

Title: Disturbed Nature | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: Self Produced

Post a comment about this album


Shop Amazon


Read The Lockdown Blues
The Lockdown Blues
Professor Cunningham and His Old School
Read Symbiosis
Jeff Coffin / Derek Brown
Read Garden of Expression
Garden of Expression
Joe Lovano, Marilyn Crispell, Carmen Castaldi
Read Rain Painting
Rain Painting
John Stowell & Dan Dean
Read Beyond
Futari (Satoko Fujii / Taiko Saito)

All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.