403

Dromedary Quartet: Dromedary Quartet

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Dromedary Quartet: Dromedary Quartet The Dromedary Quartet expands the Dromedary Duo—a partnership between string players Rob McMaken (mandolin, cumbus, guitars) and Andrew Reissinger (charango, guitars)—with the addition of bassist Neal Fountain and drummer Jeff Reilly. McMaken and Reilly are also members of Kenosha Kid, which produced the genre-crushing Projector.

If Kenosha Kid was pure fun to listen to, Dan Nettles' masterful arrangements on the idiosyncratic Quartet make this record just as enjoyable, as do several other reasons: the pure joy of the playing, the combination of many different world musics, the high level of musicianship, and the record's sheer effortless audacity. Call it jazz—why not?

Now a percussion-supported string band (with a floating bottom), Dromedary's front line plays music deriving from various traditions: Appalachian, Andean, Turkish (the cumbus is a Turkish instrument), Andalusian, Portuguese and Jewish folk music. However, they have added a jazz attitude to those kernels, and so much energy that it takes but seconds to win you over. To quote one fan's opinion from the press sheet, "It's 21st century ethnic party music—imagine Medeski, Martin & Wood infiltrated by a band of gypsies."

That is as good a description as any, but there is something uniquely part of American jazz at work here as well. The band's interplay is extremely tight, and the arrangements are full of drama. An enormous amount of energy is on one hand tightly controlled and on the other free to roam. The fact that folk music tends to be harmonically static is artfully disguised by the arrangements and the varying instrumentation both within and between tracks.

While the record can be listened to as "party music," the musicians are very serious and concentrated on their task. The authenticity of the roots of their music is never in question. The emotions they explore on this very live studio recording range from euphoria to pathos, from mystery to wide-eyed innocence, communicated directly from their hearts to yours. Quartet is enjoyable on many levels, and highly recommended.


Track Listing: El Faro; 3 On 7; Hills Of Potosi; Childhood; First Song; Indozuelan Pattycake; Backroads; Blues For High Water.

Personnel: Andrew Reissiger: charango, guitars; Rob McMacken: mandolin, cumbus, guitars; Neal Fountain: bass; Jeff Reilly: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Pittsburgh" CD/LP/Track Review Pittsburgh
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Emily’s D+Evolution" CD/LP/Track Review Emily’s D+Evolution
by Mark F. Turner
Published: April 12, 2016
Read "American Tunes" CD/LP/Track Review American Tunes
by Mike Jacobs
Published: June 11, 2016
Read "Argonautica" CD/LP/Track Review Argonautica
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Two Steps from the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Two Steps from the Blues
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 18, 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!