All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Compassionate Dictatorship: Entertaining Tyrants

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Six years after its debut album, Coup D'Etat (FMR Records, 2007), and three years after its follow-up, Cash Cows (FMR Records, 2010), Compassionate Dictatorship returns with Entertaining Tyrants. Album number three finds the London-based quartet moving away from the influence of progressive rock, which shaped some of Cash Cows, and into a sound that is much more focused on contemporary jazz. The band's musicianship and accessibility remain high, though, ensuring that Entertaining Tyrants is highly enjoyable.

But first, the thorny question of that ambiguous album title. A description of the band, or a mission statement? Of course, in this context "entertaining" is a verb, not an adjective. If any proof is needed, the presence of Stalin and Hitler on the cover photo should clinch it.

Compassionate Dictatorship features four strong talents. Guitarist Jez Franks and tenor player Tori Freestone share the front line, while bassist Jasper Hoiby and drummer James Maddren take charge of rhythm duties. It's notable, however, that all four musicians deliver imaginative solos.

Franks and Freestone share the writing credits (the jumpy, angular "Precious" is a joint composition). Franks' "Anger Management" typifies the band's energetic pace. Some of Franks' finest playing comes on Freestone's "In The Chophouse." The saxophonist's "Universal 4" gives her the opportunity to engage in some fine unison playing with Franks, over an equally impressive rhythmic foundation courtesy of Høiby and Maddren, before the bassist takes center stage with an assertive solo. Franks' calm and lovely "Ratios" showcases Freestone's tenor while the saxophonist's "Pottering Around" gives equal space to each of the four players. The album closes with "Loop," a gentle number that centers on Franks and Freestone's relaxed interplay.

Even in the contemporary world, tyrants offer a rather limited market for a jazz ensemble, however entertaining it may be. Thankfully, Compassionate Dictatorship plays music that's full of appeal for those with less of a desire for world domination.

Track Listing: Anger Management; In The Chophouse; Bubble And Squeak; Sit Tight; Universal 4; Ratios; Pottering Around; Precious; Loop.

Personnel: Jez Franks: guitar; Tori Freestone: tenor saxophone; Jasper Høiby: double bass; James Maddren: drums.

Title: Entertaining Tyrants | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Jellymould Jazz

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Entertaining Tyrants

Entertaining Tyrants

Jellymould Jazz
2013

buy
Cash Cows

Cash Cows

FMR Records
2010

buy
Coup d'Etat

Coup d'Etat

FMR Records
2007

buy

Related Articles

Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one) CD/LP/Track Review
Listening To Pictures (Pentimento Volume one)
by Chris May
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Friends & Family CD/LP/Track Review
Friends & Family
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 23, 2018
Read Northern Migrations CD/LP/Track Review
Northern Migrations
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 22, 2018
Read Egregore CD/LP/Track Review
Egregore
by John Eyles
Published: April 22, 2018
Read "Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists" CD/LP/Track Review Triloka: Music for Strings and Soloists
by Marithe Van der Aa
Published: May 7, 2017
Read "The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow" CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read "Unification" CD/LP/Track Review Unification
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "Mu'U" CD/LP/Track Review Mu'U
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 6, 2017
Read "Recorded Live in Lafayette" CD/LP/Track Review Recorded Live in Lafayette
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 8, 2017
Read "Inminente" CD/LP/Track Review Inminente
by Matt Hooke
Published: March 26, 2018