276

Adam Niewood and his Rabble Rousers: Epic Journey Volumes I and II

Woodrow Wilkins By

Sign in to view read count
Adam Niewood and his Rabble Rousers: Epic Journey Volumes I and II An epic journey can be described as anything in life that has a start, a finish and a lot of challenges, diversions or other experiences in between. With that in mind, it's easy to see how Adam Niewood and His Rabble Rousers would adopt the term as the title for an exciting two-disc album.

Niewood is a multi-talented musician, songwriter and clinician. His professional associations include Steve Gadd, Chuck Mangione, Rufus Reid, Bill Charlap and many others. Niewood's approach to Epic Journey was to deviate from the common practice of bringing the band together and having the members read new music before or during recording. For this project, he took some material that he's written over several years and those musicians who have performed these tracks, so when they came together in session, everybody knew the songs.

Volume I, subtitled "Based on a True Story," includes such interesting titles as "Not Quite Right," "Mellow Drama" and "Child Psychology." On "Demented Lullaby," pianist Kristjan Randalu engages in an extended solo. The front end of it is melodic, elegant and most tranquil. Then the demented side comes through as Randalu intentionally loses control. Niewood, as he does throughout the set, plays several instruments. However, it's his tenor sax solo that's featured. The bass and drums, though mostly in the background, make their marks as well.

"Out of the Woods, for Now..." begins with a moody bass line by Matt Brewer. After a brief lead by Niewood, Brewer solos. The melody picks up and then Niewood engages in a long, freestyle solo, making his horn squeak at key points. The supporting cast is deeply absorbed from start to finish in this opus. Guitarist Jesse Lewis contributes a hypnotic solo.

On Volume II, "Epic Journey," Brewer switches to electric bass, but is joined by Chris Higgins on acoustic bass. Some of the titles are "Entirely Too Tonal," "First Sign of Clarity" and "Five Corridors." "Loved Ones" is a haunting ballad that mostly features Niewood and Randalu. But even the simple bass and guitar background efforts are solid. "A Rap Tap Tap in the Night" is an abstract piece. Niewood engages in a call and response with drums and percussion, while Randulu just plays. The other instruments come in and contribute. It's an exploratory piece that has no discernible melody.

The two volumes combine for nearly two hours of sound. All 18 tracks are Niewood compositions. And the songs cover several emotional journeys, sometimes combining them—making for an interesting collection.


Track Listing: CD1: Demented Lullaby; Ella Bella; Not Quite Right; Electoral College; Where's the Cat???; Reprise; Out of the Woods, For Now...; Mellow Drama; Child Psychology. CD2: Entirely Too Tonal; Movin' & Groovin'; Loved Ones; Calm Before the Storm; A Rap Tap Tap in the Night; First Sign of Clarity; Breaking and Entering; Stimuli; Five Corridors.

Personnel: CD1: Adam Niewood: tenor, C melody, soprano, alto and baritone saxophones, clarinet, bass clarinet; Jesse Lewis: guitar; Kristjan Randalu: piano (1, 2, 4, 7), Fender Rhodes (5, 6, 9); Matt Brewer: bass (1, 3, 5, 7, 9); Chris Higgins: bass (2, 4, 8); Rohin Khemani: drums (4, 5, 6), djembe, doumbek, frame drum, elephant bells, Tibetan bowl, African rattles and shakers (1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8); Greg Ritchie: drums and cymbals (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9). CD2: Adam Niewood: tenor, C melody and soprano saxophones; Kristjan Randalu: piano, Fender Rhodes; Jesse Lewis: guitar; Matt Brewer: electric bass; Chris Higgins: acoustic bass; Rohin Khemani: drums, cymbals, djembe, doumbek, frame drum, elephant bells, Tibetan bowl, African rattles and shakers; Greg Ritchie: drums and cymbals.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Innova Recordings | Style: Free Improv/Avant-Garde


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 "Habana Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Habana Dreams
by James Nadal
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Ten" CD/LP/Track Review Ten
by Jeff Winbush
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "Jazz Jukebox" CD/LP/Track Review Jazz Jukebox
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 24, 2016
Read "Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!" CD/LP/Track Review Getting All The Evil Of The Piston Collar!
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 3, 2016
Read "Two Steps from the Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Two Steps from the Blues
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 18, 2016
Read "Travels" CD/LP/Track Review Travels
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 27, 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!