289

Erik Lawrence: Erik Lawrence & Hipmotism

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Erik Lawrence: Erik Lawrence & Hipmotism Somehow, somewhere jazz fans (maybe fanatics) changed the way one could appreciate this music. Theory has it that once the music migrated up the Mississippi from New Orleans (via Louis Armstrong) to Chicago and then spread to New York that it was no longer joyful, but serious business. Who could argue? Charlie Parker had his heroin habit, Lee Morgan found that gunshot hole in his best suit, and Albert Ayler jumped into the East River. Fast forward to the 1980s and even Dizzy Gillespie couldn't make Wynton Marsalis smile as he led the neo-cons out of the fusion desert.

But then again, I digress. Why? Because jazz can be jocund once again.

There were inklings of "the change in the eighties when John Lurie took a punk sensibility to jazz with the Lounge Lizards. Next came Roy Nathanson's Jazz Passengers, Don Byron's music of Mickey Katz, and Steven Bernstein's Sex Mob. The entertainment/fun factor was back in jazz.

Saxophonist Erik Lawrence is a member of Steven Bernstein's Millennial Territory Orchestra, modeled after the Kansas City territory bands of the 1920s and '30s. It seems only natural that slide trumpeter Berstein join Hipmotism, a quartet dead set on sailing the jazz ship back down the ol' Mississippi for a raucous good time.

The disc opens with the big strutting of Dinah Washington's "Soulville, Lawrence lobbing the heavy blat blats from his baritone saxophone and Bernstein playing licks from the old Dating Game theme, when Allison Miller lays one of those muscular drum solos down that tells the audience that there won't be much time spent in their seat tonight.

Certainly Bernstein's MTO lessons are the inspiration for Hipmotism's cover of Ellington's "Creole Love Call and the crazy blues of "Lonely Avenue. The latter showcases the skittering trumpet of Bernstein's call-and-response with Lawrence's upper register. All of which is anchored by a time-keeping Rene Hart, who is given room for a nifty slap bass solo.

As with MTO, it should come as no surprise that they cover Fats Domino, The Beatles and Pink Floyd. Even though you might have never quite figured out what the lyrics to "Come Together actually mean, when Lawrence plays the music line "He wear no shoeshine he got toe-jam football you're pretty sure you don't want to know.

The one self-penned track here is Lawrence's "Time The Is Now, a bebop track that Serge Chaloff would have loved. If you've followed this far you know they could not play this track straight, Miller and Hart stretch time signatures then slowly bring the train into the station.

The disc ends with a very sentimental tribute to Fats Domino, playing his "Going To The River. The liner notes tell us that one week after recording this, the hurricane struck; quite beautiful and very sad.


Track Listing: Soulville; Creole Love Call; Big Chief; Shine On You Crazy Diamond; Lonely Avenue; Sonny Days; Come Together; Time The Is Now; Going To The River.

Personnel: Erik Lawrence: baritone saxophone, tenor saxophone; Steve Bernstein: slide trumpet, valve trumpet; Rene Hart: bass, gadgets; Allison Miller: drums.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


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 "Purple Patio" CD/LP/Track Review Purple Patio
by John Sharpe
Published: October 1, 2016
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 29, 2016
Read "She Sleeps, She Sleeps" CD/LP/Track Review She Sleeps, She Sleeps
by John Eyles
Published: March 15, 2016
Read "The Meeting" CD/LP/Track Review The Meeting
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 17, 2016
Read "Checkpoint" CD/LP/Track Review Checkpoint
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "The Declaration of Musical Independence" CD/LP/Track Review The Declaration of Musical Independence
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 25, 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!