Boneshaker: Fake Music

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Boneshaker: Fake Music
The trio of saxophonist Mars Williams, bassist Kent Kessler and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love have taken the fitting name Boneshaker—a word coined to describe the early velocipede, what we today the bicycle. The moniker was appropriate because the bike's wheels (before the use of rubber tires) were made of wood, making the ride extremely uncomfortable. So why ride this instrument of torture? Because the pain always generated pleasure when you hit a smooth piece of tarmac and felt the sun on your face. The same can be said for the trio's music, without, of course, the suffering.

Fake Music is the trio's fourth release following their 2012 eponymous debut, Unusual Words (Soul What, 2014) and Thinking Out Loud (Trost, 2017). As they have yet to install rubber wheels, their sound ignites with a cacophonous clamor. "Miakoda" brings to mind the lyrics to Bruce Springsteen's (yeah, that happened) "The Promised Land": "There's a dark cloud rising from the desert floor/I packed my bags and I'm heading straight into the storm/Gonna be a twister to blow everything down/That ain't got the faith to stand its ground."

But, as with any storm, there is a tranquil aftermath. The opening blowout of Williams's tenor saxophone energy is fueled by Nilssen-Love's drumming barrage. Once exhausted Kessler's bowed bass comes to the fore with Nilssen-Love focusing on cymbal strikes. The macro becomes the micro with little gestures like mallets and a toy thumb-piano. The quiet before the storm is inward facing, we could even say mindful. Then it is back into the void with "Lovin' The Buzz," Williams' clucking notes (is that a taragato?) over a pounding pulse. The formula of storm-to-calm is repeated once more. The final piece, "Echo Clang," although the shortest in length, may be the centerpiece. Opening with a whirling hose, some metal twines, slow bowing, and cymbal scrapes, the music builds a cautious foundation using pregnant pauses to heighten the suspense. Ultimately the trio deep dives into its energy-jazz attaché case. Kessler and Nilsson-Love supplying an off-kilter swing to showcase Williams' boneshaking horn. It's a rough ride, but an exhilarating experience.

Track Listing

Miakoda; Lovin’ The Buzz; Echo Clang.


Mars Williams: reeds, toy instruments; Paal Nilssen-Love: drums, percussion; Kent Kessler: bass.

Album information

Title: Fake Music | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Soul What Records

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


Read Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Alex Moxon Quartet
Read I Went This Way
I Went This Way
Rachel Musson
Read HH
Lionel Loueke
Read Dominos
Chuck Anderson
Read Secrets & Lies
Secrets & Lies
Jakko M. Jakszyk
Read Ceremonie / Musique
Ceremonie / Musique
What Happens In A Year

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.