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...

3

Rob Garcia: Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planet

Franz A. Matzner By

Sign in to view read count
A complex amalgam, drummer-composer Rob Garcia's Finding Love in an Oligarchy on a Dying Planetis as densely constructed and provoking as its title. Despite the socially conscious themes that its track titles, lyrics, and multi-layered musical journeys explore, Garcia has made clear this is not a protest album. At least not in the typical sense.

It is not advocacy. It does not call for denial, dissent, or even dismissal of the social ills the album's thirteen pieces directly reference. It avows neither acceptance nor rebellion. It presents the violence, political discord, environmental disaster, racial discrimination, and economic disparity of our times as realities neither avoidable nor alterable, only something to be absorbed and navigated in an attempt to find within the tumult some resting place of solace.

Form following function, the thirteen pieces are not grounded in the upheaval of style, deconstruction of genre, or the jagged dissonances often associated with protest music. Instead, Garcia's compositions and lithe, solid rhythms reflect the core traditions of jazz, presenting musical terrain for the quartet—and guests—to navigate and explore, establishing a constant sense of tension and seeking. These are individuals attempting to chart a course through the unalterable realities that define their existence, grasping for connection, and holding on to those moments of self-constructed relationships and meaning, with eyes wide open at what is happening around them.

It is also an album of significant depth and breadth, executed with aplomb. Tracks range from the lyrical rendition of Stephen Foster's classic "Beautiful Dreamer," on which Noah Preminger delivers melodic, gentle solos, to the jagged, up tempo "Terror, Fear, and Media," which serves as a platform for Preminger's and Gary Versace's deft solos, to the subtle lament "Guns Make Killing Easy," built on a brooding bass line by Masa Kamaguchi, adorned by his colleagues overlapping, discomfiting lines. The variety continues with the stand-out "Greenland is Turning Green," on which Joe Lovano melds his distinctive tone with Preminger's, while Garcia lays down a restive rhythm on the traps, exhibiting particularly sharp hi-hat work. Two pieces featuring vocalist Kate McGarry and the appropriately coarse grained, old-school spoken word gambol by actor, musician, and activist Brendan Burke titled "Mac and Cheese" add yet more textural layers, with the stellar title track acting as both thematic and musical centerpiece.

The end effect of this constellation is one of mature musical skills applied to an unapologetic dissection of our age's existential dilemma.

Track Listing: 1. Beautiful Dreamer; 2. People Are Everything; 3. Terror, Fear and Media; 4. Precious Life; 5. Mac n Cheese (Bank Fees, Dead Bees, Killing Trees, Shooting Sprees, War Thieves, Mac n Cheese);6. Act Local #1; 7. Finding Love In An Oligarchy On A Dying Planet; 8. The Journey Is The Destination; 9. Guns Make Killing Easy; 10. Greenland Is Turning Green; 11. Johnny Has Gone For A Soldier; 12. Whatever Gets You By; 13. Act Local #2

Personnel: Rob Garcia: drums & compositions; Noah Preminger: tenor saxophone; Gary Versace: piano; Masa Kamaguchi: bass; Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone (4, 8, 10); Kate McGarry: vocals (2, 8); Brendan Burke: spoken word (5)

Title: Finding Love In An Oligarchy On A Dying Planet | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read UHHM CD/LP/Track Review
UHHM
by John Bricker
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Decoy CD/LP/Track Review
Decoy
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read "Vol.2" CD/LP/Track Review Vol.2
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 28, 2018
Read "OR" CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Nightfall" CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984" CD/LP/Track Review J Jazz: Deep Modern Jazz From Japan 1969 - 1984
by Chris May
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Cinema
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 15, 2018
Read "Oriental Orbit" CD/LP/Track Review Oriental Orbit
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 19, 2018