All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

6

Joy On Fire: Fire With Fire

Gareth Thompson By

Sign in to view read count
Halloween night in 2017 saw jazz-rock legends King Crimson playing Newark, New Jersey. Among the crowd that evening were members of a local band known as Joy On Fire, paying homage to one of their major inspirations.

The name might sound gospel-inspired, but Joy On Fire draws from the eye-popping thrills of punk and the work ethics of prog to bolster their jazz auras. Their debut album, The Complete Book Of Bonsai, had a heated urgency that reminded you of Morphine, the Boston-based indie trio who led with sax rather than guitar. This second record is another highly flammable work that again quickens your pulse.

It also shows the tightness gained from hundreds of live shows. Impressively the band has kept a list of all these gigs since they formed in 2009, including two at the splendidly named Scuppernong Bookshop in Greensboro, NC. The threesome's sax star, Anna Meadors, once hated the thought of doing anything but live recordings. Fire With Fire does keep a sense of raw recital, but overdubs and extras make this a more polished outing.

Not that the delivery is any less impassioned. John Paul Carillo's electric bass gives you a good drubbing as if it were sampling a minor earthquake. Christopher Olsen offers a whirlwind of percussive effects with his cymbals bathing us in a gong-like glow. Then there's the redoubtable Meadors herself, who assumes a kind of Mel Collins role to continue the King Crimson link. Blowing a riotous carnival on "Le Phant" one moment, she veers into guitarish hammer-on and pull-off licks that could be from Robert Fripp's handbook. It's little surprise she namechecks the lungbusting Colin Stetson as an influence.

Third number up is "The Spider's House," where a slinky intro falls onto Eastern motifs that smoulder like incense and entice like jasmine. Whatever spider lives in this house it surely owns a hookah. Among it all are riffs so sweetly simple that any child could whistle them. The piece closes with a once studio-shy Meadors going into multi-track meltdown.

Glock and vibes on "Hey Hey" chime like ice cubes in tequila, whilst the tenor sax is all brooding beer chaser. "World Systems" follows this pattern, then "Double Dub" rumbles with rocky bass and erupts into psych echoes of some freaky '60s club. The ominous "Outro" warbles with weird sorcery and invites us into a trance dance. It also closes out this volatile album before we melt further under its flame.

Fire With Fire is a thrill of high voltage jazz 'n' roll. Go get your fingers burned.

Track Listing: Intro; Le Phant; The Spider’s House; Interlude; Hey Hey; World Systems; Double Dub; Outro.

Personnel: John Paul Carillo: electric bass; Anna Meadors: saxophones, percussion; Chris Olsen: drums, percussion; Shelly Purdy: glockenspiel, vibraphone.

Title: Fire With Fire | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Procrastination Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Vol II CD/LP/Track Review
Vol II
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Months, Weeks and Days CD/LP/Track Review
Months, Weeks and Days
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Space Is The Place CD/LP/Track Review
Space Is The Place
by James Fleming
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Poetry in Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Poetry in Motion
by Liz Goodwin
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Murals CD/LP/Track Review
Murals
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "Public Access / Headline / Crossings" CD/LP/Track Review Public Access / Headline / Crossings
by John Kelman
Published: March 25, 2018
Read "Liquid Melodies" CD/LP/Track Review Liquid Melodies
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "Just Funkin' Around" CD/LP/Track Review Just Funkin' Around
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 5, 2017
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Disappeared Behind the Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Shifting Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Shifting Borders
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 5, 2017