Vocalist, flautist Polly Moller concocted the premise for this album based on collections of Internet-based spam poetry, or as the press release states, "spoetry." It's quite kooky, yet thoroughly engaging. Slight comparisons to small ensemble Frank Zappa, largely from a lyrical standpoint, come to fruition as the band performs with a theatrical flair, and an ideology that could be framed on a soundtrack for a guileful Off-Broadway production. They merge a consortium of unruffled, breezy jazz passages amid brusque unison breakouts and thorny time signatures with the musicians' penchant for mimicking the human element.
This enterprising group is a precision machine. And on "One Should Never," they summon comparisons to the quieter side of vintage King Crimson via Moller's whispery and endearing flute notes. But on other tracks they merge up-tempo two-step dance grooves, funky Tango licks and provide a supple gameplan. In addition, Moller's vocals combine the austerity of opera with a quirky approach, given the often amusing lyrics that bear more than a few chuckles.
"The Animal Trade in Canada" commences as a flute and sax based chamber setting and dappled with avant-garde musings, as drummer Larry the O peppers the movement with bristling and snappy rim-shots. Yet with Moller's vocal refrains, concerning "species" (the song lyrics aren't included in the package) the band shifts towards a Herbie Hancock Headhunters-era funk jazz vibe. They also meld the Latin element into the picture with a multihued composite during "Sanse Is Cred nza," featuring byzantine pulses and the frontline's ballsy soloing spots, shifting towards funk and rock motifs. Other than the ensemble's razor-sharp focus and highly synchronized methodology, a great deal of wit and whimsy propagates an attainable and irrefutably entertaining succession of events.
Track Listing: Small Chinese Gong; One Should Never; As Neat As Wax; Emir Scamp Budge;
The Animal Trade In Canada; The Party Constraint; Seemed To Be Divided
In Twain; Electric Rock Like A Cat; Sanse Is Cred nza; Oh! Goldfinch
Cage; An Empty Rectangle.
Personnel: Chris Broderick: c-melody saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet; Amanda
Chaudhary: electric piano, piano, organ, electronics; Polly Moller:
voice, flute, bass flute, heat sink; Larry The O: drums, percussion;
Tim Walters: bass, computer.
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.