345

Peloton: Funeral, Circus and other music

Anthony Shaw By

Sign in to view read count
Peloton: Funeral, Circus and other music This might be something of a confusing album to track down, going under the same name as a Norwegian jazz quintet, issued on a little-known Finnish label, and featuring a style that is hard to readily classify. However, the big top featured on the cover sets the tone for this broad collection of pieces, as does the album title itself. With an eight-person crew, the music falls into the broad space between classical and free-form, produced by two violins, viola and cello, fronted by trumpet or tuba, sax or guitar, drums and double-bass.



John Cage is not such a distant echo, but with its stronger rhythmic core this music is less demanding without losing its intellectual appeal. The band claims influence from Jim Jarmusch and John Lurie, and there is certainly a feeling of accompanying drama. The groove is sometimes reminiscent of Joe Morris' meandering explorations with Hamid Drake and William Parker, before it typically resorts to a full-frontal saxophone assault and then links up with the string section to finish with a klezmer-tinged, gypsy chorus.



This is "Häthätää," the central piece of the disc whose name also implies a restless hecticness also captured on other tracks. "Heroes" features a vocal that reeks of a deadpan William Burroughs voiceover, while "Väeltava aalto" ("Wandering Wave") captures a Brechtian spirit of wayward adventure, despite its lack of vocals. The penultimate "Un fou," with its French text and chorus, and spiraling arpeggios, explicitly cherishes the spirit of circus surreality which pervades the disc. In comparison with genuine Gallic performers it may appear restrained, but the transitions between emotions are sublime, with the frontline instruments often picking up the themes of the strings and taking them to another level.



Finland is mainly respected as a country where, alongside a very professional approach to music making, introspection and solo contemplation are much explored. As the country is ever more integrated into the European fold it seems to be losing this heritage, with Peloton perhaps reflecting a trend towards greater expressiveness, even frivolity. The back of the sleeve of this, its first disc, presents the band members divided into two groups, described in French as Les Cordes Magnifiques, the magnificent strings, and Les Géants de l'Esprit, the other four members who comprise the leading spirits. Maybe it is no coincidence that three of the key band members are currently performing nightly in a multi-cultural show in their hometown of Helsinki. With a group of modern dancers, they strive to throw theatrical light (or, rather, sound) on the eternal human tension between the mundane and mankind's efforts to accommodate its dreams—efforts which so often involve it in music.


Track Listing: Forum For Peace; Heroes; The Season of the year; Maapallon Hautajaiset; Häthätää; Vaeltava Aalto; Muscles; Un fou; Baader-Meinhof.

Personnel: Eero Savela: trumpet, Pentti Luomakangas: saxophones, guitar, vocal; Hannu Risku: drums; Tapani Varis: double-bass; Kaisa Kuvuja: violin; Noora Puupula: violin; Tiinapriitta Savela: viola; Jarmo Paloniemi: cello.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Lilith | Style: Jam Band


Shop

More Articles

Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Whisper" CD/LP/Track Review Whisper
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 22, 2016
Read "North" CD/LP/Track Review North
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute
by Jim Olin
Published: March 6, 2016
Read "New Focus On Song" CD/LP/Track Review New Focus On Song
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "At This Time..." CD/LP/Track Review At This Time...
by Budd Kopman
Published: May 11, 2016
Read "The Magical Forest" CD/LP/Track Review The Magical Forest
by John Kelman
Published: August 4, 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!