163

Stefan Zeniuk: Gato Loco

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Stefan Zeniuk: Gato Loco If Danny Elfman, Marc Ribot, Ennio Morricone, Ry Cooder and Bobby Sanabria ever put together a band, it might sound something like Gato Loco. This eleven-piece unit, under the direction of saxophonist-composer Stefan Zeniuk, creates Latin-influenced carnival jazz with a punk attitude, and they seem to have a great time while doing it.

Gato Loco, the group's Winter & Winter debut, was recorded live at a wine chateau in Bordeaux, France during the summer of 2010, and excitement was certainly in the air on that July day. The audience seems to be in high spirits, cheering, yelling and clapping for the band, and while their noticeable presence makes the recording seem bootleg-like at times, it's also indicative of the energy that surrounded them during this audacious performance.

Much of Gato Loco's music contains madcap riffs, gritty soloing, and grounded, grooving bass ostinatos built atop Latin-inspired beats, but it's all presented in zany fashion. Guitarist Clifton Hyde, while not being solely responsible for the off-kilter attitude in these songs, deserves a good amount of the credit. He brings a hipster aura into some of the music ("Coconino #5"), finds pleasure in pain ("The Mourning Of Ginger"), delivers gruff, grungy guitar work, and even manages to recall Spaghetti Western film music ("Gunslinging Tuba").

While Hyde's artistry helps Zeniuk shape many of these pieces, he has some help along the way. The horns, whether working individually to deliver raunchy solos of substance or joining forces to create a song-opening requiem ("Cat On The Town"), make their mark throughout the album, and the rhythm section works wonders as the band branches out into bizarre territories. Nothing, be it Mariachi music on steroids with a dash of John Zorn attitude ("The Mexicans"), seductive tuba displays ("Gunslinging Tuba"), or relentless Latin thrash punk with surfer undertones ("Splinter"), is off the table for this band.

On Gato Loco, Stefan Zeniuk and his merry men manage to create and shape music that's bold, brilliantly bizarre, and utterly original.

Track Listing: Zero; Another Dull Day; Coconino #5; Cat On The Town; Splinter; The Mourning Of Ginger; Siboney; Gunslinging Tuba; The Mexicans; Rata Chaconne.

Personnel: Stefan Zeniuk: saxophone; Jesse Selengut: trumpet; Jackie Coleman: trumpet; Kevin Moehringer: trombone; Ric Becker: trombone; Joe Exley: tuba; Clifton Hyde: guitar, french horn; Ari Folman-Cohen: bass; Kevin Garcia: drums, vibraphone; Greg Stare: congas; Rich Stein: percussion, timpani.

Title: Gato Loco | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Winter & Winter


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read 90 Going On Amazing CD/LP/Track Review 90 Going On Amazing
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter CD/LP/Track Review Let There Be Life, Love and Laughter
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: August 21, 2017
Read L.O.T.U.S. CD/LP/Track Review L.O.T.U.S.
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Art in the Age of Automation CD/LP/Track Review Art in the Age of Automation
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 21, 2017
Read Screen Sounds CD/LP/Track Review Screen Sounds
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 20, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 20, 2017
Read "Prog Noir" CD/LP/Track Review Prog Noir
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Duende Libre" CD/LP/Track Review Duende Libre
by James Nadal
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "Imagination" CD/LP/Track Review Imagination
by Geannine Reid
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Here’s to You..." CD/LP/Track Review Here’s to You...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: November 9, 2016
Read "Second Stream" CD/LP/Track Review Second Stream
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Budd Kopman
Published: October 27, 2016

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.