121

Schfvilkus: Genrealization

Todd S. Jenkins By

Sign in to view read count
Schfvilkus: Genrealization Schfvilkus (pronounced “shpil-kuss,” Yiddish for being on pins and needles) is a band with its hand on the new century’s pulse. These Nashville cats throw everything into the blender: rock, funk, hip-hop, bluegrass, Arabic music, and good old jazz, to name but a few. What is surprising is how completely everything coheres instead of becoming the expected mish-mash. Christian Grainger and his buddies know just what they’re doing and they sell it like pros.

“Pleather” was a great choice for a starting point, immersing us in the kind of sweaty funk its namesake has been known to inflict. DJ Viper is listed as an additional musician, but his turntable brew is an essential element in the Schfvilkus mix. (The fact that he also plays with Hank Williams III gives another indication of where the band is coming from.) “Swat” isn’t the theme to the '70s cop show but certainly holds true to the spirit, and “Scuffle for Truffles” is an especially good showcase for Grainger’s thoughtful talents. Perhaps the one off-step is the overlong “Rockdweller,” which takes forever to establish a groove after lots of free-form noodling. But for an album this good one shaky track is easily forgiven, especially since it rocks the house about three minutes in.

Drummer David Walden is the secret weapon, cobbling together outstanding beats throughout the disc from Latin rhythms (the wildly entertaining “Sierra del Yugo”) to Middle Eastern complexity (“Much Minutes”) and wide-gapped funk (“Sumoneshrew”). Everyone in the group locks together tight as frog booty, even the scattered guest horns. With “Hoedown Throwdown” Schfvilkus saved the best of many great tracks for last. It starts off as a slow lope with Ned Henry’s fiddle up front and gradually picks up pace until it’s running at breakneck speed, a la the Dregs. Then the tempo abruptly drops back to square one and the fun begins anew. The totally goofy hidden track closes the disc on an appropriately upbeat note.

This is one of the best independent releases to cross the fusion desk in some time, and unfortunately it got lost in the shuffle until now. Schfvilkus offers a tantalizingly humorous glimpse into the future of fusion. These guys are among the unkempt prophets of the music to come.

Visit www.schfvilkus.com .


Track Listing: Pleather; Swat; Much Minutes; Harp

Personnel: Maxwell Abrams, tenor and soprano saxes; Christian Grainger, guitars, samplers; Carlos Pennell, guitars; Joseph Maloney, bass, acoustic guitar, vocals; David Walden, drums, percussion; Jeff Coffin, reeds, didgeridoo (10); DJ Viper, turntables (3,6), guitar (6); Chris West, reeds; Steve Herman, Quentin Ware (1), trumpet; Roland Barber, Chris Dunn (2), trombone; Sandip Burman (3), Annie Sellick (6), vocals; Graham Spice, clarinet (2), piano (9); Tracy Silverman (1,6), Ned Henry (10), violin.

Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Paras Recordings | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Elegy" CD/LP/Track Review Elegy
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by John Sharpe
Published: August 29, 2016
Read "Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground" CD/LP/Track Review Dark Was The Night, Cold Was The Ground
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 1, 2016
Read "That Feelin'" CD/LP/Track Review That Feelin'
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 7, 2016
Read "Pale White Shout" CD/LP/Track Review Pale White Shout
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Resiliency" CD/LP/Track Review Resiliency
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 18, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!