If you judge a band by the instruments they keep, Super Numeri is an enigma. Between the three of them, the core members of Super Numeri (Pop Levi, Karl Webb, Snap Ant) play twelve instruments; their ten guests play strings and percussion. A confusion, most certainly.
Despite the futuristic graphics on the cover of Great Aviaries, a very strong retro flavor pervades the record. Those familiar with Teo Macero's productions for Miles Davis during his fusion era (eg. Bitches Brew, In A Silent Way ) will immediately recognize a similar approach here. It's that idea of an extended instrumental jam pushed through effects and then assembled into a pastiche-like whole, which is practiced here from start to finish. Whether or how much the jam was edited remains a mystery, as it was on much of Miles's work. Perhaps not at all.
Great Aviaries regularly relies on a beat, though the rhythm remains continually in flux. But Super Numeri is no simple jam band; it's significantly more sophisticated and experimental than the flaccid wankers who predominate in that style. The delicate tinkering at the start of the exceptional beat-less "Otter's Pool," for instance, brings about a sense of mystery and aquatic imagery. "Leisure Lakes," while relaxed in tone, conveys darkness and suspicion. The opener, "The Electric Horse Garden," bears a strong resemblance to the post-rock explorations of Tortoise circa TNT.
For what it's worth, just about every literate review of this record will probably include references to Miles, the jam, and post-rock. It's hard to avoid the obvious. But don't get caught up in the idea that Super Numeri is derivative or stale: not so. Regardless of its usually sonorous tone, Great Aviaries has some moments of real tensionfor example, the military square waves of "Beaks." In the end, accessible or not, this is art music. And a rarified form indeed.
I fell in love with jazz through my dad Bobby Hirst who was a jazz pianist for over 50 years around the UK and Europe. He was such a modest man but an incredible musician. I tinkered with piano but found myself drawn to guitar after listening to Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell
I fell in love with jazz through my dad Bobby Hirst who was a jazz pianist for over 50 years around the UK and Europe. He was such a modest man but an incredible musician. I tinkered with piano but found myself drawn to guitar after listening to Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass and Kenny Burrell. Misty by Erroll Garner is one of my favourite tracks. My current choice of guitars are Gibson ES335 & ES175 although I only own Epiphone copies at present. I also play classical guitar and love to play jazz on them. I have recently moved to Leeds from York and hoping to meet new friends in the jazz community.