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This is not jazz-rock fusion. This is not adult contemporary jazz. For God's sake, this is certainly not smooth jazz. Seattle-bred and New York City-based drummer Jim Black's third AlasNoAxis recording continues where he left off on Splay (Winter & Winter, 2002)exploring the rock side of jazz. Think of AlasNoAxis as a well-behaved Jonas Hellborg/Shawn Lane collaboration with a wide open reeds player. The music is well-constructed with a heavy edge of heavy metal. "Rade" begins like a Black Sabbath concert gone horribly wrong, before settling into brooding groove with Hilmar Jensson finger-picking his guitar beneath the invaluable Chris Speed's reeds. Skuli Sverrison's bass plays a buoyant counterpoint to Jensson. Black alternates between brushes and sticks, giving the piece a multitextured character that permeates the remainder of the disc.
This same modus operandi passes through all of the compositions like a gold thread joining each piece with a thematic strand. The harmonies are sinister in the best since of the word, i.e. not allowing for a relaxing listening experience. No, this is the music of the primal screamliberating, cleansing, exhilarating. But that primal scream is controlled as the chain reaction of a nuclear reactor is contained, until you get to "Hello Kombiant," which dissolves into a solution of pure beautiful anarchy. Jim Black provides a relentless rhythm-beat, a chaotic stroke collection perfectly suited for 21st Century NYC. The Wurlitzer piano and melodica are used throughout the disc, but never to excess. If a single instrument stands out, it is Jensson's guitar. Jensson and Black propel Habyor right on to my best-of-year list. A weirdly wonderful and superb recording.
The best show I ever attended was going with my father to see Dizzy Gillespie play at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. Dizzy was a man full of charisma and play. He managed to get four different sections of the audience to sing four different vocal parts in one song
The best show I ever attended was going with my father to see Dizzy Gillespie play at the Royal Festival Hall in London, England. Dizzy was a man full of charisma and play. He managed to get four different sections of the audience to sing four different vocal parts in one song. He captured everyone's attention and got us all up on our feet dancing alongside him to this incredible music we call jazz.