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"What's in a name?" Juliet asked in that play by William Shakespeare, "that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." True. But a band's name does provide a clue to its music. The Belgian band Skordatura PunkJazz Ensemble chose an amalgamation of jazz, cross tuning, and punk as its sobriquet.
Their debut How To Chase A Minute In One Second draws not so much from the 1970s punk rock tradition of expression (despite their musical skill), but from the resonant sounds and attitude of Jaco Pastorius' post-Weather Report music. Bassist Joshua Dellaert draws a direct reference to this on "Mercury," articulating notes with the audacious Pastorius style few modern bassists dare to follow. Skordatura PE chase down multiple modes, playing a sort of garage music of progressive rock, electric jazz, fusion, and funk. Guitarist Jakob Haghebaert's jazz, like that of David Fiuczynski is predisposed to rock, and like Allan Holdsworth can transform fusion into artifice.
The band uses its skills to great effect, modeling "La Danse Avec l'Arbre d'Envie" after Thelonious Monk's music by turning the opening dance into an electric math problem of keyboards and dancing drums. "Dr. Atomic" weighs jagged guitar over stabbing keys before leveling into a tight groove of rock. Thomas Vanhauwaert's electric piano sounds at once retro and very hip modern. Their approach to music making revives the fusion of rock and jazz without watering down either.
Track Listing: Specht; Glütenfrei; La Danse Avec l'Arbre d’Envie; Beertje; Mercury; Thinking, It's Said Before;
How To Chase A Minute In One Second; Pluto; Dr. Atomic; Solidude; But Yes, But No.
Personnel: Jakob Haghebaert: guitar; Thomas Vanhauwaert: keyboards; Joshua Dellaert: bass; Sebastiaan
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.