431

Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet: Husky

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
The select few who actually recognize Skerik's singular name will probably remember the saxophonist's recent wild and wacky adventures with Charlie Hunter, Wayne Horvitz and Bobby Previte with some nostalgia. The combination of skronk, groove and interjection he has laid down with these alternative proto-jazz icons seems to have crystallized over time, almost as much as it has simultaneously mutated in the process. This is the second Syncopated Taint Septet release after the group's 2003 self-titled debut on Ropeadope.

To the extent you'll ever be able to pin Skerik down, Husky is a wonderful snapshot of the cheeky rule-breaker (plus compatible-minded souls) in action. The band locks in on loose celebration from the word go, drawing directly from the New Orleans organ and horn traditions but modernizing them by about half a century along the way. Skerik has always operated with a good dose of the Big Easy on his mind, and his approach on this record is no big exception.

There are five horn players in the STS: Craig Flory, Hans Teuber, Steve Moore, Dave Carter and Skerik. And to their credit, whenever they pick up a different original composition (by Teuber, Moore or organist Joe Doria), the arrangements show an amazing consistency over time. There's no point in everyone trying to play at once, so arranged horn sections lead in and out of smaller-group jams, leaving everyone space to breathe along the way.

Certain sections (like the loud, dirty saxophone screams halfway through the funky, ten-minute "Fry His Ass") dig into a grungier mode, but they seem more in the spirit of testosterone madness than outright anger. The accelerating mass shout at the end of the aforementioned piece has more drama in it than actual pissed-offedness. Just like Previte's recent The Coalition Of The Willing, this release is packaged with political messages on the sleeve (eg. the title of track two, "Go to Hell, Mr. Bush") but very little on the disc itself.

Based on more than just the group's name (a funny reference to the first general in America's futile war on drugs), it's likely that Skerik and company might have taken two and passed before wetting their reeds. The music has a light, sparkly energy and seems to phase in and out of time as it tells its story. But taken together, the upbeat mood, deliberate groove, and occasional pinch of madness of this Syncopated Taint seem like just the right combination for everyone involved.


Track Listing: The Third Rail; Go To Hell Mr. Bush; Syncopate the Taint; Fry His Ass; Don

Personnel: Skerik: tenor saxophone; Craig Flory: baritone saxophone; Dave Carter: trumpet; Hans Teuber: alto saxophone, flute; Steve Moore: trombone, wurlitzer; Joe Doria: Hammond B-3; John Wicks: drums.

Title: Husky | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Hyena Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Free Radicals" CD/LP/Track Review Free Radicals
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 7, 2017
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Radioactive Landscapes EP" CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "Domains" CD/LP/Track Review Domains
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 13, 2017
Read "Far from Over" CD/LP/Track Review Far from Over
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "The Lovers card" CD/LP/Track Review The Lovers card
by James Nadal
Published: August 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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