115

Lan Xang: Lan Xang

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
This is the "outer territory" of highly inventive yet accessible jazz. Lan Xang is a whirling, swirling, groovin', eclectically-charged blend of alto/tenor/soprano saxophones, wood flute, acoustic bass, bells, Tunisian horn, percussion and drums. Dave Binney and Donny McCaslin cover reeds predominately. Scott Colley is bass and Jeff Hirshfield is drums and percussion.

Compositions are many times — slickly relaxed. Hear Binney's "Vevasis" that shows up again on Binney's third Lost Tribe release — Many Lifetimes. Some pieces are intro'ed as strained and jaggedly extruded oddities — resolving themselves into walls of smooth, subdued color — melancholy strolls. Fleet-footed unisons are tight little fusillades coming and going as pieces evolve. Take notice of this on "Rob Petry" and witness excellent bass soloing. Conversational reed solos overlay this McCaslin piece.

On the hip cool boppin' "2nd Line Sally" I was tempted get up from the keyboard and boogie down and shake some boo-tay. This is fun stuff. "Tango, Waltz, & Variations on . . ." wins the odd-metered award hands down — a head-boppin' tune but I bet ya can't dance to it. Not forgetting the jazz standards vibe Lan Xang offers Binney's "A Hundred Kings" that will make many older jazz lovers nod heads of admiration. It still retains that syncopated groove Binney and McCaslin both throw down so well. Find more great bass and drumming here for sure. Those of you looking for that jagged-edged thing with sleek delivery recalling Lost Tribe will find it on McCaslin's "Grunge Factor". Oops, no electric guitars, just killer Colley bass and fired up Hirshfield drums. I could dig this scene a lot more. Did I mention the tortured sax work aflame with reed-screech and hallowed barkings? Oh man, they smoke!

As an interesting thread running all through this release are vignettes Xang 1- Xang 5 and an outro reprise of Xang 1. They are each curious little sketches running from :37 to 2:00 long. Experience this debut Lan Xang release for a breath of fresh jazz, cutting edge, and adventurous music.

| Record Label: Mythology Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "A Room of One's Own" CD/LP/Track Review A Room of One's Own
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "Rings" CD/LP/Track Review Rings
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 3, 2016
Read "The Motorman's Son" CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "First Gathering" CD/LP/Track Review First Gathering
by John Sharpe
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Guilty Saints" CD/LP/Track Review Guilty Saints
by Chris Mosey
Published: June 18, 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

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

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!