169

Chris Washburne and the SYOTOS Band: Land of Nod

Elliott Simon By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz in this first decade of the 21st Century has few artists using their music to confront the prevailing political climate. Jazz as protest music is an interesting historical artifact that was part of its '60s adolescence, before the music matured into an accepted field of academic study. The jazz educational establishment is more interested in developing technique at the expense of intellectual spirit. If you empathize with any of these statements, give a listen to trombonist Chris Washburne and his SYOTOS Band—but be warned, it will be a mind-changing experience.

Washburne is a master of Latin jazz, and his previous releases have shown him to be able to crank it up with danceable music that evinces a hot groove. All that is certainly still here on The Land of Nod, where he, along with trumpeter John Walsh and tenor wild man Ole Mathisen, decidedly kick out the jams on Ornette's "Peace and Mathisen's "Op-Ed. A superb rhythm section keeps the salsa flowing and pushes the music in intriguing and sometimes dissonant directions. They tackle the unlikely musical territory of the Hungarian folk tune "Gregory, Don't Go to the Village Dances, turning idyllic villagery into a screaming salsa affair.

It is, however, the new music that makes this release most noteworthy. Washburne holds up his musical mirror to Old Glory, showing it to currently be composed of a somewhat off-centered "Pink, a decidedly funky "Off-White and a deceptively "Blue Gust. His "Guantanamo is a brilliantly conceived multi-cultural soundscape, while the title cut tries to sound a wake-up call to a slumbering nation through infectiously rhythmic dance music. Things close with an elegant, almost elegiac, second plea for "Peace where Horace Silver's melody is beautifully voiced. But is anybody listening?

Track Listing: Pink; Off-Whte; Blue Gust; Op-Ed; Oi Ne Khody Hrytsin Tai na Vechornysti; Guantanamo; Land of Nod; Peace; Peace.

Personnel: Chris Washburne: trombone, percussion; John Walsh: trumpet; Ole Mathisen: tenor saxophone, clarinet;Barry Olsen: piano; Leo Traversa: bass; Vince Cherico: drums; Chembo Corniel: congas. Special Guests: Bobby Sanabria: percussion; Malken Derno: Korean gong.

Title: Land of Nod | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Jazzheads


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Satori" CD/LP/Track Review Satori
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Hybrid" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrid
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Walk Against Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Walk Against Wind
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Kucheza" CD/LP/Track Review Kucheza
by Chris Mosey
Published: January 12, 2017
Read "Eleven Cages" CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Platinum on Tap" CD/LP/Track Review Platinum on Tap
by Geannine Reid
Published: September 8, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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