136

Chris Washburne and the SYOTOS Band: Land of Nod

By

Sign in to view read count
Chris Washburne and the SYOTOS Band: Land of Nod Trombonist, composer and bandleader Chris Washburne heads up a spirited band called SYOTOS, which is an acronym for "See You On The Other Side," which dates back to an expression used by him just before his successful cancer surgery to his fellow musicians.

The title of this album comes from author Jonathan Swift who, in Gulliver's Travels, coined the expression "land of nod." I thought after hearing this album that no one who listens to it will be in the land of nod. In Washburne's liner notes lies the explanation. Metaphorically, the "land of nod" is America, whose citizens lie in a state of semi-somnolence while "we are at the mercy of shortsighted, arrogant and self-interested leaders." Washburne, like other musicians (eg. Charlie Haden), injects his political unhappiness into his music. The cover of the album depicts a washed-out American flag, and three of the compositions are titled "Pink," "Off-White" and "Blue Gust" (red, white and blue).

Musically speaking, this is nominally a Latin jazz band that goes beyond that genre to incorporate funk/groove music that is just as dance-friendly as salsa rhythms. Technically, only the opening "Pink," "Land of Nod" and the latter half of "Guantanamo" are full-tilt Latin jazz, with a certain intensity that emphasizes horn riffs. I can't get over how much trumpeter John Walsh, with his clarion, high-range playing, reminds me of Marty Sheller, who enlivened Mongo Santamaria's band, beginning with his "Watermelon Man" era.

Washburne has a slightly rough sound on trombone, with a bit of Ray Anderson (not the bit that is wild and crazy), and he enlivens the music with his solos. Ole Mathisen is clearly influenced by post-Coltrane tenor saxophonists, and on "Off-White" and Ornette Coleman's "Peace," he gets off some virtriolic solos that push the envelope. The bubbling percussion is provided by guest artist Bobby Sanabria and conguero Chembo Corniel.

I would venture that this is an act one has to see perform in person!


Track Listing: Pink; Off-White; Blue Gust; Op Ed; Gregory, Don't Go To The Village Dances; Guantanamo; Land Of Nod; Peace (Ornette Coleman); Peace (Horace Silver).

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.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Jazzheads | Style: Funk/Groove


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Rumba Con Flores" CD/LP/Track Review Rumba Con Flores
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: March 15, 2016
Read "Colosseum Live" CD/LP/Track Review Colosseum Live
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 10, 2016
Read "Rhythm and Romance" CD/LP/Track Review Rhythm and Romance
by Jeff Winbush
Published: August 12, 2016
Read "Un Viaje" CD/LP/Track Review Un Viaje
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: March 7, 2016
Read "Interstellar Space" CD/LP/Track Review Interstellar Space
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: May 29, 2016
Read "Music of Weather Report" CD/LP/Track Review Music of Weather Report
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 19, 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!

Buy it!