It's hard to take anything about the Industrial Jazz Group for granted. Even the LA-based ensemble's name is misleading to the point that its leader, Andrew Durkin, feels the need to address it in the header of the group's website. "So we're not really industrial. Were The Beatles really insects?" As explanations gohumorous as they might beit rings a little hollow. It does, however, speak volumes about IJG and its singular approach to music-making. Just when you think you've got it, when the form becomes clear, the beat insatiable, a song implodes and you're left to sift through the wreckage or a freely improvised saxophone solo is followed by a foray into '70s lounge rock. The result is rarely anything less than thrilling.
Recorded at a series of live concerts from 2004-07 and interspersed liberally with studio material, Leef is an unrelenting amalgam of shtick, pop, cabaret and classical that comes off equal parts Bernstein, Zappa and Mingus. Durkin has a hand in every aspect of Leef, including the live, often improvised performances that make up the album's core. The result is a so-called "hybrid approach," where live sections are touched up with studio material and entire passages from studio sessions are inserted into live material. Durkin attempts to tally the ratios in the album's notes and comes to a rough average 90% live material/10% studio, disregarding the entirely live "Don't Let 'em Getcha" and the studio recording of "Fuck The Muck (part one)." Thus Leef has the spontaneity of live performance along with the lightning transitions and rounded edges of a studio work. Add to that a beguiling uniqueness, humor and beauty and you have a great record by an incredible ensemble.
Track Listing: Ladies and Gentlemen; And Go; Don't Let 'em Getcha; PDX LIX LAX; My Guitar; Bongo Non
Troppo; What's Industrial Jazz?; What's in Anne's Icebox?; The Job Song;The Hotdog Hat;
Howl; Big Ass Preview; Richardson's Road Poem; Big Ass Truck; Fuck the Muck; Fuck the Muck
(2); Big Ass Truck (radio edit);The Job Song (radio edit).
Personnel: Beth Schenck: soprano sax, Cory Wright: soprano sax, Evan Francis: alto sax, Brian Walsh:
tenor sax, Katharina Thomsen: tenor sax, Josh Sinton: baritone sax
Phil Rodriguez: trumpet, Dan Rosenboom: trumpet, piccolo trumpet, Andre Canniere:
trumpet, Wolter Wierbos: trombone. James Hirschfeld: trombone
Jill Knapp: vocals, Oliver Newell: bass, Dan Schnelle: drums
Conducted by Andrew Durkin.
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.