Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

177

Big Tall Wish: Leverage

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
It's not clear whether the tune "Punk Jazz, by the late great jazz bassist Jaco Pastorius, was a protest against the acoustic jazz establishment or not. But for decades musicians have continued to produce their own statements of self-expression using whatever technologies and influences available at their disposal. The group Big Tall Wish, like many jazz-oriented musicians today, use everything from hip hop beats, electronics, and jazz on Leverage , mixing music that reflects a variety of modern urban skins.

The New York-based trio consisting of guitarist Mike Barile, bassist Steve Armstrong, and drummer Evan Howard blends thick doses of programming, a variety of sampled sounds, and other tech-goodies with live instruments and guest musicians. Acoustic/electric music has been exploited for years but what BTW does well on this recording is to produce some hip-centric sounds with good musicianship.

The very first cut, "Boomshakaboom, sounds like a cross between the Beastie Boys and Herbie Hancock's Future Shock (Columbia, 1983). Sonic keyboards are mixed nicely with smooth guitar and sax solos on "Roller Derby Destruction Unit. The percussion programming on "It's a Circus is totally cool and the flute vamp adds to the airy vibe. Unlike similar type recordings there's a balance of both pumped up and slower grooves such as "Yes, No, Maybe So.

The hook-up of old and new sounds is in full effect. Jazz pundits who state that the music is at a dead end with the popular culture should check out the group's cover of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman as the melody is first silhouetted then reveals itself strongly. The new spin on the classic is quite nice. Leverage fits in nicely in the club, on the dance floor, cruising in your car, or wherever you like to get your groove- n- jazz on.

Track Listing: Boomshakaboom; Roller Derby Destruction Unit; A Thin Line; Slinky; It's A Circus; Yes, No, Maybe So; Riot Jazz (aka/Beezlebubblyboo); Talk To Me; Time To Go; Lonely Woman.

Personnel: Mike Barile: guitar, programming; Steve Armstrong: bass, programming; Evan Howard: drums, programming. Guests: Rex Gregory: tenor sax (1, 2, 7), alto sax (3, 5, 10), flute (1); Ed Petersen: tenor sax (1, 4); James Westfall: vibes (7, 9); Mat McClimon: vibes (3, 5).

Title: Leverage | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: D-Popa Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Fire Brigade Album Reviews
Fire Brigade
By Phillip Woolever
May 25, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019