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...

9

Brass Mask: Live

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
London's LOOP Collective has many talented members, including saxophonist and composer Tomas Challenger and his band, Brass Mask. The nine-piece band—the octet which appeared on debut album Spy Boy (Babel Label, 2013) plus percussionist Jon Scott—mixes New Orleans, country blues, brass bands and contemporary jazz (including the influence of Henry Threadgill) and electronica. Many of these tracks appeared on that debut recording but Live, the band's second release, recorded at Servant Jazz Quarters in London, gives the tunes added punch and vibrancy.

The band's live "mish mash of styles, rhythms and colors," as Challenger puts it, reveals itself with ease across these tunes. "Francilia" opens the album like a twisted New Orleans soundtrack to a George Romero zombie movie. The traditional "Lil' Liza Jane" flies along, driven by John Blease's drums and Theon Cross' tuba—the energy and fun reminiscent of another big British band, Loose Tubes. Challenger's "Indian Red" is another joyful tune but the mood changes swiftly for "I Thank You Jesus," a mournful funeral dirge filled with wailing horns. "Nyodi" makes good use of electronics before Cross' tuba sets up a funky rhythm to act as the foundation for interplay between percussion and horns.

The frenetic "The Merman" leads in to the 10 minute closing tune, "Francis P." A number filled with shifting rhythms and tempos, it's also notable for Dan Nicholls' organ solo and some dueling trumpets courtesy of Rory Simmons and Alex Bonney. Challenger says that Brass Mask is most at home in the live setting—a claim that's amply justified by the performances on Live.

Track Listing: Francilia + Shallow Water; Lil’ Liza Jane; The Bague; Indian Red; I Thank You Jesus; Nyodi; The Merman; Francis P.

Personnel: Tom Challenger: tenor saxophone; George Crowley: tenor saxophone; Rory Simmons: trumpet; Alex Bonney: trumpet; Nathaniel Cross: trombone; Dan Nicholls: organ, percussion; Theon Cross: tuba; Jon Scott: percussion; John Blease: drums.

Title: Live | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Babel Label

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Live

Live

Babel Label
2017

buy
Spy Boy

Spy Boy

Babel Label
2013

buy

Shop

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

Related Articles

Read The Gleaners Album Reviews
The Gleaners
By Karl Ackermann
February 17, 2019
Read God Is Not A Terrorist Album Reviews
God Is Not A Terrorist
By Chris May
February 17, 2019
Read Inner Rhyme Album Reviews
Inner Rhyme
By Hrayr Attarian
February 17, 2019
Read Yuna Album Reviews
Yuna
By Glenn Astarita
February 17, 2019
Read Places Album Reviews
Places
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 17, 2019
Read Barriers Album Reviews
Barriers
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019