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Sam Trapchak's Put Together Funny: Lollipopocalypse

Mark F. Turner By

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Bassist Sam Trapchak's debut, Lollipopocalypse, is inspired by a character who experiences some very unsavory candy in the Toni Morrison novel Song of Solomon. But Trapchak and his curiously named group, Put Together Funny, dish out some palatable music with a release that is equally accessible and stimulating. Replete with infectious melodies, risk-taking compositions, and cohesive variety, the seven compositions are delivered by Trapchak's potent band members

Trapchak's lists Dave Holland as one of his influences in which similarities might be found: a fibrous bass tone, robust technique, and emotive playing. The music spans a wide spectrum of styles as evinced by the Afro Beat-centric "Different Dance" or the industrial strength rocker "On The Cusp of Cancer. " The former's signature is like the choreographed dance of a Senegalese dancer; whereas in the latter, the instruments move with a machine-like synchronicity.

The sensuous "Losing You" is reminiscent of a 1950's film noir classic—lush saxophone, whispering drum brushes, crooning guitar swells, and Trapchak's gently probing fingerings—that just oozes sexiness. "Tongue and Groove" and the title track are show stoppers that command respect as the band handles myriad tempo exchanges and searing solos. Greg Ward's alto is wonderful, having an expressiveness that is reminiscent of contemporaries such as Miguel Zenon. Tom Chang's fret-board wizardry encompasses excellent comping (almost a lost art with younger guitarists) and progressive rock chops, while Arthur Vint holds things together with a variety of intricate traps. But the glue that holds it all together is Trapchak, with leadership that's not only heard in his playing but also in the prowess of his compositions.

Track Listing: Different Dance; On The Cusp of Cancer; Long Live_Less Say; Tongue and Groove; Losing You; Precious Few; Lollipopocalypse.

Personnel: Arthur Vint: drums; Tom Chang: guitar; Greg Ward: saxophonist; Sam Trapchak: bass.

Title: Lollipopocalypse | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Raw Toast Records

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