All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

5

E. Normus Trio: Love and Barbiturates

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
These Asheville, NC musicians started collaborating in 2007, leading to this debut release that skirts the boundaries of jazz-rock, free-jazz and progressive metal-jazz. The jazz and improvisational elements accentuate most of these works, fueled by adrenaline rushes amid the trio's broad arsenal.

Excitable but largely cohesive, lead soloist and clarinetist Steve Alsford bridges torrid breakdowns with wily phrasings and wistfully melodic sentiment. Meanwhile, Jay Sanders uses a N/S Stick, an 8-string multipurpose instrument that affords him the ability to play bass and guitar in concurrent or alternating fashion. Therefore, the band rocks on with titanium-enforced durability via changeable patterns and unanticipated detours.

It's all been done before in various ways, shapes and forms, but this band integrates numerous genre-based inferences into its repertoire. With asymmetrical doses of swing, rock, and Sanders' fuzzed-out psycho guitar licks, the music generates remembrances of New York City's vibrant downtown scene, at times drawing comparisons to John Zorn's Naked City ensemble. However, the trio doesn't abide by a staid methodology. Other than executing tricky time signatures, for example, they shift gears on "Clara," where Sanders explores the lower registers, offset by shifting metrics and upbeat balladry.

"The Long Boots of Age" rings like a metal-blues bash via Sanders' wailing lines, but they temper the flow with an odd-metered, one-note unison vamp as drummer Michael W. Davis launches a polyrhythmic tirade and raises the pitch. Here, the band counterbalances a feeding frenzy with softly woven innocence, and is a consistent paradigm throughout the program. Hence, it doesn't work within one particular formula, yet maintains a distinct group-centric persona. And on "Maxwell's Demon," the group activates a bubbly electronics ostinato as a backdrop for Alsford's blithe lines to formulate an unpretentious space-jazz ditty. To that end, Asheville, NC, has emerged as a mini- mecca for art and music. With this idiosyncratically titled outing, the trio pushes the envelope while yielding substantial rewards, executed with cleverness and impressive technical faculties.

Track Listing: Manifesto; Love; Barbiturates; The Woodpecker; Blood; Sandy Betty; Clara; Dear Diary; The Long Boots of Age; Daguerreotype; Maxwell’s Demon; Acquiescence; Rain.

Personnel: Jay Sanders: 8-string N/S Stick guitar/bass, effects; Michael W. Davis: drums; Steve Alsford: alto clarinet, bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet.

Title: Love and Barbiturates | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Little King Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Music in Motian CD/LP/Track Review
Music in Motian
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Descansado - Songs For Films CD/LP/Track Review
Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Simbiose CD/LP/Track Review
Simbiose
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 18, 2018
Read For Lew CD/LP/Track Review
For Lew
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "No Secrets No Lies" CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Sonder" CD/LP/Track Review Sonder
by Troy Dostert
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Don't Look Down" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Look Down
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 1, 2018
Read "More Songs About Error And Shame" CD/LP/Track Review More Songs About Error And Shame
by Anya Wassenberg
Published: March 27, 2018
Read "Glow of Benares" CD/LP/Track Review Glow of Benares
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Hanukkah" CD/LP/Track Review Hanukkah
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 8, 2017