392

Fake Orchestra: Made In China

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Fake Orchestra: Made In China If you pulled out a map of the western hemisphere, and drew lines tracing the cross-cultural pathways that compose Slovenian band Fake Orchestra's music, the map would end up resembling something an inky spider had been traversing. Its European and Americas areas, in particular, would resemble a complex diagram of highways, arterial routes and secondary roads. Like the British band Orqestra Mahatma, whose Stay Cool (Babel, 2005) inhabits similarly wide ranging cultural territory, Fake Orchestra has an admirable disregard for international and genre boundaries.



Unlike the smaller Mahatma, Fake is a seven-piece (which also unlike Mahatma includes a vocalist), augmented by as many guests, so its range of textures is broad. Made In China (Chinese music is entirely absent from the album)—which follows Fake Life (Goga, 2001) and Fake World (Goga, 2004)—makes the most of the possibilities. The panoply of diversities includes Slovenian pop (which reflects the closeness of Italy, Slovenia's neighbor to the west) and Slovenian folk (which doesn't), samba, jazz (from New Orleans to the avant-garde), West African highlife and a little rock. The 13 tracks are mostly arrangements of Slovenian folk songs, plus Pharoah Sanders's "The Creator Has A Master Plan," the traditional West African folk tune "Jarabi," and the original "Good Luck With The Duck!," a techno groove in 7/8 (which is "uncommon," as the liner notes put it with understatement, "in that genre").



Fake was formed in 1997 by guitarist Igor Leonardi, a sometime performing partner of multi-instrumentalist and world jazz pioneer, Don Cherry. Alongside Leonardi—who plays guitar, ukelele, gaita and balafon—the core septet also features the singer Ana Vipotnik, the tenor (and soprano) saxophonist Primos Fleischman, and the violinist Jelena Zdrale. Guest musicians bring trumpet, flute and a host of percussion to the party.



The mood is mostly upbeat, with the notable exceptions of "Jeseni" (which means "in autumn"), an arrangement of a poem by the poet Cene Vipotnik (Ana's grandfather), and "Vora Bije" ("the clock bell tolls"), a bittersweet folk song from the 1930s, when many young Slovenians emigrated to America. Fleischman solos tenderly on soprano on both tracks, and adds some turbulent tenor to the second. His roughhewn voice on the bigger horn is also the focus of "Je Prav Zvita Zver" ("the fox is a really foxy beast") and, of course, "The Creator Has A Master Plan."



Though upbeat, the prevailing ambiance of Made In China is burnished, layered and prettily melodic, not at all like the unbuttoned barndance vibe of the YouTube clip below. The clip isn't representative of the album, but it's fun, and fun—above all—is what Fake Orchestra is about.


Track Listing: Lisicka; Je Prav Zvita Zver; Jarabi; Ne Cakaj Na Maj; Ne Prizigaj Luci V Temi; The Creator Has A Master Plan; Megua; Jesini; Ne De Mi Vec Rasla; Vora Bije; O Sneha Ljubljena 5; O Sneha Ljubljena 7; Good Luck With The Duck!.

Personnel: Ana Vipotnik: vocals; Jelena Zdrale: violin, violin, backing vocals; Primos Fleischman: saxophones; Igor Leonardi: guitar, ukelele, gaita, balafon; Nino De Gleria: bass; Blaz Celarec: percussion; Aljosa Jeric: drums. Guests: Bostjan Gombac: flute, vocals, whistling; Peter Lovsin: vocals; David Jarh: trumpet, flugelhorn; Issiaka Sanu: djembe, dun-dun, vocals; Dino Murtezani: kaval; Matija Leonardi: toy trumpet, vocals; Mitja Vrhovnik Smrekar: pandeiro; Kresimir Tomec: bass.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Goga | Style: Fringes of Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Dogs" CD/LP/Track Review Dogs
by Doug Collette
Published: February 28, 2016
Read "Enter the Plus Tet" CD/LP/Track Review Enter the Plus Tet
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 8, 2016
Read "Vortex Generation Mechanisms" CD/LP/Track Review Vortex Generation Mechanisms
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "2468 West Grand Boulevard" CD/LP/Track Review 2468 West Grand Boulevard
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: December 27, 2016
Read "Untitled" CD/LP/Track Review Untitled
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 15, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!