March 2006

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count

Sludge Test

Cantaloupe Music


It's not often that you'll listen to a hardcore jazz-rock outfit transcribing classical composer Olivier Messiaen's "Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes. But as it stands, this high-octane quartet pulls it off, although the correlation might not be overtly noticeable upon the first few listens. Yet, these folks mean business via their intense ensemble play, abetted with quirky time changes and in-your-face soloing. And the good news is, that this band's heady arrangements coupled with silly song titles, translates into an action-packed and somewhat lighthearted affair. It's akin to thrash jazz-rock, highlighting the artists' conveyance of good-cheer to complement their energetic artisanship.

Zero Crossing

My Kinda Funk

Groove Attack


Germany's Zero Crossing (Andreas Angerer) garners some assistance from rapper Kool Keith and others during these funk-drenched mixes. With synth strings, compact beats, and spacey spoken word overlays, the main ingredient resides within the snazzy funk-bass sequences. Angerer implements some colorific background treatments, but the outing is more about snap, punch and in-the-pocket rhythmic exercises. It's entrenched within the dance/party genre and not quite as compelling for the traditional, sit-down listening experience. Angerer doesn't chart newfound terrain here. With that notion in mind, the listener might be apt to dance the night away, as Angerer mimics the rhythms of life with a funky, electronics-induced slant.

> Slave to the System

Slave to the System



The quartet is comprised of metal-rock bands Queensryche and Brother Cane. And the premise for this album—as the title indicates—is centered upon the "corporate system, where artistic control is generally sacrificed. Therefore, when the musicians hashed out the format and songs for this album, they just let their creative juices flow. Sure, the music firmly resides within the metal category, but tips a bit more towards the progressive schema. Constructed upon power-packed bass, drums and guitar motifs, the music generally surges onward via knotty time signatures. Add to that, guitarists Damon Johnson and Kelly Gray emphatic vocalizations. The band integrates a few catchy hooks into the grand scope of matters. However, it's fairly apparent that they are doing their own thing, sans any dictation from record company marketing honchos. The overall results are generally satisfying.

Vinny Golia Quartet


Clean Feed


Recorded in 2003 at a Lisbon, Portugal studio; Southern California based woodwind specialist Vinny Golia parallels his visually oriented artistic proclivities with this high-flying jazz romp. Featuring longtime associates; trumpeter Bobby Bradford, bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Alex Cline, this energized modern/free jazz set cuts to the chase. Brimming with raw power and intersecting thematic frenzies, the band's methodology consists of counterbalancing frameworks and rapidly moving dialogues. Here, Golia and Bradford dissect motifs into subdivisions, propelled by the rhythm section's polyrhythmic aplomb.

> Push the Triangle

Cos La Machina 1

D' Autres Cordes


This French quintet pushes the envelope while garnering high-marks for originality and breadth of implementation. Franck Vigroux cranks out atypical avant-rock sounds from his electric guitar and turntables. As the remainder of the band comprises, cornet- drums-saxophone-vocals. It's easily one of the more captivating music marvels of 2005, where the band's experimentalism spans rock, free-jazz, and classical concepts. Howling guitars seek a happy medium with difficult time navigations and wild jazz parts. The ensemble's genre bashing transforms into an unswerving makeup, spiced with stabs at humor and a quasi, electronic-organic tone. They even fuse indigenous folk/rock musings into the heart of matters. Three cheers are in order for an ensemble that transcends a good deal of experimental muck, surfacing within European and American music circles. Given the unorthodox chain of events, these folks somehow seem to pull it all together.

Malcolm Goldstein & Masashi Harada




comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read August 2007 New & Noteworthy August 2007
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 29, 2007
Read July 2007 New & Noteworthy July 2007
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 4, 2007
Read June 2007 New & Noteworthy June 2007
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 23, 2007
Read May 2007 New & Noteworthy May 2007
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 20, 2007
Read April 2007 New & Noteworthy April 2007
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 18, 2007
Read March 2007 New & Noteworthy March 2007
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2007
Read "Steve Winwood at the Space at Westbury" Live Reviews Steve Winwood at the Space at Westbury
by Mike Perciaccante
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "The Billy Hart Quartet at the 21c Museum Hotel" Live Reviews The Billy Hart Quartet at the 21c Museum Hotel
by Joseph Boselovic
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard" New York Beat Pat Martino at The Jazz Standard
by Nick Catalano
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "The Stanley Clarke Band At Kuumbwa Jazz Center" Live Reviews The Stanley Clarke Band At Kuumbwa Jazz Center
by Walter Atkins
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "In Jazz We Trust: On The Politically Inspired Work Of Delfeayo Marsalis and Ted Nash" Multiple Reviews In Jazz We Trust: On The Politically Inspired Work Of...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "Festival International de Jazz de Montreal 2017" Live Reviews Festival International de Jazz de Montreal 2017
by John Kelman
Published: July 7, 2017


Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.