165

Quadro Nuevo: Mocca Flor

By

Sign in to view read count
Quadro Nuevo: Mocca Flor Exhaustingly Orientalist, the Austrian quartet Quadro Nuevo tries to reconstruct the fantasy Middle East of Delacroix and the fantasy Europe of An American in Paris but lacks the inspiration of both, and ends up looking like a boring artifact from a racist era. Multicultural to a fault, it packs in tangos, Neapolitan ballads, early swing tunes, Greek and German folk songs, and European café jazz. If these players had chops and bent the influences to their own artistic ends, they could get around their exoticizing of the music. As it stands they resort to condescending imitations for each tune and hope the addition of "native instrumentation, like a willow rod, psalter (a Middle Eastern zither), and gusle (Serbian stringed instrument) distract from the thudding monotony. It doesn't.

"El Choclo is an Argentinean tango that suffers from a lifeless bass ostinato and a fey sax line that eventually settles into a smooth jazz version of Piazzola. "Sultana begins with a patronizing snake-charmer sax theme and devolves into a tune that could accompany the tender moments to The Scorpion King. "Mocca Swing offers some life with a jaunty guitar intro and clarinet needling that shows a faint hint of Django's rhythm. But it continues, alas, with repetition upon repetition of clarinet arpeggios and accordion runs that lose their welcome halfway through. "Giovanni Tranquillo begins with the ticking of a clock, a bossa nova beat on chimes and guitar, and a moony sax melody backed by accordion squawks. It sounds like Jobim on Quaaludes. And so forth.

The effort can be summed up by the liner notes, where we are told Quadro Nuevo carry us away "into a world of fluttering turbans, old taverns and of the passionate tango. In short, they prefer a world of childish fantasies to the one we live in.

Track Listing: Miserlou; 'O Sarracino; El Choclo; Sultana; Mocca Swing; Giovanni Tranquillo; Penta; Quiereme; Bei Mir Bist Du Scheen; Jakob Elija; Tango Gosselin; Fiera Triste; Cafe Europa; El Sospiro Del Moro

Personnel: Mulo Francel: saxophones, clarinets, mandolin; Robert Wolf: guitar; Andreas Hinterseher: accordion, vibrandoneon, bandoneon; D.D. Lowka: bass, percussion.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Justin Time Records | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Nocturno" CD/LP/Track Review Nocturno
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 9, 2017
Read "More Stories from the Village" CD/LP/Track Review More Stories from the Village
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Hybrido" CD/LP/Track Review Hybrido
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Algorithmic Society" CD/LP/Track Review Algorithmic Society
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 23, 2016
Read "Simplicity" CD/LP/Track Review Simplicity
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 6, 2016
Read "More Than This" CD/LP/Track Review More Than This
by Henning Bolte
Published: February 28, 2017

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!