151

Either/Orchestra: More Beautiful Than Death

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
They’re Back! To paraphrase Mark Twain, “The rumors of the Either/Orchestra’s permanently playing Grateful Dead music have been exaggerated.” After disbanding the small big band in 1997 and starting a family (just add water), saxophonist and label entrepreneur Russ Gershon has reformed the E/O. At this point I’d like to exclaim “Yahoo,” but due to copyright restrictions imposed by a certain information technology mega-company, my lawyers inform me I can only state how pleased I am to tell you they have a new CD out. Gershon along with E/O veterans, trumpeter Tom Halter and baritone saxophonist Charlie Kohlhase, enlist a cadre of fresh Boston talent to produce what could be one of the new millenium’s top ten records. Graduates of earlier versions of the orchestra (or, more likely, survivors of the road shows) include John Medeski (Medeski, Martin & Wood), Drummer Matt Wilson, Andrew D’Angelo (Human Feel), Curtis Hasselbring, and John Carlson.

Where the genius of Russ Gershon’s latest creation (and E/O sixth release) is evident is their ability to move gracefully between genres and styles. The band has always been equally comfortable with Sun Ra or Dizzy Gillespie’s music. Their latest offering glides through complex charts of simple entertainment. On “All Those SOBs,” Dan Kaufman’s piano plays Thelonious Monk’s “Crepuscule With Nellie” behind an Ellington blues groove, swung hard by the trumpet of Tom Halter. They change gears quickly into a Mambo, some calypso, a bit of Reggae, and parts of an Ethiopian Suite that sounds as if it should be expanded into an entire recording itself. The disc closes with “The Eighth Wonder” where Dan Kaufman’s Wurlitzer electric piano accompanies a funky horn line worthy of Oakland’s Tower Of Power. Recordings of the E/O really only give us a sample of the talented musicians employed by and glimpse at the hundreds of charts mastered by Gershon’s troops. These 74 minutes of music leave the listener wanting more.

Track List:Amiak Abet Abet; Number Three; More Beautiful Than Death; Musicawi Silt; Breaktime For Dougo; All Those SOBs; Slow Mambo For J.J.; Feker Aydelmwey; The Eighth Wonder.

Personnel: Tom Halter

| Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp" CD/LP/Track Review The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "Yellow Red Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Yellow Red Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 2, 2016
Read "El Barranco" CD/LP/Track Review El Barranco
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 11, 2016
Read "We Live Here" CD/LP/Track Review We Live Here
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "OUTgoing" CD/LP/Track Review OUTgoing
by Budd Kopman
Published: January 31, 2017
Read "Old Locks And Irregular Verbs" CD/LP/Track Review Old Locks And Irregular Verbs
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 18, 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!