On this new release we are once again treated to the collaboration of American guitarist, humorist and steadfast improviser, Eugene Chadbourne with the dynamic hard hitting Italian modern jazz quartet known as “Zu”. For their second effort, wittily titled Motorhellington, this quintet now sees good reason to parody leather clad heavy metal warriors; “Black Sabbath” and “Motorhead” along with pieces by Jobim, Mingus and others. Essentially, “ZU” pursues somewhat of an unlikely track mix, as the liners indicate that the band also performed works by Duke Ellington during their recent European tour. Hence the title Motorh(ead)Ellington.
What a joy to hear Chadbourne sing the lyrics to Sabbath’s “Iron Man”, atop bone crunching rhythms and a blaring horn section or check out their hard rock/modern jazz spin on Don Covay’s pop classic, “Chain of Fools” and James Brown’s funked up -“Sex Machine”. Sure, Chadboune isn’t an accomplished vocalist, however the band’s sometimes-zany approach and clever arrangements provide the recipe for a stimulating listening experience. Yet the word is out, that this aggregation has been tearing it up via their recent European performances as they ceaselessly find novel ways to incorporate jazzy motifs with a high impact and electrified mode of operation. Recommended!
I love jazz because it's sophisticated, international, atmospheric yet free, cool and warm.
I was first exposed to jazz through the sultry voice and flawless swing of my mother.
I met Mark Murphy, David Linx, Kurt Elling, and Youn Sun Nah.
The best show I ever attended was Youn Sun Nah in Paris.
The first jazz record I bought was Native Dancer by Wayne Shorter and Milton Nascimento
My advice to new listeners: open your mind and your ears, forget about structure, feel the textures.
Go see live music and keep buying CDs!