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The Blue Noise Band: Multi-Purpose

Mark Corroto By

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The music, call it jazz, The Blue Noise Band plays is like a joy ride in a stolen car, all good fun, that is till someone gets hurt. Jazz today is supposed to be about traditional family values like the blues and swing. Boys, boys...why be so hurtful to Stanley Crouch and Albert Murray?

I’ll tell you why, because jazz was/is supposed to rattle our collective cages. Make you cogitate. Armstrong did it (Pops, not cycling hero Lance), Trane, Cecil, Duke, and Miles also stirred controversy. While today, ‘nothing’s shocking’ (sez Jane), The Blue Noise boys are itchin’ for a fight. Like Texan Ornette Coleman, their music dares you to destroy their instruments as they atomize genres.

Taking their cues from New York’s Downtown scene, the band food processes Multi-ethnic music with punk/show/free/jam/funk grooves (I had more but ran out of these ‘/’). But can this music survive outside of Manhattan? Sure it can, just as listeners hip to Balkan wedding music in Akron also have their ska filed next to Hal Russell records. Mixing and matching as this Texas band does, give us hope all hasn’t relented to George Bush’s executioner’s songs.

Where does this music come from? Jazz musicians with good ears, not in denial of their roots, i.e. growing up with schoolhouse rock, Zappa, Bob Marley, and pop. That’s how on “Soibois,” they can update traditional organ jazz as a detective mystery and Saxophonist David Lobel comes straight out of the ska band Madness’ – “One Step Beyond” school, wielding a circus groove on “Visitor II” while the band digs Frankenstein. Their Blue Noise is that of Naked City on the stop/start: “Cookies,” a surf-sped romp turned waltz with a very good Y Eye imitation scream (actually it’s an imitation of Eye’s Scream, not an imitation scream. Is that possible?). “Ricky Ricardo’s Balkan Dance Party” is Masada-like with trumpeter Dave Wolfe blowing hot over Govinda’s electric violin in a kind of Zorn meets electric Miles world. Adrian Quesada’s guitar remind me of early (can I say this?) Charlie Hunter, a groove-influenced sound that often spans a Secret Agent Man feel. The two tracks that define this disc are the freeform “Metro Section,” an improvised semi-free jam, and “Ballet Inferno” in which Tom Benton’s bass opens with a conservatory classical feeling. The sheer gracefulness of this chamber work contrasts “Metro Section” with the brilliance of its pure energy. Where is real jazz coming from these days? Right here, just as John Coltrane was moved by African and Indian music, today’s extra absorbent musician has to acknowledge the influence of Blakey, Bartok, and the Butthole Surfers. Website: www.bluenoiseband.com.

Track List:Pinhead; DBD; Ricky Ricardo’s Balkan Dance Party; Soibois; Visitor II; Ballet Inferno; Cookies; A Multi Purpose Solution; Metro Section..


Personnel: David Lobel

Title: Multi-Purpose | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Aerosol


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