This San Francisco-based unit proves that rock music is free-game and is not exclusive to high-volume antics and memorably melodic hooks. With odd instrumentation and influences that seemingly span legendary Canterbury prog-band Henry Cow and renegade composer John Cage, the music is partly schizoid but structured.
The ensemble morphs minimalism with elements of grunge rock with variable flows consisting of tinker bell-like maneuvers and synchronous percussion movements. Some of these works communicate notions of the macabre firmed-up by Ronnie Camaro's fat bass lines and the occasional conveyance of angst. Yet the overall weirdness of this band's line of attack provides the endearing qualities.
The group renders quirky and quaint passages, but occasionally turns up the heat via thumping rhythmic structures, where notions of an avant-garde tribal dance come to mind. In various spots, they build themes against fractured ostinatos. And on the title track a flute-like sound appears atop a barrage of what appears to sound like a consortium of Jews harpsalthough none of the band members are credited with using either instrument.
This unit defies any strict semblance of categorization, and that's a good thing these days. Listening to Once Around The Butterfly Bush might be akin to experiencing an organic high that fools the mind's eye with a barrage of unusual sounds and implementations. The band's methodology is unlike any othera strangely appealing endeavor, for sure.
Track Listing: Anamnesis #1; Mu (Unask The Question); Dim; There's No such Place As Outer Space; I Spy A Human Inside Of You; Chasing The Sun; Shortcut; Once Around The Butterfly Bush; Anamnesis #2.
Personnel: Dan Ake: LoBro, Spike, 2x6; Ronnie Camaro: bass, vocals; Peter J. Martin: piano, cajon (left foot), bass drum (right foot), vocals, Balinese gangsa, Long-Boy, Proto, bowls; Molly Tascone: vocals, recorder, glockenspiel, steel drum, oil drum, triangle.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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