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Eddie the Rat is the group moniker for San Francisco-based multi-instrumentalist Peter Martin and his merry quartet. With the band's seventh release, they continue to etch a niche sound that truly does provide a mark of distinction. Think of a modern day John Cage delving into avant-garde, progressive-rock and pop music amid the odd-metered time signatures, thrusting percussion vamps and unlikely instrumentation.
With an unorthodox assortment of implements, Martin looms as a true multitasking artist, where he simultaneously performs on piano, bass drum and cajon. And while his music is organic and earthy, the largely acoustic format doesn't imply that the ensemble doesn't pack a punch. However, vocalist Molly Tascone does smooth out the impacting parts with her dainty recorder lines and whispery vocals. But it's an uncanny blend of ostinato motifs, quaint interludes and offbeat folk musings that partly serve as the unit's emblematic modus operandi.
On "Out Behind The 8-Ball," Tascone's understated vocals ride atop pumping rhythms and contrasted by a freaky Amazonian tribal ritual. Moreover, they impart a punkish pop theme, awash with Martin's avant, classical piano voicings during "March of the Haydevil (Don't Apologize for Universal Law pt. 2)." Here, they depict a fine line between childlike innocence and destructiveness. In other areas, they dish out programmatic cadences, thrashing world beat grooves, and multilayered oddities. Simply stated: hearing is believing.
Track Listing: My Little Red Stungun; Lela, My Familiar; The Closet People; Out Behind the 8 Ball; Pete
Townshend Is My Dad; (Once Again, This Time Around The) Aphedonia Blooze; Place Your
Head On the Brick; Don't Kill the Black Chicken; March of the Haydevil; Slither at the Stem;
Dance of the Puzzle Pieces; Farewell to Edgar
12. Farewell to Edgar
Personnel: Peter Martin: vocals, piano (hands), cajon (left foot), bass drum (right foot), gangsa, tingkik;
Molly Tascone: vocals, woodwinds, xylophone, steel drum; Ronnie Camaro: bass; Dan Ake:
assorted percussion, power tools.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.