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 was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.