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 in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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