414

Club d'Elf: Perhapsody Live 10.12.06

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Club d'Elf: Perhapsody Live 10.12.06 A floating ensemble in every best sense of the word, Club d'Elf is tethered to bassist Mike Rivard and the more or less house rhythm section from Rivard's extended residency at the Lizard Lounge, a progressive if not experimental music club in Boston. After releasing numerous live albums—the best laboratory for their mainly improvised, genre-munching music—they released their first studio album, Now I Understand (Accurate), in late 2006. What did they do at their studio album release party? Why, perform and record it for another live album—Perhapsody, a double-CD set that overflows with jam.

Most tunes led by Tom Hall's tenor saxophone suggest jazz fusion hijacked into more adventurous (and sometimes dangerous) territory. Hall's sax shapes the structure and leads the instrumentation of "Life of the Mind," for example, even though the music those instruments are actually playing sounds more attuned to experimental hip-hop and funk. He later leads the almost jolly yet crumpled bop melody of Steve Bernstein's "Cave Man," kicked by Erik Kerr's whipcrack snare drum down the echoing corridor of Rivard's bass heartbeat, which shifts into a thick jungle vamp for a middle section that seems designed to let the music breathe, culminating in a Rivard / Kerr dialogue/diatribe that bombdrops atomic funk.

Like quicksilver, the rest of this moves even more all over the place than that. Several longer tunes (such as "Sin Gas" and the title track) explore collective electric rock/jazz improvisations. "Berber Song" may be based on a form of traditional Moroccan folk music but its frantic lead guitar, clattering backdrop and rhythmic churn exemplify the busy-ness of modern American life. Similarly, "Jar of Hair" rocks hard through music that doesn't even come close to rock 'n' roll, as Rivard's bass seems to play "Tag—you're it! with Kerr's drum patterns under the cover of an electric guitar psychedelic freak-out.

I've been listening to Perhapsody for several consecutive weeks and still haven't figured out how to explain or describe this music. Which is probably the most honest and accurate Club d'Elf review of all.


Track Listing: CD1: Intro/Bass Beatbox; Sin Gas; Perhapsody; Life Of The Mind; Amazing Prelude; Berber Song; Goblin Garden; The Tingler; Hungry Ghosts. CD2: Cave Man; That Is My Voice; Salvia Pt. I; Salvia Pt. II; Jar Of Hair; Softly; Sand.

Personnel: Mike Rivard: electric bass, acoustic bass, electronic tamboura, acoustic bass, sintir; Dave Tronzo: slide guitar, prepared guitar; Duke Levine: guitar, electric sitar; Mister Rourke: turntables; John Medeski: keyboards; Erik Kerr: drums; Tom Hall: tenor saxophone; Tom Halter: trumpet.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Kufala Recordings | Style: Jam Band


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Innri" CD/LP/Track Review Innri
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Voyage Home" CD/LP/Track Review Voyage Home
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "As it Was" CD/LP/Track Review As it Was
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 18, 2016
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Ten" CD/LP/Track Review Ten
by Jeff Winbush
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972" CD/LP/Track Review Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!