414

Club d'Elf: Perhapsody Live 10.12.06

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Title: Perhapsody Live 10.12.06 | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Kufala Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Sounding Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 16, 2017
Read "Live North America 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Live North America 2016
by Doug Collette
Published: March 18, 2017
Read "Putting Off Death" CD/LP/Track Review Putting Off Death
by Glenn Astarita
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "Days Are Not Days" CD/LP/Track Review Days Are Not Days
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Unfiltered Universe" CD/LP/Track Review Unfiltered Universe
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 29, 2017
Read "Random Acts of Order" CD/LP/Track Review Random Acts of Order
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor