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ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Noonan: The Aqua Diva

Read "The Aqua Diva" reviewed by Don Phipps

Surreal, comic, wistful, and whimsical, Sean Noonan's The Aqua Diva provides a unique journey into a world that is part Tom Waits, part Mose Allison, part Frank Zappa, and a whole lot of Sean Noonan. Noonan articulates and sings odd ditties and lyrics which introduce us to the Aqua Diva, Bubbles, the Smoking Man, and other strange and colorful personas. He is joined on his musical expose by Alex Marcelo on piano and Peter Bitenc on bass. On ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Sean Noonan: Not Simply Beating a Dead Horse Drum

Read "Sean Noonan: Not Simply Beating a Dead Horse Drum" reviewed by Phillip Woolever

Composer and drummer Sean Noonan is an explorer, charting many edges of the compositional frontier. The term unique does not quite cover the range of his thoughtful, abstract approach to musical narrative.Edgy is often the operative theme in Noonan's repertoire, gleamed from studious sojourns to distant cultures and locales. Noonan's results take form in string-based dreamscapes or saxophone solos layered over Parliament/Funkadelic style aqua-grooves. His beats can cover science fiction, pounding punk and orchestral visions on Frank Zappa.

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Noonan: Man No Longer Me

Read "Man No Longer Me" reviewed by Matt Hooke

From the first bass notes of “Man Vs. Machine" the opening track from Sean Noonan's Man No Longer Me it's obvious that this isn't your average jazz fusion record. The Irish American Noonan combines West African rhythms, with jazz harmony, and the absurdist humor and attitude of Frank Zappa, making this release a welcome respite from the tepid “Berklee Funk" that often populates jazz fusion. The album is based on the loose concept of a man's transformation into ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Noonan: Man No Longer Me

Read "Man No Longer Me" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

Drummer and self-declared Storyteller Sean Noonan's body of work draws from a variety of different music and poetry of past and present. Having explored various musical cultures in the past, Noonan feels as much as home with cutting edge distorted punk riffs as he does with mellow Jazz Fusion or even chamber music. On his most recent outing Man No Longer Me he combines his entire catalogue of approaches and fuses it to a homogenous whole. Spoken word arrangements meet ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Noonan: Man No Longer Me

Read "Man No Longer Me" reviewed by Chris Mosey

Man No Longer Me is about the transformation of a man who gets tickled by a sunbeam one morning on a mountain top and who, as the story progresses, wanders and gets lost in a desert and transforms into a coyote. All clear, so far? New York avant-garde drummer Sean Noonan's incoherent, barely musical ramblings were born from “harmolodic jazz, bleeding-edge rock and avant-garde classical music. “He is a modern day ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Noonan: A Gambler's Hand

Read "A Gambler's Hand" reviewed by Florence Wetzel

Drummer Sean Noonan's A Gambler's Hand is an innovative musical suite that explores the world of a compulsive Irish gambler who finds himself trapped inside a wall. The project was conceived during a period when Noonan lived in a basement apartment and had a mysterious next-door neighbor; a man he never saw but could often hear screaming and pounding on the walls. Noonan thought perhaps his music and drumming would comfort the man, so he tried to communicate with him ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Noonan's Brewed by Noon: Boxing Dreams

Read "Boxing Dreams" reviewed by Matt Marshall

There's a solid history of jazz supplying the soundtrack for boxing. In fact, Jack Dempsey, and boxing in general, was one of the sporting kings of the jazz age. But while Miles Davis gamely tried to string boxing along as he pushed jazz forward, both art forms have seen better days--in terms of popularity--than those they now find before them. Thankfully, Sean Noonan hasn't gotten the notice of surrender. The latest offering from his Brewed by Noon outfit ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Noonan: Being Brewed By Noon

Read "Being Brewed By Noon" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Few musicians since Miles Davis have had such a penchant for boxing as drummer Sean Noonan--the CD photos for Being Brewed by Noon show him bedecked in all the trappings of the sport, and he boxes with a pumpkin-headed monster in the video version of “Pumpkinhead Part 2" in the accompanying DVD.This new record is not so much the boxer's follow-up to the fine Stories to Tell (Songlines, 2006) as it is a second kick at the same ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Noonan: Stories to Tell

Read "Stories to Tell" reviewed by Budd Kopman

Stories To Tell by drummer Sean Noonan and his Brewed By Noon group is a perfect example of what that much abused word, fusion, should be about. Here we find a grand mix of various world musics, including West African, which is music Noonan clearly loves and Celtic/Gaelic, which is from Noonan's ethnic roots.Added to this rather eclectic mix is the notion of storytelling in both the African and Irish traditions as obviously represented by the use of ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Noonan: Stories to Tell

Read "Stories to Tell" reviewed by Florence Wetzel

Stories to Tell, by drummer Sean Noonan's group Brewed by Noon, offers a funky feast of music. An eclectic mix of jazz, rock and world music, the ten cuts on the CD draw on many cultures and influences, creating a combination that defies categorization. There's also a lot of humor; witness Aram Bajakian's liner notes, which begin, “Sean Noonan kicks my ass." But don't be fooled by the irreverence and informality--Stories to Tell is bursting with talented musicians and interesting ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

Sean Noonan Brewed By Noon: Stories To Tell

Read "Sean Noonan Brewed By Noon: Stories To Tell" reviewed by Jeff Dayton-Johnson

Sean Noonan Brewed By Noon Stories To Tell Songlines 2006

The electric guitar has now been around in jazz for more years than it wasn't, but it still sometimes sounds like the organism might reject the graft. This has nothing to do with a shortage of great jazz players: for pure supple beauty one need go no further than Oscar Moore's solo, at once crystalline and labyrinthine, on the Nat King Cole ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Sean Noonan: Stories to Tell

Read "Stories to Tell" reviewed by Troy Collins

Percussionist Sean Noonan's Songlines debut, Stories to Tell, is an early contender for one of 2007's most eclectic releases. A mind-bendingly diverse blend of West African song-forms, Gaelic folk melodies, urban funk rhythms, blazing electric guitars and raucous Downtown free jazz, Noonan's eponymous ensemble is as multifaceted as post-modernism gets.

With a self-released session from 2005 to its credit, Noonan's original lineup is joined by a number of high-profile guest musicians on this sophomore effort. Downtown icons like ...