310

Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls: Seize The Time

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Ted Sirota's Rebel Souls: Seize The Time To call this Rebel Souls disc ambitious is not an overstatement, and to label drummer Ted Sirota and company bold, does not unnecessarily over-dramatize their mission. Seize The Time is the band's fifth disc, of which three prior releases were also on UK's NAIM—Rebel Roots (1996), Propaganda (1999) and Vs. The Forces Of Evil (2000)—preceding the US-released Breeding Resistance (Delmark, 2004).

Not one to hold his tongue, Sirota, like all great agitators, lets his voice be heard through his art. Here he pays tribute to musicians that have inspired him, from Charles Mingus, to Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Joe Strummer, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, Caetano Veloso, and Miriam Makeba. Utilizing both cover music and inspired new compositions, the point is made. Protest music is soul music, reggae, and certainly jazz.

The lineup of the Rebel Souls has changed over the years. Past members have included Jeff Parker, Rob Mazurek, Noel Kupersmith, and Jeb Bishop. The current roster contains musicians to keep an eye on, as the music is both top rate and engaging.

The disc opens with The Clash's "Clampdown." But not the "let fury have the hour, anger can be power" oppressive Strummer sound. Guitarist Dave Miller's arrangements takes more of a lyrical approach, layering the music into a grand gesture, but retaining all the passion of the original rock anthem.

Certainly the jazz perspective here is an outsider's slant and there is no need to shout the protest from the rooftops. Jazz has always been the hippest way to make a point. The band swings a straight jazz cover on Mingus' "Free Cell Block F, 'Tis Nazi U.S.A.," and invokes a reggae/dub echo for Sirota's "Killa Dilla." The drummer even takes a few minutes to lay down a Max Roach tribute drum solo on "Viva Max!," with Roach's familiar, euphonious and muscular sound.

The disc traverses multiple styles, continents and languages. Brazilian guitarist Caetano Veloso's "13 De Maio" opens with percussion and hand-claps, later there is the traditional American sound of Stephen Foster's "Hard Times" and the Ornette Coleman-inspired ""J.Y.D.," and then it's off to South Africa for Miriam Makeba's "Polo Mze."

The highlight of the disc might, however, be Miller's simple prayer, "Tollway." Here, Geof Bradfield's bass clarinet oozes in and around the guitarist and Jake Vinsel's walking bass, making for a slow burning poem.

We can be certain it is a protest poem.


Track Listing: Clampdown; 13 De Maio; Free Cell Block F, 'Tis Nazi U.S.A.; Hard Times (Come Again No More); Killa Dilla; Tollway; Viva Max! (Improvised Drums Solo); J.Y.D.; Polo MZE Pt. 1; Polo MZE Pt. 2; Little D; The Keys To Freedom.

Personnel: Geof Bradfield: tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Dave Miller: guitar; Jake Vinsel: acoustic bass, electric bass; Ted Sirota: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Naim Label | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "December Songs" CD/LP/Track Review December Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Tales From A Forbidden Land" CD/LP/Track Review Tales From A Forbidden Land
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Classic! Live at Newport" CD/LP/Track Review Classic! Live at Newport
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 8, 2016
Read "Parachute" CD/LP/Track Review Parachute
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "The Volume Surrounding the Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding the Task
by John Eyles
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Cave Art" CD/LP/Track Review Cave Art
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: August 20, 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!