Dustin Laurenzi: Snaketime: The Music Of MoondogBy
Laurenzi leads the quartet Natural Language, contributes to the trio Twin Talk, as well as performing with the indie folk band Bon Iver. His tenor saxophone is seemingly always the quiet voice (of reason) on the bandstand. With this exploration of Moondog's music he brings his rational approach, playing and skilled arrangements to these seven covers. Recorded live in 2018, this project is realized with a current Who's Who of Chicago improvisers.
Opening with "Nero's Expedition," bass clarinetist Jason Stein carries the melody over the percussion cavalcade of Quin Kirchner and Ryan Packard. The ensemble joins, layering the quirky melody as if braiding a lengthy carpet. Laurenzi takes great care to preserve the integrity of Moondog's compositions. You may have heard "Lament 1 (Bird's Lament)," written for Charlie Parker; a few years ago, it was played on an almost continuous loop as an automobile commercial. It may be the perfect example of Moondog's contrapuntal sound, with Laurenzi, alto saxophonist Nick Mazzarella and trumpeter Chad McCullough crossing the melodic lines over the infectious percussive attack. Moondog favored Native American rhythms, which he heard as a youngster in Kansas at the feet of Arapaho Chief Yellow Calf. Those sounds can be heard on "All Is Loneliness" and "Remember." Laurenzi's arrangements untangle the complex, making the music very simple, yet very demanding at the same time. The disc ends with an open-ended interpretation of "Lullaby," with Stein's bass clarinet squawking over Dave Miller's pinging guitar and the orchestral tidal flow of the other bandmates. This feels like a fitting end to this most excellent tribute.
Nero’s Expedition; Lament 1 (Bird's Lament); Remember; Fiesta Piano Solo; Down Is Up; All Is Loneliness; Lullaby.
Chad McCullough: trumpet; Nick Mazzarella: alto saxophone; Dustin Laurenzi: tenor saxophone; Jason Stein: bass clarinet; Dave Miller: guitar; Matt Ulery: bass; Quin Kirchner: drums, percussion; Ryan Packard: drums, percussion.
Title: Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Astral Spirits
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About Dustin Laurenzi
Instrument: Saxophone, tenorArticle Coverage | Calendar | Albums | Photos | Similar Artists