133

Sean Noonan: Stories to Tell

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
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 guitarist Marc Ribot, violist Mat Maneri and percussionist Jim Pugliese supply passionate performances to an already assertive set.

Songs like "Esspi" and "Urban Mbalax" bounce along with an Africanized lilt, buoyed by Abdoulaye Diabate's impassioned griot vocals. Conversely, "No Strings Attached" and "Dr. Sleepytime" exude atmospheric, pensive blues, with understated contributions from Mat Maneri and Marc Ribot. Other tunes, like "Scabies" and "NY," revel in caterwauling guitars unleashing waves of distortion and feedback over angular rhythms. Blending ethnic polyrhythms with No Wave noise and robotic Downtown funk, Noonan has tapped into a sub-genre with roots that run deep in the Lower East Side.

The interlocking guitars of Marc Ribot, Jon Madof and Aram Bajakian parry and feint with fervent intensity across the album. Occasionally this torrent of screaming distortion invokes overwrought stadium rock excess. Sometimes enthralling, at other times a bit overwhelming, the visceral charms of such force are undeniable.

Other than a few slight missteps, such as a clumsy merger of late-night funk and electronic percussion on the metaphorical love song "Pineapple," the majority of Stories to Tell is a compelling listen. It may sound schizophrenic on first spin, but on subsequent rounds one can hear a developing artist finding his voice. Expect to hear more from Noonan in the future.

Track Listing: Massana Cissé; Esspi; Noonbrews; Connection; Urban Mbalax; No Strings Attached; NY; Pineapple; Scabies; Dr. Sleepytime.

Personnel: Sean Noonan: electro-acoustic drumset; Marc Ribot, Aram Bajakian, Jon Madof: electric guitars; Mat Maner: viola; Thierno Camara: electric bass, vocals, percussion; Abdoulaye Diabate, Susan McKeown, Dawn Padmore: vocals; Jim Pugliese, Thiokho Diagne: percussion.

Title: Stories to Tell | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Pussy Cat's Gone Wild

Pussy Cat's Gone Wild

Sean Noonan
Man No Longer Me

Bruised by Noon Bout 3

Bruised by Noon Bout 3

Sean Noonan
Sean Noonan Bruised by Noon

Album Reviews
Catching Up With
Album Reviews
My Favourite Things
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Aqua Diva

The Aqua Diva

noonansmusic
2018

buy
Man No Longer Me

Man No Longer Me

Haldern Pop Recordings
2017

buy
In the Ring

In the Ring

Unknown label
2014

buy
Bruised by Noon

Bruised by Noon

Unknown label
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Phalanx Ambassadors Album Reviews
Phalanx Ambassadors
By Troy Dostert
June 26, 2019
Read When Will The Blues Leave Album Reviews
When Will The Blues Leave
By John Ephland
June 26, 2019
Read Nothing Here Belongs Album Reviews
Nothing Here Belongs
By Jerome Wilson
June 26, 2019
Read Gods Of Apollo Album Reviews
Gods Of Apollo
By Roger Farbey
June 26, 2019
Read Migrations Album Reviews
Migrations
By Dan McClenaghan
June 25, 2019
Read Samba Azul Album Reviews
Samba Azul
By Mackenzie Horne
June 25, 2019
Read Blue Waltz - Live at Gustavs Album Reviews
Blue Waltz - Live at Gustavs
By Jakob Baekgaard
June 25, 2019