All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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

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

Catching Up With
CD/LP/Track Review
My Favourite Things
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

Related Articles

Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Vol II CD/LP/Track Review
Vol II
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Months, Weeks and Days CD/LP/Track Review
Months, Weeks and Days
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Space Is The Place CD/LP/Track Review
Space Is The Place
by James Fleming
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Poetry in Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Poetry in Motion
by Liz Goodwin
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Murals CD/LP/Track Review
Murals
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "Second Act" CD/LP/Track Review Second Act
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 23, 2017
Read "Solo" CD/LP/Track Review Solo
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 11, 2018
Read "Where Is My Mind?" CD/LP/Track Review Where Is My Mind?
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 11, 2017
Read "One of a Kind" CD/LP/Track Review One of a Kind
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "Heliosonic Toneways Vol. 1" CD/LP/Track Review Heliosonic Toneways Vol. 1
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: May 14, 2018
Read "Paint" CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 7, 2017