286

Broken Things: Swim To The River

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Broken Things: Swim To The River Whether your daily travels consist of trails through a sprawling metropolis or remote terrains, Swim To The River has the spirit of being on the "open range, with elements of rural and earthy soundscapes. These trails however, are denoted not only with the feel of the outback, but also folk, rock, free jazz, and accessible melodies performed by the Chicago-based group Broken Things.

Led by guitarist Bill MacKay, the group formerly known as Sounds of Now (Self Produced, 2005) continues to evolve. Whiles things seem more focused and lyrical there's also more of what keeps them interesting: the ability to not sound like a jazz group as they cultivate their own music. Seemingly drawing inspiration from influences ranging from pianist Alice Coltrane to rockers Led Zeppelin, they succeed in avoiding being defined by any particular genre.

There are good harmonies from the two front voices of MacKay and saxophonist Greg Ward, and taut support from drummer Tim Daisy and bassists Jason Ajemian and Todd Hill, who split bass duties on the six tracks. "Doll Mountain Rag has a familiar Midwestern flair, while the "Broken Things slowly emerges, informed of both roots and rock music as MacKay delivers a nice chorded solo.

From south of the border comes the "1919 Molasses Tragedy, an interesting tune with good interaction and rich instrument timbres. Next is a favorite called "Water's Edge, containing a darker theme, free solos, and an ending that literally slays—with an Ozzy Osborn/Metallica head-banging riff and Ward delivering another hot solo.

"Keep A Secret is an upbeat piece that takes off and soars, while "The Reservoir sinks to the bottom, then gets down and dirty with a nice blues groove. The road to success for many musicians is paved with good intentions (and not enough originality) and it's cool that Bill MacKay and Broken Things are following their own path.

Track Listing: Doll Mountain Rag; Broken Things; 1919 Molasses Tragedy; Water's Edge; Keep a Secret; The Reservoir.

Personnel: Bill MacKay: guitars; Greg Ward: alto saxophone; Todd Hill: bass (2, 3, 6); Tim Daisy: drums; Jason Ajemian: bass: (1, 4, 5).

Title: Swim To The River | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends CD/LP/Track Review Albert Mangelsdorff And His Friends
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Heaven On Their Minds CD/LP/Track Review Heaven On Their Minds
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Unnatural  Events CD/LP/Track Review Unnatural Events
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Rediscovered Ellington CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by James Nadal
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Clean CD/LP/Track Review Clean
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 15, 2017
Read Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations CD/LP/Track Review Expedition: Duo Electro-Acoustic Improvisations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "New Affirmation" CD/LP/Track Review New Affirmation
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Stage 'N Studio" CD/LP/Track Review Stage 'N Studio
by Jerome Wilson
Published: August 8, 2017
Read "Negative Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Negative Spaces
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "Salt Task" CD/LP/Track Review Salt Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "Radioactive Landscapes EP" CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.