126

The Four Bags: The Four Bags

Mike Neely By

Sign in to view read count
The Four Bags: The Four Bags The Four Bags is delightfully demented group with a tongue in cheek humor that sometimes has a way of distracting the listener from how good these bags really are. The Four Bags include an accordionist, a trombonist, a guitarist, and a sax & clarinetist. Besides this odd instrumentation they also have an oddly eclectic sense of what means music. Their range moves from Parisian cafe schmaltz, to pseudo film noir tough guy stuff, to a brilliant instrumental arrangement of the Beach Boys “Good Vibrations” to a an cabaret/operetta vocal version of one of the Jim Morrison’s famous stinkers (words by Brecht) entitled “Alabama Song.” That song happens to be his Next Whisky Bar anthem that will probably make you cringe in memory of just how ridiculous the Doors could be at their worst. After their Bonzo Doggish forays, it is interesting that the follow up tune to their occasional goofiness is sometimes a beautifully arranged and played jazz piece such as Mike McGinnis’ “Distance.” Tom Aldrich’s “Sketch” approaches 20th century classical music.

This wildly eclectic CD is sprinkled with beautifully composed pieces. In many ways this a composer/arranger’s recording. The ensemble work is impressive; the solos are generally concise and their sense of humor is pervasive. Whenever the musicians do stretch out as in “Se Queen” the players prove to be as good as you imagined they would be if only they gave themselves the chance. With a rhythm section that intertwines among the accordion, the guitar, and the trombone, there is a lightness of touch that often highlights a dialog between two instruments. This is a high quality recording that presents the individual musicians to good advantage. At times I wished they’d make up their mind and decide to either do a totally comic recording or take themselves more seriously and do a straight jazz/classical focused CD. It sounds to me that The Four Bags are both funnier and better musicians/composers than they give themselves credit. This is an interesting recording, and who knows what these guys might do next.


Track Listing: Trevoga; K-Lounge; Good Vibrations; Distance; Family Vacation; Sketch; Here Today; Se Queen; The Quarry; Alabama Song; Interlude; and Banco Popular.

Personnel: The Four Bags are: Brian Drye, trombone; Tom Aldrich, accordion; Sean Moran, guitar; Mike McGinnis, saxophone & clarinet. On the only vocal track of the CD, guest vocalist Lainie Diamond sings

Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Four Bags, The | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Gil Evans Gil Evans
composer/conductor
Greg Osby Greg Osby
saxophone
Mike Moreno Mike Moreno
guitar
Rez Abbasi Rez Abbasi
guitar
Joel Harrison Joel Harrison
guitar, electric
Brian Patneaude Brian Patneaude
sax, tenor
Terry Plumeri Terry Plumeri
bass, acoustic
Meg Okura Meg Okura
violin
Gunther Schuller Gunther Schuller
composer/conductor
Derek Smith Derek Smith
drums, steel

More Articles

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 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 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 "Heavy Feel" CD/LP/Track Review Heavy Feel
by Doug Collette
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis" CD/LP/Track Review Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Handel:  Complete Harpsichord Music" CD/LP/Track Review Handel: Complete Harpsichord Music
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 2, 2016
Read "Musings" CD/LP/Track Review Musings
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 22, 2016
Read "George DeLancey" CD/LP/Track Review George DeLancey
by James Nadal
Published: August 23, 2016
Read "Slag" CD/LP/Track Review Slag
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 29, 2017

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!