All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

11

Free Nelson Mandoomjazz: The Shape of Doomjazz to Come / Saxophone Giganticus

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Free Nelson Mandoomjazz is one hellacious trio led by Rebecca Sneddon on alto saxophone with bassist Colin Stewart and a bone-crunching drummer credited only as Archibald, and herewith explodes onto the global music scene with a single-disc that pairs their EPsThe Shape of Doomjazz to Come and Saxophone Giganticus.

From their base in Edinburgh (Scotland), Free Nelson Mandoomjazz proves equally versed in the heaviest of heavy metal (including and especially Black Sabbath) and the most free of free jazz (including and especially saxophonists Albert Ayler and Ornette Coleman). Each EP obviously nods with a wink toward pillars of the modern jazz cannon—Coleman's The Shape of Jazz to Come (1959, Atlantic) and Sonny Rollins' Saxophone Colossus (1956, Prestige)—while the band's name is at least partial tribute to South African freedom fighter Nelson Mandela. But other points of reference for Doomjazz/Giganticus aren't as easy to find.

Sneddon's alto seems to constantly switch between playing with and playing against the bass and drums. In several tunes, like "Into the Sky," the rhythm drops completely away to leave saxophone whispering and whistling alone in a dark sonic graveyard; in others, like "The Masque of the Red Death," alto swaps roles with bass to flow through more melodic playing churned by sharp bass improvisation. Bassist Stewart strums more reflectively to begin the not quite as vicious as it sounds "No One Fucking Posts to the UAE" before rocking its rhythm back and forth so solidly that it frees Sneddon to play wherever and however she pleases.

Doomjazz/Giganticus concludes with music written by or in honor of Domenico Scarlatti, Sonny Rollins and Black Sabbath. Stewart plays walking lines so fast they turn "K54" (inspired by Scarlatti's "Sonata K54") into a tumbling run timed by Archibald's whipcrack snare and closed in a lovely coda. "Saxophone Giganticus" repeats its blues stomp over and over until its sound seems to grow monstrously big and deep, like Pink Floyd nursing an electric blues grudge. They close with Sneddon abstractly sketching the leadoff and ultimate track from Black Sabbath's eponymous 1970 debut (Warner Bros.).

What, no "21st Century Schizoid Man"?

Jazz is sometimes criticized by fans of other musical styles for being too intellectual and not as visceral as blues or rock can be. Free Nelson Mandoomjazz shatters that criticism to pieces with rhythms that rip from deep and powerful places, and land so hard in your ears that you feel their punch in your guts.

Track Listing: Where My Soul Can Be Free; Into the Sky; The Masque of the Red Death; No One Fucking Posts to the UAE; K54; Saxophone Giganticus; Black Sabbath.

Personnel: Rebecca Sneddon: alto sax; Colin Stewart: bass; Archibald: drums.

Title: The Shape of Doomjazz to Come / Saxophone Giganticus | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: RareNoiseRecords

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Fullmoon CD/LP/Track Review
Fullmoon
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Arise! CD/LP/Track Review
Arise!
by Chris May
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Plus One CD/LP/Track Review
Plus One
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Oscar Peterson Plays CD/LP/Track Review
Oscar Peterson Plays
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 23, 2018
Read State Of The Baritone Volume 2 CD/LP/Track Review
State Of The Baritone Volume 2
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 23, 2018
Read "Surface of Inscription" CD/LP/Track Review Surface of Inscription
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 21, 2017
Read "Pekka" CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: October 26, 2017
Read "Mandala" CD/LP/Track Review Mandala
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 28, 2017
Read "Live At Jazz Room Cortez" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Jazz Room Cortez
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 14, 2017
Read "Contra la indecision" CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 10, 2018
Read "Straight Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Forward
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 14, 2018