Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

431

Sons of Armegeddon: The Softest Touch

By

Sign in to view read count
Sons of Armegeddon: The Softest Touch Defying distinct categorization, The Softest Touch, the newest release by the Denver-based Sons of Armageddon, combines a dense layering of electronic, electro-acoustic, electronically altered, and "live acoustic sounds in an artistically compelling musical patchwork. Upon an initial listen you may dismiss it as just another "paint by numbers electronica recording. Subsequent spins will raise it above any common categorization, and what you will discover is that the various samples, loops, and other electronically generated sounds serve a real artistic purpose other than merely providing a complex, repetitive, and mind-numbing rhythmic matrix.

The group draws upon numerous exotic musical resources that grab and hold your attention and create a textural weave. The trumpet playing (in particular) of Kirk Knuffke and sax playing of Dav Poli Hoof wind their improvised threads of musical thought as both soloists and parts of the overall texture.

In many ways what you hear on The Softest Touch is a compendium of jazz influenced by electronics going back to the work of Miles Davis and Weather Report of the 1970s, through the acid jazz and jazz-house styles of the 1990s, and into the 21st Century. Reggae, dub, and hip-hop beats and bass lines are also thrown into the mix. All eight of the compositions on the CD are interesting, but two selections stand out: the opening cut, "Ripe Watermelon, and "The Diddler. "Ripe Watermelon is an excellent opening number with strong drumming by Cameron "Slammy Thompson and wonderfully "weird vocal and spoken sounds, all creating a background behind Knuffke's trumpet. The "Diddler also features a fine Knuffke trumpet solo; Tim Hochman also pulls off an excellent Jaco Pastorious-influenced bass feature backed by relatively thin-textured percussion and electric piano accompaniment.

Jazz aficionados who enjoy opening themselves to new and different sonic experiences—especially those that incorporate steady heavy beats and bass lines with creative uses of electronic sounds and improvisation—will find The Softest Touch a welcome listening experience.


Track Listing: Ripe Watermelon, Hoels, E.S. Smothered, Shambles Factory, Wall Street Colonel, Dubya, The Diddler, A Thousand Kisses Deep

Personnel: Mark Prather, samples, percussion, machines, G4 and production; Lewis DJ Lewps Keller, turn table, laptop, theremin, synths, melodica, production; Tim Hochman, bass; Cameron "Slammy" Thompson, drums; Kirk Knuffke, trumpet; Dav Poli Hoof, alto saxophone, vocals, electronics; David Devine, guitar, prepared guitar, electronics

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Magic Pony Records | Style: Electronica


Shop

More Articles

Read Umbrella Weather CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Born In An Urban Ruin CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs) CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Sureste" CD/LP/Track Review Sureste
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "Intermission (Farewell)" CD/LP/Track Review Intermission (Farewell)
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 1, 2016
Read "Intercambio" CD/LP/Track Review Intercambio
by James Nadal
Published: February 23, 2016
Read "Umbrella Weather" CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read "Live At Umbria Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Umbria Jazz
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "Some Other Time" CD/LP/Track Review Some Other Time
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!