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...

9

The Vampires: The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke

Friedrich Kunzmann By

Sign in to view read count
The decade old Australian five piece The Vampires, fronted by dueting brass players Jeremy Rose and Nick Garbett, sought out the rising Beninese guitar prodigy Lionel Loueke for their ambitious fifth outing The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke. With the addition of Loueke's virtuoso playing and singular guitar tone to the soothing mix of ethnic-world-influenced music, written by Jeremy and Nick, seemingly generic compositions grow into exotic and enticing performances that exude positive vibrations of a very rare energy.

From reggae-driven "Freedom Song" to the Afro-Cuban "Green, Green, Green" and ethio-jazz headbanger "Bendalong," trumpet and sax present powerfully catchy and simple melodies framed in a rich variety of rhythmical accompaniement. The elements truly highlighting the singularity of this record lie in the whimsical little twists shaping the main melodies and the remarkably tight chemistry of the six musicians present—which is certainly not a given considering this being Lionel Loueke's first featured recording with the band after only a short collaborating period. But his presence and contributions seem as natural as ever, much like his part in 2016's supergroup release AZIZA. Yet, unlike his input there, The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke finds him in an even more ornamenting role of rhythmical nature than the role of a virtuoso soloist. Integrating himself with subtleness, Louke finds little spaces which he elegantly fills with much thought, while Rose and Garbett lead the pieces with intimate and tender dialogues. The highly percussive drumming by Danny Fischer (at times further emphasized by the support of percussionist Alex Masso) conforms smoothly to composition and arrangement, neither halting nor distracting the picture as a whole.

The one essential component further encouraging this sophisticated yet exciting oeuvre lies within the wonderful and exciting production, which can be attributed to the minds of producer Lloyd Swanton and sound engineer Tim Whitten. The room is layed out with remarkably felicitious depth and a natural stereo image, combination with further delay and reverb effects enabling a superordinate dimension in which the soloists flourish.

By augmenting the quintet with the addition of Lionel Loueke, The Vampires have turned what would have otherwise been a "sweet" sounding record into a festive danceable and at times even rocking venture.

Track Listing: Jeremy Rose: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, bass clarinet; Nick Garbett: trumpet; Lionel Loueke: acoustic guitar, electric guitar, vocals; Jonathan Zwartz: bass; Danny Fischer: drums; Alex Masso: drums, cajon, bongos, pandeiro, wood block, cowbells, shakers.

Personnel: Endings & Beginnings Pt. I; Hard Love; Freedom Song; Green Green Green; Bendalong; Torta Salata; Suck a Seed; Ubud Bubble; Brand New; Endings & Beginnings Pt. II.

Title: The Vampires Meet Lionel Loueke | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Earshift Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Mar28Thu
The Vampires
Bird's Basement Jazz Club
Melbourne, Australia
29 AUD

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read East Of The River Nile Album Reviews
East Of The River Nile
By Chris May
February 23, 2019
Read VOX Album Reviews
VOX
By Friedrich Kunzmann
February 23, 2019
Read live@ZKM Album Reviews
live@ZKM
By Bruce Lindsay
February 23, 2019
Read cinder: ember: ashes Album Reviews
cinder: ember: ashes
By Glenn Astarita
February 23, 2019
Read Amour Album Reviews
Amour
By Doug Collette
February 23, 2019
Read Friendly Signs Album Reviews
Friendly Signs
By Don Phipps
February 22, 2019
Read The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes Album Reviews
The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes
By Roger Farbey
February 22, 2019