201

Edward Ratliff: Those Moments Before

Troy Collins By

Sign in to view read count
Edward Ratliff: Those Moments Before The cover of Those Moments Before features a poster of Marlene Dietrich advertising Josef von Sternberg's 1931 film Dishonored. While this album—New York-based multi-instrumentalist Edward Ratliff's third as a leader—isn't a soundtrack like the earlier Barcelona in 48 Hours (Strudelmedia, 2004) was, this date unfolds with the same degree of wild eclecticism and globe-trotting impetuousness as a proverbial soundtrack album.

Joined by a stellar cast of Downtown improvisers, Ratliff has an unlimited palette of sound at his disposal. The woodwind trio of Michael Attias, Beth Schenck, and Doug Wieselman cover every pitch range from clarinet to baritone saxophone, while guitarist Nate Radley, bassist Sean Conly, and keyboardist Wes Matthews alternate between electric and acoustic instruments. Add to this arsenal Take Toriyama's drum kit and the leader's accordion, cornet, trumpet, trombone, celeste, and programming, and you have limitless sonic possibilities.

Ratliff's liner notes detail the endless cultural diversity he experiences while traveling through Manhattan by bike, and how it influences his writing. Such limitless potential does not always go hand in hand with compositional clarity however, and it is to Ratliff's credit that the album succeeds at maintaining a sense of cohesion, considering the number of genres invoked.

The record's nostalgic mix of waltzes, tangos, klezmer, funeral marches, noir ballads, and funk is endlessly entertaining—and for the most part—impressively rendered. The lilting Old World waltz of "Cafe Cortado," the electrified funk of "Movin' On Over," and the zany klezmer jaunt "Veloce" are all infectiously ebullient. The somber dirge "Minimus" and the appropriately titled "Funeral March in the Style of Jean-Baptiste de Lully" are suitably melancholic. Only "Leon's Last Night," with its computerized synth washes and Milesian brass flourishes sounds at odds with the rest of the program.

Veering from one style to another, Those Moments Before presents Ratliff's chameleonic diversity in a wide-range of settings, yielding a cinematic ode to modern metropolitan living.


Track Listing: Cafe Cortado; End of an Era; Minimus; Movin' On Over; Veloce; Good Question; Well-Dressed and Elegant; Leon's Last Night; Funeral March in the Style of Jean-Baptiste de Lully; March for a Lost Cause; Kowloon Noir; Pinhole Ghost.

Personnel: Edward Ratliff: accordion, cornet, trumpet, trombone, celeste, programming; Michael Attias: alto and baritone saxophones; Beth Schenck: alto and soprano saxophones; Doug Wieselman: eﻁ clarinet; Nate Radley: acoustic and electric guitar; Wes Matthews: piano and Hammond B3; Sean Conly: acoustic and electric bass; Take Toriyama: drums.

Title: Those Moments Before | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Strudelmedia


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Mata Hati CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Donora Autumn CD/LP/Track Review Donora Autumn
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 29, 2017
Read A Wing Dissolved In Light CD/LP/Track Review A Wing Dissolved In Light
by John Sharpe
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Passin' Thru CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Amour Cruel CD/LP/Track Review Amour Cruel
by Peter Jurew
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Translator's Note CD/LP/Track Review Translator's Note
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 28, 2017
Read "Forgiveness Suite" CD/LP/Track Review Forgiveness Suite
by John Sharpe
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "From the Heart" CD/LP/Track Review From the Heart
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: December 20, 2016
Read "Two" CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "Blue Skylight" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Skylight
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "Back In Your Own Backyard" CD/LP/Track Review Back In Your Own Backyard
by Budd Kopman
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Ugly Beautiful" CD/LP/Track Review Ugly Beautiful
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 6, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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