6

Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica Quartet: Where Here Meets There

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica Quartet: Where Here Meets There The eternally clever, Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica Quartet led by vibraphonist, percussionist Brian O' Neil categorizes itself by travelling to a future moment where American music is as exotic as its past. Hence, a persuasive declaration as the band minces Eastern modalities with cool, jazz grooves and world music cadences. They also delve into the annals of American popular music by performing three Gershwin compositions and one comp by jazz vibraphonist Cal Tjader amid several group-penned originals.

There are some similarities to Tjader's historic 1960s Latin jazz ensembles, as O' Neil's breezy and sleek jazz phrasings are prominent factors here. But Geni Skendo's evocative flutes and various ethnocentric percussion vamps also summon a numinous Middle Eastern aura, intertwined with subtly complex unison choruses and shrewd studio processing implementations. These factors contribute to the group's depth and capacious sound.

The band's pumping percussion-centric gait on "Ritual Mallet Dance," is steeped in jazz, but Skendo's enchanting bass flute lines sweeten the plot. Yet, the ensemble does not sugarcoat these works to any degree that would suggest lightweight easy listening fare. Many of these pieces bear polytonal sound-shaping mechanisms and shifting patterns via memorable hooks. On Gershwin's "Prelude for Piano I-III," the musicians convey a wistful and rather transcendental vista with supple rendering of the familiar melody lines, and one jazz-flavored garrulous burst of energy. However, Tjader's "Black Orchid" is shaped with a Middle Eastern panorama due to Tev Stevig's extended lines, performed on oud. Nonetheless, it's a very fluid and refreshing engagement, integrated with faintly designed hues, free-form detours and a few unforeseen surprises, partly aligned with nods to classical and Bulgarian choral music.

Track Listing: Chiseling Music; Sansaz; Maracatune For Chalco; Would You Like Bongos With That Fugue?; Ritual Mallet Dance; Prelude For Piano I; Prelude For Piano II (Featuring The Siamese Cat Song); Prelude For Piano III; Black Orchid.

Personnel: Brian O'Neill: vibes and percession; Geni Skendo: flutes; Jason Davis: acoustic bass; Shane Shanahan: percussion.

Title: Where Here Meets There | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Saluting Sgt. Pepper CD/LP/Track Review Saluting Sgt. Pepper
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Thick as Thieves CD/LP/Track Review Thick as Thieves
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Dream Within A Dream CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read Live At The High Noon CD/LP/Track Review Live At The High Noon
by Doug Collette
Published: June 22, 2017
Read As It Should Be: Ballads 2 CD/LP/Track Review As It Should Be: Ballads 2
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2017
Read Karoujite CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "Make The Changes" CD/LP/Track Review Make The Changes
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 12, 2016
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017
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 "Live at Club Helsinki" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Club Helsinki
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 2, 2017
Read "Third Stage of Elegance" CD/LP/Track Review Third Stage of Elegance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 6, 2017
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 7, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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