Monday, April 09, 2007

Music I Liked And Didn't - 4/9/07

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4 CORNERS: S/T CD (Clean Feed) - Portugal’s consistently interesting Clean Feed label returns with the debut release from 4 Corners, another project featuring the prolific Ken Vandermark; who performs on clarinet, bass clarinet, and is especially impressive on this outing with his aggressive tenor sound. This CD contains seven tracks, recorded very live (during a couple of quiet parts you can actually hear people talking, glasses clinking, and so on - where’s Mingus with his admonitions to be quiet when you need them?), in 2006 at the Jazz Ao Centro festival in Coimbra, Portugal.

Coming hot on the heels of “Oslo/Chicago: Breaks” by Vandermark’s Powerhouse Sound project (and even featuring the dynamic percussionist from the group’s Oslo set, Paal Nilssen-Love), 4 Corners covers similar sonic territory. Joining forces with accomplished bassist/composer/leader Adam Lane (who wrote 4 of the album’s 7 compositions and is masterful in all settings on the bass) as co-leader on this date, the majority of the material on this album (the soulful ballad “Lucia” being the one notable exception) once again incorporates elements of tough rhythm and blues, slamming funk, and rock to create a unique and hard hitting new Jazz sound. In fact, the main difference between the two releases that I can discern is that the 4 Corners recordings do not contain any segments that display the influence of dub or experimental electronic music that were integrated into much of the Powerhouse Sound material. Undoubtedly, this is simply due to the fact that, unlike Powerhouse Sound, this project does not feature any musicians such as guitarist Jeff Parker nor electronics whiz Lasse Marhaug to add such treatments. Instead, the additional textures in the 4 Corners sound are provided by the trumpet (as supplied by Magnus Broo, who is excellent throughout), which yields a somewhat straighter Jazz oriented final result. While not quite the pinnacle of genre blurring artistic achievement that the Powerhouse Sound set was, this is, nevertheless, an outstanding release from an exciting new project who deliver challenging and powerful new Jazz sounds for the 21st Century. Highly recommended!

P.S. - A very special fuck you to Manny Lunch and his non-customer service oriented store in NYC, Downtown Music Gallery, who didn't seem to be up to the heavy task of handling a simple two CD mail order request and who, when rightfully called on it, responded like a little child by banning me from ever patronizing his store again (as if!) in the (futile) attempt to prevent me from getting (again, as if!) this CD! Well, Manny, as you can see, I now own and am enjoying this fine release, so you really showed me, huh? Did you prevent me from getting this CD? No! Did you make any money off me? No! So exactly how did I suffer? I didn't! How have you won? Ya haven't! And how did I lose? I didn't! You and your pathetic store were the losers, as you got nothing and I now have exactly the items I was trying unsuccessfully to purchase from you! Whatcha gonna do next? Go on your knees to your buddy John Zorn to see if he can personally prevent me from ever buying any future Tzadik titles? Again, yeah right, as if...ya pompous ass!

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Running Count For The Year

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Did Not Add 11/18%

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