Exposé Online banner

Balto! — Beats by Balto! Vol. 1
(Bandcamp no#, 2019, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2020-05-06

Beats by Balto! Vol. 1 Cover art

From its beginnings, one of the primary qualities of jazz has been the fact that it is about spontaneous creation of music by people who are playing together. Even when jazz is recorded, the performances captured are primarily live. In the 60s, Miles Davis and Teo Macero developed a method of putting together parts from different takes to create studio pieces that were substantially different than what the band played live. In the 70s, many jazz artists adopted methods from the pop world, having musicians record their tracks separately. With Beats by Balto! saxman Brian Murray and guitarist Jon Lundbom have assembled a further development, taking tracks recorded by Lundbom’s Big Five Chord, which both are part of, as well as some related projects, combining those with Murray's beats, and building a wide-ranging funky sound that may or may not qualify as jazz. The categorization is irrelevant, however. A listener hearing the music could very well be completely unaware that it wasn’t recorded in a more conventional way — the vast majority of this music could certainly be played by musicians in a live setting. The five tracks feature grooves of various speeds and energy levels, with upright bass providing the bottom end, sometimes with repeating bass lines, sometimes venturing into more experimental territory — Moppa Elliott is presumably the source for most of them. Murray and Lundbom’s parts are similarly varied, sometimes melodic, sometimes downright freaky, and there's additional sax from Jon Irabagon. It’s music that satisfies on multiple levels, being fun and catchy on the surface, but with details and subtleties exposed upon closer examination. Beats by Balto! is a successful experiment, and I for one am in for a Volume 2.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Jon Lundbom, Matthew "Moppa" Elliott, Bryan Murray / Balto!

More info
http://baltoexclamationpoint.bandcamp.com/album/beats-by-balto-vol-1

Latest news

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

John Lees' Barclay James Harvest - Legacy Live at the Shelpherd's Bush Empire 2006 – The 2006 resurrection of Woolly Wolstenholme’s Maestoso gestated into a full on BJH reunion tour once guitarist John Lees got on board the rock and roll bandwagon. Picking a representative set list...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues