Free Nelson Mandoomjazz — The Organ Grinder
(RareNoise RNR068, 2016, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2017-01-02
With The Organ Grinder, Free Nelson Mandoomjazz expands their sound further from its base of sax, bass, and drums by featuring more guests than before and varying arrangement structures. Rebecca Sneddon’s sax introduces the set with a mournful melody which mutates into a sludgy fuzz bass riff, presenting a somewhat minimalist version of “doomjazz.” Colin Stewart (bass) and Paul Archibald (drums) are still on board, and plodding heavy beats still figure prominently in the band’s style. It’s with the second track, “You Are Old, Father William,” that the sound starts drifting — right out of the gate, there’s a trumpet (Luc Klein) sparring with Sneddon’s sax as an equal partner, and the playful harmonies bring the piece to life. Five of the album’s 11 tracks feature either Klein or trombonist Patrick Darley or both, and the expanded palette serves to enhance the other tracks by contrast. Archibald contributes occasional keyboards (piano and organ) as well. “Calcutta Cutie,” with its piano ostinato, almost sounds like a throwback to mid-60s post-bop jazz, though the occasional free sections stray somewhat from that era’s norms. “Shapeshifter” is another tune that breaks the doomjazz mold, with a sprightly 9/8 rhythm and trumpet/sax harmonies. It comes off like the odd-meter workout that Wayne Shorter and Freddie Hubbard never did. Archibald’s organ shows up in the final cut, “Om,” with long, slowly changing chords that provide a church-organ drone for meditative chords on the bass and squawks on the sax. It’s a powerful and fitting ending to an album of contrasts and extremes.
Related artist(s): Free Nelson Mandoomjazz
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
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
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