Exposé Online banner

Josh Green & The Cyborg Orchestra — Telepathy & Bop
((Not on label) no#, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-03-31

Telepathy & Bop Cover art

No, the musicians are not machines. Their parts are not programmed. They are in fact real musicians playing real instruments together. The combination of instruments is a bit unusual, sort of a cross between a jazz big band, a chamber orchestra, and a few quirky touches like accordion. So you have five woodwind players (covering flute, piccolo, clarinet, bass clarinet, oboe, alto sax, tenor sax, and EWI), four brass (two each of trumpet and trombone), a small string section (a standard quartet plus a few extra violas and cellos), and a rhythm section (piano, bass, drums, guitar, and accordion). Green composes and conducts, and his music has a wide-ranging blend of playfulness and seriousness that is instantly appealing. He handles the textures and sounds available from the ensemble masterfully, covering most of the available possibilities from very sparse sections to sweeping full-orchestra swells. Starting with “Boy and Dog in a Johnnypump” (whatever that means) we have a lively latin-inflected bass and piano line punctuated by various groups of instruments in tricky rhythmic accents, having almost the flavor of John Hollenbeck interpreting a Raymond Scott piece. Guitarist Sungwon Kim gets a wigged-out solo turn that adds elements of modern avant-jazz, and there’s also an outstanding flute solo (not sure which player it is). There’s a section featuring sectional arpeggios that injects a bit of Philip Glass into the piece, and a splash of chaos near the end with honks and blasts and glissandos. All around, it is ten and a half minutes of pure musical joy. “The Lauer Faceplant” carries on with a great bass clarinet line, tremolos from the strings, and echoing saxophone backed by eerie accordion. All of the nine tracks contain strokes of brilliance, whether it is a great solo from one of the players, a particularly interesting bit of ensemble work featuring an unexpected combination of instruments, or just plain smile-inducing melodic twists. Telepathy & Bop is without doubt the finest recording for a large ensemble that I’ve heard in years, and in sheer enjoyment Green’s arrangements rank with those of master innovators like Toshiko Akiyoshi, Gil Evans, Thad Jones, and so on. Coming from the avant and progressive side, fans of jazz on Cuneiform should give this a listen, and anyone who thinks there’s nothing new in the world of big band jazz is in for a treat.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Joshua Green / Cyborg Orchestra

More info
http://intergalacticgreenmusic.com/merch/telepathy-bop-cd

Latest news

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more

2020-01-10
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Pulsar - Görlitz – Pulsar was perhaps the best French band in the mid-70s. In fact they were the first French band to be distributed by an English label. From 1975 to 1977 they released three albums culminating with...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues