Exposé Online banner

Naked Truth — Avian Thug
(RareNoise RNR057, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-03-30

Avian Thug Cover art

This is the third Naked Truth release, and the first I’ve heard. The quartet features what might be considered a standard jazz configuration of keyboards, bass, and drums with a trumpet as the lead, but the result is pretty far from something like what came out of any of the classic trumpet quartets of previous decades. But the identities of the players should have eliminated that possibility before a note was played: Italian bass explorer Lorenzo Feliciati, percussion experimentalist Pat Mastelotto, Roy Powell of InterStatic on keyboards, and trumpeter Graham Haynes, an alumnus of Steve Coleman’s Five Elements known for using electronics and samples in his music. Powell’s keys encompass piano, electric piano, and organ primarily, with synthesizers also showing up at times, as well as effects to process the sounds of his other instruments. His playing avoids jazz tropes entirely, with single lines that jump around, color-shifting clusters on the organ, and quirky rhythmic patterns that seem at odds with the other players but make a kind of twisted sense. Feliciati shows a lot of range as well, at times hitting the fuzz for a powerful nasty low end, at other times tossing off slinky lines on the fretless; he also contributes a bit of guitar and keyboards. Mastelotto’s usual hybrid kit of acoustic and electronic “things to hit” is in evidence, though at times his electronics are impossible to distinguish from all the craziness coming from the others. He thrives in this jazz-oriented setting, and it’s nice to hear him in something other than his progressive rock mode. Haynes’ playing provides a lot of the album’s bright spots, both with straight-up acoustic lines and with a wide range of different kinds of processing with echoes, harmonizers, and so on. In some ways, Avian Thug is a perfect modern take on some of Miles Davis’s electric innovations, though that’s an impression that’s likely any time a trumpet is incorporated into electric / electronic music with jazzy leanings. Although I’d bet that anyone who hates Miles’ electric music wouldn’t go for this either. That is not me – bring on the Bitches Brew, and bring on the Avian Thug!


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Pat Mastelotto, Lorenzo Feliciati, Naked Truth

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...

Mojow and the Vibration Army - Undivided – With a overweight sense of self-importance, Mojow (Moriah-Melin and John Whoolilurie) embark on their crusade to change the world, political-hard-preaching to the listeners via the absolutely...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues