The Mackrosoft — Antonio's Giraffe
((Not on label) MS0009, 2006, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2007-03-01
Aja West and company return with eight new slabs of sweet funked-up instrumental jazz, more emphasis on the latter than the former this time, apparently a tribute to the late Antonio Carlos Jobim consisting of all original material. The eight tracks are alive with sassy Latin-tinged grooves and beats, melodies carried by trumpets, trombone, saxes, flute, and vibraphone, underscored by multi-electric pianos, guitars, a bit of synth, and a supremely tight rhythm section flanked by additional percussionists; fifteen players in all have a hand in this, although the compositions are all the work of multi-instrumentalist/conductor/producer West, with some collaboration with bassist/saxophonist Gould Effect and saxophonist Skerik (Critters Buggin/Les Claypool). Occasionally things get back to a heavier funk sound a-la Herbie Hancock, familiar to those who know some of the previous Mackrosoft releases, as heard on “Hold Up” or disc opener “The Immortality Project”. Overall though, the Latin rhythms and brassier sound make this a welcome step in a slightly new direction for the Mackrosoft, and the greater attention to arrangements and production make this the most satisfying album by these guys to date. Fans of Hancock, Steely Dan, Weather Report, and even Jobim himself would do well to investigate.
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more