Exposé Online banner

The Muffins with Marshall Allen & Knoel Scott — Loveletter #2 "The Ra Sessions"
(HOB002, 2005, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2006-05-01

Loveletter #2

What does one get when The Muffins mix it up with two great sax players (Marshall Allen and Knoel Scott) from Sun Ra’s Arkestra? That’s right, not two – but four sax players, plus bass and drums, in seven semi-structured and free improvisational jazz blowouts: Nothing seems to be composed in this setting, unless composed on the spot, yet not surprisingly this comes off as a very expressive and inspired workout for the most part, and overall quite listenable, albeit occasionally chaotic. Saxophobes need not apply, but anyone who enjoys the Muffins early material, or even their regular releases of late (Bandwidth, Double Negative) will find a touch of this adventurous free improv spirit in all of their music, just not so much of it all at once. The six players work together well, and while the groove seems to be constantly turning and twisting, and interplay seems to constantly shift among the several layers of woodwinds, there’s still plenty here to sink your teeth into and tap your foot to. While the saxes tend to dominate the proceedings, a groovy and wicked wah-wah guitar solo and sweet flute melody that follows it are the highlights of “Chickenhead,” the album’s longest track. Both Muffins and Arkestra fans – and fans of wind-driven jazz improv in general will find this collection worthwhile.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): The Muffins, Dave Newhouse (Manna / Mirage), Paul Sears

Latest news

2021-01-18
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 Liberation. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
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

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
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

2020-10-06
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


Previously in Exposé...

Josiah - No Time – I can close my eyes and really believe that I'm listening to some long lost British heavy rock classic from 1970 on the Vertigo label. Josiah has that sound down cold. Think Sabbath, Motorhead, Uriah...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues