X-Legged Sally — Killed by Charity
(Sub Rosa SR 69, 1993, CD)
by Mike Borella, Published 1994-08-01How to categorize a mix of jazz-fusion, funk, and experimental punk rock? Don't bother! Pigeonholing X-Legged Sally is like trying to convince Bob Fripp to play 12-bar blues. It probably could be done but wouldn't be worth the effort involved. Produced by Bill Laswell, this band features heavy guitar riffing and wailing leads, a prominent horn section, and bizarre rhythmic complexities. The punk-like vocals seem to conflict with the jazzier horn blasts, while the metal-ish guitars counterpoint the piano and keyboard textures. A strange mix indeed. The compositions are very tight, and perhaps a bit predictable, yet they vary from all-out chaotic jams to simple rhythms overlaid with riffing and vocals. A modern band, the sound is very digital and maybe even clinical, yet the band manages to evoke a relaxed, informal air. Comparisons? Hard to say. There is more than a hint of Material (no doubt due to Laswell's presence), but their influences are so diverse, it is hard to nail down where their ideas came from. While everything on the album has a familiar feel to it, I don't think anyone has managed to put together these particular styles in such a way before. An interesting release from a promising band.
Related artist(s): X-Legged Sally
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more