Zubatto Syndicate — Zubatto Syndicate
(Boscology BOS-SZ-001, 2011, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2014-05-19Progressive Big Band? Sure, why not? Composer Andrew Boscardin has assembled a large ensemble consisting of saxophones and brass along with clarinet (of standard and bass varieties), bassoon, oboe, flute, and a rhythm section, and takes his music into the territory near the crossroads of jazz, rock, and modern chamber music. At times, the listener may be reminded of movie soundtrack music, especially movies from the 70s, when filmmakers didn't all go for big orchestra or mainstream rock exclusively. The wonderful cover art depicts a wildly retro-futuristic city scene, with robots and aliens interacting with American cars of the 50s, and the sci-fi theme is carried through to the song titles: "The Trouble with Earth Women," "Mechas over Manhattan," and "A Brief History of Time Travel" are a few examples. Structurally, many of the pieces follow the familiar pattern of stating a melody, instrumental solos, and a return to the head to finish off, but there are many twists and turns along the way. Fans of Frank Zappa's instrumental music should find much to like, though Zappa's fussy rhythmic complexity isn't emulated. In short, Zubatto Syndicate may look like a Big Band, but the music isn't entirely jazz, and the quality of the composing, arranging, and playing merits attention from adventurous music fans.
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more