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Friday, May 16, 2008

Steuart Liebig Tee-Tot Quartet - Always Outnumbered ( Pfmentum, 2008) ***½

An interesting mix between blues, rock 'n' roll, bop, swing and free jazz, and you will find most of them integrated in all the tunes, which are dedicated to Mingus, Robert Johnson, Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters and Skip James. Very aptly, the band's lead instruments are dobro and trumpet, an interesting combination which works very well for the concept displayed here, which is straightforward fun without being cheap. The band consists of Steuart Liebig on fretless contrabassguitar, Joseph Berardi on drumset and percussion, Dan Clucas on cornet and Scot Ray on dobro, four excellent musicians, with the electric dobro especially opening new perspectives. This is highly rhythmic and enjoyable music, with once in a while a slower melancholy blues, bringing a mixture that is pretty unique and interesting. The down-side of such an approach is the emotional distance it creates, much in the same vein as much of Steven Bernstein's music. It's nice to hear, interesting, fun too, yet it's not heartbreaking or very expressive music, despite the incredible effort made by Dan Clucas. His cornet playing is in some of the tracks absolutely fantastic.

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