Monday, July 13, 2009

Quartet Offensive - Carnivore (Self Published, 2009) ****

There are many young bands who merge the solid elements of rock with the sophisticated harmonics of jazz without falling into the trap of fusion. No pyrotechnics, no technical bullshit, just music with a story first and foremost, which doesn't mean that the band is not technically skilled, only that their skills are at the service of the music. Other bands in the same vein and line-up, but under-recognized and under-recorded, are the German band Firomanum and the US/Finnish/German band UNKL, and close enough to some of Hilmar Jensson's and Andrew D'Angelo's endeavors.

Quartet Offensive, from Baltimore is a good example of this. The band consists of John Dierker on bass clarinet, Eric Trudel on tenor sax, Matt Frazao on guitar, Adam Hopkins on bass, and Nathan Ellman Bell on drums. And yes, you count correctly, this is a quintet. The album starts with a strong guitar rif and rock beat, propulsing forward the double reed front line, but once the whole thing gets going, the piece collapses onto itself in raw chaos and musical debris, but needless to say the theme gets picked up again and ends in full power. Raw, entertaining, fun. After that strong opening statement, the band becomes a little more sophisticated, with unison themes and counterpoint, showing their gentler side, yet also demonstrating their unmistakable instrumental skills in the ensuing solos. The quality of the music lies in the nice combination of sensitivity, melodically and in the delivery, with the no-nonsense and straight-forward approach of rock. And the band varies quite well between wild powerful drive and sophistication. Recommended.

For more information on Quartet Offensive, check on MySpace.

Any suggestions on new and upcoming young bands? Let me know. I'll turn it into a special section.

Watch the band here :

The M.B.S. by Quartet Offensive from Nick Prevas on Vimeo.


© stef

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

try klangmutationen..

joesh said...

Talking about 4tet Offensive :

You can also download (for free) a track from their CD at 'All About Jazz' - download of the day mp3 14/07/09.

As for the suggestions for up and coming groups, well the list is VERY long, or at least on my CD player that is.

All the best, hope everyone is enjoying the lovely summer weather - Joe

joesh said...

Woops, I forgot to add that anyone enjoying 'Quartet Offensive' will almost certainly (read definitely) enjoy 'Human Feel' - Chris Speed, Jim Black, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Andrew D'Angelo. You can still find their CDs without too much of a problem.

Enjoy :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Feel

Adam said...

Hey Stef,

Thanks for the great review. We really appreciate it, and I'm a long time fan of your blog.

The Human Feel thing is a good call...they have been a big influence on me as a composer, and their latest album Galore is one of my favorites.

I'm going to put together a list of young artists that I like as well...there are quite a few! Keep doing what you are doing...it is a great resource.

adam.

Guy said...

sounds great! i ordered the album in the meantime

other young bands I like / discovered recently:

* THE DOPPLER TRIO, who are somewhat reminiscent of Masada, exploring the middle groud between jazz, klezmer and folk music with an east-european vibe. very colorful, and swinging quite hard
http://www.myspace.com/thedopplertrio

* LITTLE WOMEN, who are in between free jazz and (noise) rock. really intense and wild, and right up my alley, i must say. i think that member darius jones (sax) will release an album on AUM later this year
http://www.myspace.com/littlewomensounds

stef said...

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll check them out and come back on the topic later.

cheers
stef

Adam said...

I strongly second Little Women. Their EP Teeth was on heavy rotation when I got it from eMusic a couple of months back.

Still thinking about a list. Harder than expected!

Adam.

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