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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tin Hat - The Sad Machinery of Spring (Hannibal/Rykodisck, 2007) ****

Tin Hat (Trio) is a group to my taste. Call it chamber jazz, call it folk jazz, it is great music. The core of the band consists of Mark Orton (guitar, dobro, banjo, piano, basss drum, bass harmonica) and Carla Kihlstedt (violin, viola, celeste, trumpet violin, piano, bass harmonica, vocals). Accordionist, pianist Rob Burger has apparently left the trio and has been replaced by Ben Goldberg (clarinet), Ara Anderson (trumpet, toy piano, celeste) and Zeena Parkins (harp).
I think they're fantastic because they are outside any known genre, yet with creativity and a clear musical vision. On top of this, the musicians are great instrumentalists. The music is soft, non-intrusive, friendly but with character, at moments sweet, but with claws. Music to listen to on a Sunday morning when it rains. Sadness indeed, melancholy galore. Is it jazz? Of course it is. Of course it isn't. But because jazz is the sponge of all musical genres, let's call it jazz.