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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Brad Dutz Quartet - Fashionably Impaired (self-published, 2011) ****

By Stef

I am not quite sure how to classify the beautiful music on this album. Clearly, jazz is the main source of inspiration, but so is baroque classical music, and so is folk music. The band is Brad Dutz on marimba, vibraphone, cajón and percussion, Paul Sherman on English horn and oboe, Chris Votek on cello and Jim Sullivan on bass clarinet and contrabass clarinet. Indeed an unusual line-up, and so is the music.

Rhythm, playing around tonal centers, and shifts in intensity seem to be the core of this thoroughly composed music. The quartet manages to integrate real forward thinking with relative accessibility and musical warmth. It is like drinking a warm cocktail of various ingredients, smooth to drink but with a sharp edge of lemon and the profound taste of alcohol. The adventurousness is less in the expressivity of the improvisations than in the strange blend of beautiful sounds, that match despite the unclear perspectives from which they arise.

In terms of approach and overall sound, vague comparisons may be Ken Schaphorst's "Indigenous Technologies". Carefully crafted, innovative in its overall sound texture and highly enjoyable.

© stef