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Buzz CD

Price: £18.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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Product Description

Ben Allison is a leader. He's a natural at pushing the envelope whether it's in his bass work, in his composing, or in the way he approaches music itself. He's widely regarded to be one of the most original voices in modern jazz, a strong organizational force on the New York City music scene, and an advocate for artist empowerment. Once again fronting the exceptional Medicine Wheel, Allison returns with the wonderful 'Buzz' CD.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 6 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thanks Ben, for the Buzz you created. 10 Jun. 2004
By Onur Orhon - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Beautiful music from Medicine Wheel featuring innovative and sophisticated compositions by Ben Allison, artistic director of Jazz Composers Collective. These guys are definitely at the peak of their career, producing better and better music with every new release. "Buzz" as an album is totally approachable, yet intriguingly detailed and masterfully crafted. All the solos are smart, musical, not self-centered and they blend perfectly into the arrangements. (I wouldn't mind some more from Michael Blake though, I think his solo in "Peace Pipe" from Allison's previous album is one of the best pieces of improvised music I have ever heard)
The more I listen to Ben Allison's music, the more I think of Charles Mingus. Well, he is a very advanced bass player with sharp composition skills, so the resemblance is obvious. But there is also a textural similarity, the occasional two tenors and especially the recent addition of trombone in the ensemble plus the contrasting dark and light nature of the tunes keeps reminding me of "Ah Um", one of my favorite albums. So if you like that period of Mingus then you will most probably like this album.
Overall, great music from a group of creative individuals. I am looking forward to their next project.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Medicine Wheel . . . 25 May 2004
By Jan P. Dennis - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
. . . best (jazz) band on the planet.
Actually, it wouldn't even be too far over the top to drop the word "jazz" and just declare them the best BAND on the planet.
You see, these boys have learned how to play smart, sophisticated, accessible, simple/complex, rhythmically challenging, beautiful music. Yes, it probably comes closest to jazz, it'll be filed in the jazz section, but it has affinities with lots of other styles, including world jazz ("Mauritania," "Buzz"), soul/funk jazz ("Green Al"), pop jazz ("Across the Universe"), chamber jazz ("Erato"), and sometimes all these at once ("R & B Fantasy").
The core of this band (leader Allison, bass; Michael Blake, ts & ss; Ted Nash, ts & flute; and Frank Kimbrough, piano) has been playing together for about a decade, as well as playing on each other's solo projects--and it shows. They mesh and converse with almost eerie serendipity. Michael Sarin, a great and very coloristic drummer, has taken over for the equally wonderful Jeff Ballard, and Clark Gayton, a newcomer, plays marvelous trombone and bass trombone. Both fit in seamlessly.
This music comes out of the 12-year-old Jazz Composers Collective, which "is dedicated to new music and building audiences for jazz" (according to Ben Allison's liner notes). Any recording from these folks is worth checking out; indeed, they've been at the very forefront of progressive yet listenable jazz for more than a decade. And they just keep getting better.
A great band at the absolute top of their form.
Absolutely essential.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Are At It Again 16 Jun. 2004
By M. Murphy - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I have vey little to add to the other reviewers excellent remarks BUT as a listener to the Jazz Composers Collective for about 10 years I encourage you if you enjoyed this challenging yet accessible music to explore other excellent "partnerships" under their individual names.Anything by Ben Allison is great but check out Peace Pipe.Ted Nash' latest Still Evolved is excellent and includes Wynton in a cameo.Michael Blake's Drift is his best and Frank's Kimbrough Quickening is excellent piano trio stuff. Another of of their "clan" is Matt Wilson who released an inventive quartet cd Humidity last year.Lastly they put out theier masterpiece in my opinion with The Herbie Nichols Project[the best] Finally please SUPPORT these guys they ARE modern jazz.No cliches.Just taking chances creatively.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Accessible but forward thinking ... 14 Jun. 2004
By Troy Collins - Published on
Format: Audio CD
Buzz opens with an electric piano riff that wouldn't sound out of place on either a Radiohead or Brad Mehldau record. No coincidence that Mehldau's piano trio covers Radiohead tunes frequently then, is it? This is modern jazz, albeit jazz more often influenced by its pop contemporaries than it is constrained by bygone traditions.
A plethora of styles abound on bassist and leader Ben Allison's new album. There are up-tempo cookers, sumptuous ballads and world music fusions, but they never drift into the sort of eclectic genre hoping that ruins many a similar effort. Allison's writing is very distinct and that comes across very strongly in these pieces. Playing music that is both beautiful and intense is not easy, yet for this ensemble it almost seems like second nature.
A key point can be made with the closing track, a cover of the Beatles tune Across the Universe. Allison has gone and converted this familiar tune into a fuge. The melody is stated by the horns, accompanied by the rhythm section and repeated, with minor melodic variations, over and over again. Does this make it jazz? Or is it some sort of classical hybrid? Or is it instrumental rock? It doesn't matter, it's simply gorgeous. It is one of the few Beatles covers performed by a jazz ensemble I've ever wanted to hear more than once. And that is a rare treat indeed.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Composer of new jazz 5 Mar. 2005
By John Thornton - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I first heard about Ben Allison from Amazon. I had a chance to see the group at Birdland while I was in town last year. The musicians and performance were great, but that was only part of it. The real story was the construction of the pieces. Ben Allison is one of the most inventive composers on the scene today. The structures of these tunes are original and eternal. My wife the classical scholar says it is chamber jazz/ Bach, but that to me suggests more sedate music. If comparisons can be made, I agree with the earlier reviewer that there is something of Radiohead as Brad Mehldau plays them. The potential of jazz is boundless. The players are incomparably talented, and there are no limits to the ideas and idioms they can express. Some of the other great players of today have brought the music forward with their own contributions, Danilo Perez with his melodies and rhythms from Panama and the Caribbean, Joshua Redman with his inventive blues progressions and dynamic compositions, Roy Hargrove with the amalgam of hip-hop and gospel with fusion, Pat Metheny with his soundscapes, Walt Weiskopf with his arrangements of 12 piece ensembles. Ben Allison and his New York Jazz Composers Collective peers are creating compelling accessible music. I have great love and enthusiasm for all of his albums; Buzz the most recent is a good place to begin.
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