This is compelling stuff! Two drummers, a tuba and a saxophonist/clarinet player who although British spend most of his childhood in Barbados where he learnt to play. The Tuba fills in where the bass would be, creating some driving rhythms alongside the two drummers on the faster tracks, or a dramatic soundscape on the gentler tracks. On the opening track the Tuba and sax both play off each other frantically. the Tuba driving along frantically, occasionally sounding almost avant-garde and free. The lead playing draws from African and Caribbean sounds, with Inner Babylon opening up with a Ska-like sound. Book of disquiet gives you a rest with a chilled out, atmospheric soundscape before the playful and catchy 'Going Home' in which melodies from Shabaka Hutching's seem to weave around a pulsing Tuba.
I thoroughly enjoyed this - no song is the same, and the album is original and unpredictable. The final track is a mournful cover or 'Rivers of Babylon' propelled on by the dual drumming! Brilliant!
Unusual arrangement - two drummers a tuba and a clarinet/sax. Quite complex, sometimes challenging but all skilled and intersting to hear. More driving and listening to, than background or while you work music. I love the complex percussion and these guys really lay down some great rhythms.
Not for the faint hearted or those wanting easy-listening but certainly enriches my collection with some real acid /sharp modern contempory jaz players who are pushing the boundaries and extending the art form - what more can you ask for?
Interesting, vibrant, rythmic, intense... an astounding new voice and direction from the Jazz scene... or is it Jazz... just blindingly good modern music. A must buy for anyone and everyone... even though it's not the easiest of listens.