Peter Evans & Weasel Walter – Poisonous

The Music

The Words

Poisonous indeed, the newest release from free, avant-garde jazz duo Peter Evans & Weasel Walter is a journey into the delirious mind of a poison-afflicted would-be mycologist. In forty-four minutes, the two seasoned musicians craft an album obsessed with venenous fungi that sounds as lethal as its subject. I don’t know how many layers of improvised or forethought material have been arranged to create this fever dream, but the result is a dense hallucinative soundscape as heard through thick forest haze.

Some parts are almost metal in just how harsh and intense they are–see “Sulfur Tuft”. … Read more

Haolin Munk – Planestasia Suite

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The Words

Jazz and hip hop are two proximate worlds, but it’s a rare treat to see them interconnect. Fortunately, Ontario, Canada’s Haolin Munk quartet is here to settle the score. In what sounds like a softer version of Montréal’s New Apple Taste, without the noise and the rock, their science-fiction concept album – who else gets hints of Clipping.? – is an astonishing jazz fusion release filled with tasty grooves, decadent solo sections, and an overall spotless arrangement work.

Since the Haolin Munk quartet is an instrumental entity, each vocal track exists thanks to the help of … Read more

Théo Ceccaldi’s Freaks – Amanda Dakota

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The Words

Théo Ceccaldi is now a renowned jazz violinist, and he is now at the heads of Freaks, an experimental jazz sextet that bridges jazz-rock with avant-garde pop and Rock in Opposition. Indeed, it sometimes sound like a jazz version of French band PoiL, which is a major plus!

What can you expect from their debut, Amanda Dakota? First of all, a lot of odd themes and harmonies are sown all around the album, and the rhythm section tries to clumsily follow in odd times and bizarre subdivisions. This is something that I like a … Read more

P.O.N. – P.O.N. (1995)

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P.O.N. was a Japanese jazz fusion band active in the ’90s, and whose only release is this obscure self-titled album. I wanted to talk about it, however, because it is still relevant in today’s world due to its high production value and contemporary sound. P.O.N. features forty-five minutes of blazing saxophone, guitar, and vibraphone on top of a Zappaesque backing band.

How so? Well, if the regular rhythmic modulations — frequently shifting from straight eighths to many different n-tuplets — didn’t tip you off, you might as well be deaf. However, it is, in my opinion, much more … Read more

Tin Men and the Telephone – World Domination, Part One: FURIE (Federal Union for Restoring Intergalactic Equilibrium)

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The Words

Aliens have been watching us. They have been for a long time, and they now feel like they have to intervene in order to counter the global rise of populism and demagogy in politics. This extraterrestrial commando is called FURIE (Federal Union for Restoring Intergalactic Equilibrium), and their modus operandi is to come and abduct world leaders that fall into this category. You can command the operation yourself by going to this interactive website!

This is the story behind the newest album from Amsterdam’s modern jazz band Tin Men and the Telephone. The … Read more