Monday, March 13, 2006

Abstract Index playlist Mar 8/06

Turning to local matters - especially since I completed spaced on any mention of Ali Farka Toure's passing last week - I've been spinning the latest disc from junkyard jazz octet St. Dirt Elementary School. It's called Fall (In Love) By April, and is a big step forward from their debut. What I'm liking about it is the ballads - moody, dramatic and almost hyper-melodramatic. The track played last week would have fit right in to a Tim Burton movie, with what sounds like a theremin or a musical saw lurking in the background, but is probably leader Myk Freedman's spooky slide guitar. This music is just as playful as it is doleful, though, and always seems to come up with unusual combinations of instruments to make its point. During the solo sections, chords are splashed across so many different instrumental voices, it's pure Ellingtonian otherworldliness. Nobody's doing jazz like this anywhere. Perhaps with Rat Drifting's steadily growing profile (they were featured in The Wire's not so long ago), there will be some worldwide interest in the band.

here's the playlist:

in the garden - nicole mitchell (dreamtime)
a.r.c. - tied and tickled trio (morr music)
a classic letter saying i'm gone - st. dirt elementary school (rat drifting)
ingenious pursuits - thomas stronen (rune gramofon)
shuffle - clayton thomas and robin fox (room 40)
bottled paycheck - once 11 (the agriculture)
table rock dub - dub trio (ROIR)
traz na alivio - apollo nove (crammed/zirguiboom)
kouai - wangtone (jarring effects)
talking tabla dub - up bustle and out (collision cause of chapter 3)
drongo dub - hi-tone + improvisators (jarring effects)
tunnel one - tommy mccook (heartbeat)
behold the land - culture (heartbeat)
jah light - love joys (wackies)

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