Artist: Either/orchestra Title Of Album: Neo-modernism Year Of Release: 2003 Label: Accurate Records Genre: Jazz, Big Band Quality: 320 | FLAC (tracks,cue,log) Total Time: 43:37 Total Size: 103 | 281 Mb
1. Los Olvidados 7:23 2. Baby Invents Monk 6:54 3. The Modernist 9:15
5. Heavily Amplified Hairpiece 8:35
Over the years, saxophonist Russ Gershon (the Either/Orchestra's founder/leader) has firmly believed in keeping his options open. Gershon's band has been greatly influenced by what jazz musicians call "the tradition" (straight-ahead jazz instead of fusion, crossover jazz, or the avant-garde), but he isn't a slave to it -- he realizes that outside playing is also a valid option. And even though the Either/Orchestra has been dominated by acoustic instruments, Gershon doesn't believe that electric instruments are inherently evil. That open-minded outlook continues to serve the Either/Orchestra well on Neo-Modernism, which was recorded in 2001 and finds Gershon leading a ten-person lineup that includes two trumpeters (Tom Halter and Colin Fisher), three saxophonists (Jeremy Udden, Charlie Kohlhase, and Gershon himself), and a trombonist (Joel Yennior), as well as pianist/keyboardist Greg Burk, bassist Rick McLaughlin, drummer Harvey Wright, and percussionist Vicente Lebron. While Neo-Modernism favors an inside/outside approach (more inside than outside), the album is only mildly avant-garde and Gershon, true to form, oversees a session that is free-spirited but always musical and never mindlessly chaotic. This time, there are no arrangements of popular songs or standards; Gershon wrote everything on the album except the angular "Fast Edd," which was written by former Either/Orchestra bassist Bob Nieske. And the compositions draw on a variety of influences, including Thelonious Monk on "Baby Invents Monk," Charles Mingus on "The Modernist," and Miles Davis on the funky yet abstract "Heavily Amplified Hairpiece." The latter is full of electric keyboard playing and recalls Davis' fusion output of the late '60s and early to mid-'70s; it definitely has that Bitches Brew/Get Up With It/Tribute to Jack Johnson type of vibe. But whomever the Either/Orchestra is thinking of on a particular piece, Gershon's outfit is always distinctive and recognizable. With Neo-Modernism, Gershon offers yet another reason to be excited about his Either/Orchestra.
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