Friday, March 16, 2007
IT'S CRAZY TALK BUT...
...Are online record shops the new music zines?
"There's a rich heritage connected with Chicago's Hypnotic Brass Ensemble family line, the eight brothers are the sons of legendary jazzer Phil Cohran (Sun Ra Arkestra, Artistic Heritage Ensemble, AACM) and in keeping with their virtuoso father they manage to come up with music that is both breathtaking and defiantly modern sounding. HBE are a jazz act, first and foremost, but what they do with jazz is re-work the themes to suit our modern times; you might hear a hip hop rhythm in there or a Reichian phasing phrase, you might hear echoes of Sun Ra or pop-style melodies. This isn't what you'd normally expect from the staid jazz world, but since Cohan has such a legacy it's no surprised his work is being continued by his lads. Apparently Gilles Petersen has been playing this, the band's second single, to death on his Worldwide show, but don't let that put you off - what we have is a slice of 10" wax of the highest order, brass instruments played by real masters of the craft (the boys used to practice with their father for five hours before school in the mornings!) and this has got to be one of the finest contemporary jazz records I've heard for ages. Coming in a beautifully presented package explaining some of the band's philosophy behind these two extended pieces, there shouldn't be any reason to ignore this one - these guys are tipped for very big things indeed. Limited copies!"