Sloth Racket – “A Glorious Monster” (Luminous, 2018)

“A Glorious Monster”is the newest release of “Luminous Label”. Album was recorded by jazz ensemble “Sloth Racket” – its members are Cath Roberts (baritone saxophone), Anton Hunter (guitar), Sam Andreae (alto saxophone), Seth Bennett (bass) and Johnny Hunter (drums). All five musicians are interesting and original improvisers. Their music is always full of inventive musical decisions, sudden and colorful stylistic waves and bright sound. Musicians are using dozens of extended playing techniques, expressions, dynamics and other musical language elements. Loud and bright solos, vibrant and turbulent blow outs, rigorous, harsh and shrieky tones are connected together with soft, lyrical and calm episodes. Music of this ensemble is based on contrasts – colorful episodes which have absolutely different sound, are gently combined together. Five musicians had been improvising together many times. Their inventive playing, original playing manner, extended playing techniques, unusual sounds and timbres and unique sound make an effort to interesting and remarkable sound.

“A Glorious Monster” has interesting and original sound. The music is based on avant-garde jazz, but also has many relations with modern jazz. The musical pattern and facture is very rich and bright – it’s formed by numerous of modern playing techniques, experimental ways of playing, modern and colorful expressions and dynamic harmony. All these elements are joined together in one place. Musicians are exploring the sound and technical abilities of their instruments. Experimental ways of playing are connected together with traditional playing techniques, such as glissando, arpeggio, tremolo, pizzicato, frulato and many others. Marvelous synthesis of all musical language elements makes an effort to original, vivacious and innovative sound. Baritone saxophone melodies by Cath Roberts are contrasting and dynamic. Deep, static and solid bass line form the rhythmic and harmonic pattern of the compositions. It’s highly contrasting with expressive, moving, touching and passionate solos, which are the most effective elements of saxophone improvisations. Vivacious, solos, striking and wild fast passages, glamorous and passionate melodies, rigorous, roaring and turbulent blow outs, aggressive and dramatic pieces, spontaneous and free improvisations – all these elements are masterfully joined together in Cath Roberts improvisations. Alto saxophone improvisations by Sam Andreae are even more rapid, energetic and passionate than baritone saxophone. The music is totally based on splendid, gorgeous and extremely fast passages, effective and impressive riffs, aggressive, harsh and vibrant blow outs. The improviser masterfully switches between different sounds, expressions, uses dozens of different playing techniques, special effects, sound experiments and other elements of musical language. Anton Hunter guitar melodies are based on synthesis between various rock and jazz styles. Avant-garde jazz and free improvisation are the basics of his improvisations. The main elements of bebop, hard-bop, post-bop, various contemporary jazz styles are fused together with very mild and soft intonations of rock music. The music gets similar to modern jazz or rock just in rhythmical or melodic section – Anton Hunter mix together hard and sharp rock rhythms with expressive, dynamic and rapid bebop rhythmic forms. Even though, the music has stylistic relations with other music styles, the main element is kept the same – avant-garde and experimental jazz. Seth Bennett bass melodies are very dynamic and vivacious. Vibrant and energetic solos, expressive and passionate passages, original and inventive musical decisions, fascinating and impressive experiments, weird timbres, unusual sounds and many other similar elements form the main basic of his improvisations. Improviser masterfully mixes together many different sounds, manners, styles, playing techniques, rhythms and chords in one place. Vivacious and glamorous solos are blended together with rigorous, sharp and dark tones, static and firm bass line or turbulent free improvisations. Bass melodies bring more colors to the compositions and keep firm and solid rhythmic and bass section. Johnny Hunter drums improvisations are real bursts of energy, where many different rhythms and styles are mixed. The most effective and interesting episodes are frantic, harsh and turbulent solos. It’s based on free improvisations and musical experiments – drums compositions have powerful, harsh, turbulent and colorful sound. The music of this album has energetic, expressive and innovative sound.

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