12 August 2009

Music from the land beyond New Jersiberia...

TriBeCaStan: Strange Cousin (Evergreene Music)

Maybe it's the name and the eclectic ethnic-y collage on the CD's cover; for whatever reason, I got to thinking of TriBeCaStan as something of an American version of 3 Mustaphas 3. And truth be told, that's not far off.
TriBeCaStan - Strange Cousin -  on SoundRoots.org
These upstarts -- principally John Kruth and Jeff Greene, multi-instrumentalists, both -- don't take their national mythology to such lengths as their British predecessors, but they share the same love of strange acoustic instruments, exotic rhythms, and a good dose of humor, as evident in track names such as "The Flowers (that I Place at my Ancestor's Grave Spontaneously Burst into Flame with their Appreciation)."

“I like to think of us as avant garde doing something new," says Kruth. "But what are we doing? Just like Art Ensemble of Chicago, one of my favorite bands, we compose and play Ancient Future music. Sun Ra would play music from the roots to the fruits and music from next Tuesday that you haven’t heard yet. I like to think we are playing music you haven’t heard yet.”

Perhaps their music is best summed up by the benediction in their liner notes: "May all the gods smile on you at once without your skull exploding." It may be too confusing to compel most folks to the dance floor, but this kind of crisp, intelligent, curious instrumental music will always have a place in my ears.


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