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Cuban Meltdown

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This eponymous album, George Haslam's progressive big band Meltdown's first release, comprises five pieces recorded at separate sessions in 2000-2001. Four originate from group members, the fifth being Graham Collier's "Eggshell Summer," the second movement of his suite "Winter Oranges." The lineup varies slightly from one track to the next, but the instrumentation remains the same: trumpet, tuba, three to five saxophones, voice, piano, guitar, electric bass, drums, and percussion. The leader's vision derives from Duke Ellington's band. It swings before it explores, but it does stretch limits. Haslam contributes two compositions, opening and closing the CD. In "Variations: From Bop to Blues" he lifts themes from Dizzy Gillespie's "Things to Come" and Richard Carpenter's "Walkin'" and cleverly plays in and out of them. The piece will sound reassuringly orthodox to purists until the saxophone section (Julia Middleton, Pablo Ledesma, Ewen Baird, Geoff Hawkins, and Matthew F. Morris) breaks free and engage in a hearty free-form blow-out. Trumpeter Steve Waterman's "Concerto for Congas" was written for congero Robin Jones. The Latin themes used alongside European structures recall Kip Hanrahan's works. But the highlight is Collier's piece. Moodier, wider in terms of dynamics and textures, it forces the players into darker corners. As a bonus, it features talented vocalist Alison Bentley more extensively — she even gets to improvise a solo. From swing to Latin to avant-garde, Meltdown covers a lot of ground and the resulting image does feel a bit blurry. But it is well-written, well-performed light avant-garde jazz. ~ François Couture, Rovi


Geboren: 22. February 1939 in Preston, Lancashire, England

Genre: Jazz

Jahre aktiv: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Even by avant-garde jazz standards, British saxophonist George Haslam is hard to pigeon-hole. First, he prefers to perform on the baritone saxophone and the tárogató, a Hungarian double-reed instrument — not the most popular horns in jazz! Second, his eclectic tastes in music have taken him about everywhere between abstract free improv, Latin bop, and jazz standards. His formative years have remained undocumented, but his discography has been growing regularly since he created his own record...
Komplette Biografie
Cuban Meltdown, George Haslam
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