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Locked In a Basement

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Album Review

When it comes to the avant-garde, jazz purists and bop snobs have no interest in seeing any shades of gray. They lump all avant-garde jazz together and will tell you — with a straight face — that there are no major stylistic differences between the Either/Orchestra and a free jazz firebrand like saxophonist Charles Gayle (which is as ridiculous as saying that there are no major stylistic differences between Aerosmith and Slayer or between De La Soul and N.W.A). But avant-garde jazz isn't just one sound — it is many different sounds — and Locked in a Basement points to the fact that the trio Heernt represent the more melodic side of avant-garde jazz. No knowledgeable listener will mistake this 2005 date for the atonal splendor that John Coltrane favored during the last few years of his life; that type of free jazz adheres to a scorched-earth policy and takes no prisoners. And at the same time, Locked in a Basement is far from an album of hard boppers playing the George and Ira Gershwin songbook. Heernt's material is mildly left of center and mildly avant-garde, but not far to the left. The material, although often quirky and eccentric, is not harsh, abrasive, or confrontational; an inside/outside approach (with the inside being more prominent than the outside) prevails on noteworthy tracks like the moody "Aaaahh..," the angular "quick groove rolling," the oddly funky "Nice.," and the clever "Johnny2Rocketime" (which, interestingly, uses the antiquated sound of a typewriter for percussive purposes). Heernt's performances are notably cohesive — saxophonist Zac Colwell, electric bassist Neal Persiani, and drummer Mark Guiliana are very much in sync — and while Locked in a Basement falls short of earth-shattering, it is still an enjoyable and worthwhile demonstration of what this threesome has to offer.

Customer Reviews


These Guys Are, Hands Down, AMAZING Musicians! Moving, New, And Exciting Music Like None I Have Ever Heard Before! Mark Guilana Is Rediculous! Great Great Album!

Eclectic and Impressive

Heernt - Locked In A Basement: A little bit of avant garde, a little bit of jazz, a little bit of drum n' bass - this disc has it all. Although this may be a bit of a "music nerd" release, it is entertaining and engaging enough to capture the attention of at least a few casual listeners. The individual performances are undeniably incredible, and they produce more than a few "wow" moments. There are also some clever uses of everyday household items, including the typewriter. This is certainly not a party disc, but for those that are looking for something just a little bit different, I would recommend this.

Best Jazz CD of 2006

I love this band... so different so great. Mark is amazing... he's from my home town and we studied under the same teacher for awhile... all of you are just finding out what I've know for years... Mark G may be the best drummer of his time!!

Locked In a Basement, Heernt
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Customer Ratings