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Album Review

This is for all fans of such amazing big bands as the Sun Ra Arkestra, Charles Mingus' Big Band, the Italian Instabile Orchestra, Willem Breuker Kollektief, and other thrilling jazz groups of the larger variety. It is a terrific proof of bassist William Parker's strength as a leader and is one of his most engaging releases to date. The Mayor of Punkville compiles selections from Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra's performances at NYC's Tonic from July through November, 1999 onto two discs. The first opens rather appropriately with a short piece of drawn-out phrases overall reminiscent of an orchestra warm-up. The only number featuring vocals, "James Baldwin to the Rescue," comes next and vocalist Aleta Hayes comes across strong. This piece stays more scattered and more atmospheric, making it possible to get a bit lost in the longer instrumental sections. The highlight of the first disc, "Oglala Eclipse," follows and the orchestra really kicks and moves together as Arkestra notions rise up again in the back of the mind. Starting the second disc is "Interlude #7 (Huey's Blues)" and, as with the other two interludes, the orchestra is found to be calm and steady. Little Huey is at its most shining during disc two, including the spitfire, shout-inducing, epic title track (which clocks in at just over 30 minutes), as well as the three-part "Steps to Noh Mountain." It's a great pleasure to hear three trumpets, four trombones, and six saxophones (all well-played) provide the body of a piece that has a lovely melody and great groove, working along with the strong rhythm section of drummer Andrew Baker and Parker on bass. It's loose, it's off-the-cuff, it's rebellious, and slightly minor(-keyed) — The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra offer much enjoyment with the wonderful, beautiful Mayor of Punkville.

Mayor of Punkville, The Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra
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