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Reviewers: Don Mather, Dick Stafford, Marc Bridle, John Eyles, Ian Lace, Colin Clarke, Jack Ashby



INSIDE OUT ( Mainstream Meets The New Music )


Randy Sandke - leader, trumpet, flugelhorn ; Scott Robinson - soprano, baritone & contra-bass saxophones, flute, bass clarinet, theremin; Marty Erlich - soprano saxophone, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto flute; Ken Peplowski - clarinet, tenor saxophone; Ray Anderson - trombone; Wycliffe Gordon - trombone; Uri Caine - piano; Greg Cohen - bass; Dennis Mackrell - drums.

Recorded on January 17 & 18, 2000 at Atavar Studios, NYC, by David Baker.

1. Like I Said
2. Creole Love Call
3. Simple Pleasure
4. Comet Call
5. Whispers In The Night
6. Sisyphus Effect
7. Inside Out
8. Plumbing The Depths
9. Sforzando ( for Blair and Carol Brown )
10. D.T.
11. Sam Bone
12. Tripianti Di Scimmia

I must confess to being unfamiliar with the work of many of the musicians to be found on this recording. While I have read about their exploits in such worthy publications as Downbeat and our own Jazzwise I have never, to date, investigated this particular area of contemporary jazz. I can only state that it has been my loss and that it is an oversight I intend to rectify with some urgency. This disc is sheer delight. There is a feeling for tradition at the same time as there is a tremendous sense of humour . It can only be described as Ellington meets Monk meets Gillespie meets Mingus meets Braxton with a healthy dose of originality for good measure. Perhaps this is the direction some of the afore-mentioned worthies might have been heading in if they were still active today.

The instrumentation on this disc is highly unusual - where else could one hear clarinets, trumpet, trombones, all of the saxes including bass sax and theremin ? However this is not an attempt to dazzle the listener purely through odd combinations of sounds, each horn is used to its best advantage and often to its absolutely full potential. The trombones have rediscovered their slides and the higher woodwind are played in a wonderfully liquid manner, all very reminiscent of music from earlier times.

I have spent a great deal of time preparing a track by track analysis of this session but now find it to be totally inadequate and superfluous - the only way to really appreciate this release is to buy it and wallow in the originality of this select group of players. Surely this recording is far more indicative of the future of Jazz than many of the pseudo-bop extravaganzas that are being churned out by the major labels with a predictable sense of monotony.

The music contained here ranges from ensembles that would sound correct if played by Mingus or Joe Lovano to Ellington a la "Such Sweet Thunder" to glorious Samba rhythms featuring the two trombones in humorous mode replete with lip slurs, growls, rasps and an absolute feeling of abandonment and joy. It would be unfair to single out soloists, everyone contributes to the highest level and manages to make their personal style a worthy addition to the overall blend.

Perhaps the highlight for me is the off the wall take on "Creole Love Call" - here the leader gives a glorious off key rendition of the Bubber Miley solo that somehow fits to perfection and the theremin produces the wordless vocal ( in the liner it is referred to as "the instrument that swallowed Adelaide Hall " ). This disc is amazing and would certainly be one of my records of the year.

Dick Stafford


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