Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
Listen to Samples
Great in parts, but drags a little bit
bimwa | Australia | 03/10/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There's no denying that Chris Speed's Yeah NO is a great band - Speed is a wonderful reedman and composer (experience ranging from Human Feel to Pachora to Tim Berne to Dave Douglas). Trumpeter Cuong Vu is similarly experienced, a vibrant player (check out his work on Bobby Previte's "Too Close To The Pole"). Skuli Sverrisson (bass) and Jim Black (drums) are absolutely amazing - they are understandably also the rhythm section with Pachora, Jim Black's AlasNoAxis, Laurie Anderson, and who knows how many others...Despite this great ensemble of musicians, something just doesn't sit quite right about this recording. The focus here is really on improvisation and so most of the time the melodies seem a bit like afterthoughts and are not very memorable. Also, the tempo of the album pretty much stays between slow and moderate, which isn't a terrible thing in itself, but as a result it sounds a bit stodgy and samey. Two main exceptions: a trumpet solo in track 2 'Reconnoiter' which goes briefly to double time, and most of track 5 'Wheatstone' which is *the only uptempo track*."Deviantics" is not without its awesome moments. The opener 'Pith Remix' is extremely funky, particularly when Sverrisson drops his bassline down an octave to 5-string territory. 'Eddie Cano' is a beautiful dirge which features Black on melodica. And the album's closer 'East Europe Rundown' is a solid Balkan-flavoured Speed composition (though a bit slow, as mentioned above).The whole album has an Eastern European flavour to it, as with Pachora, another collective of similar musicians (the only difference in lineup is Brad Shepik on saz/tambura instead of Cuong Vu). Pachora comes together generally a bit better than Yeah NO, but it does have a more traditional flavour (Speed sticks to clarinet, for example). In conclusion, "Deviantics" is a pretty abstract album, with a main focus on improvisation. It'll grow on you, but I think that some parts will always seem a little bit samey and slow."
Douglas T Martin | 02/08/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Chris Speed's excellent work with Dave Douglas, among others, is followed up on this terrific CD. The sound is somewhat exotic with playing on an extremely high level. I was expecting something along the lines of "Tiny Bell" but Deviantics is a very original cd. The compostions are open, allowing plenty of group improv and also included some excellent solos. If you're a fan of Douglas you'll probably like this but don't expect a carbon copy!"
A lot of variety, yet still cohesive
Douglas T Martin | Alpharetta, GA USA | 02/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A collection of Balkan-inspired works performed by some of the best players in the business. Chris Speed again demonstrates his strong compositonal skills; just like on his recording "Iffy", the songs cover a lot of different styles, from a straight-up eastern European march ("East Europe Rundown") to dissonant, atmospheric pieces ("Eddie Cano"). Trumpeter Cuong Vu, who nearly showed up Dave Douglas as part of Douglas' Sanctuary octet has a very strong presence on this recording; his melodic lines are clear and sharp. Excellent performances from everyone. Recommended to fans of Masada, Dave Douglas, and anyone with interests in both modern jazz and eastern European and/or Klezmer-type music."