Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
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Sorry, but I just can't get that excited by this!
Terry Saundry | Keysborough, Vic, Australia | 12/12/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I'm happy that the reviewers here find so much in this release but I think it needs a contrasting review to warn others (like me!) who might be tempted to dive in based solely on their recommendations. If you (like me!) are old enough to have lived through the courtship of jazz and rock in the late sixties, this release does not sound that special. To give you some signposts, I am reminded at various times of Zappa's "Eric Dolphy Memorial Barbecue", King Crimson's "Happy Family" and Manfred Mann Chapter Three's first album. All of these, interestingly, date from 1969/70. There's even some wah-wah guitar on one track. There are some modern touches, of course; the overall feel is probably best described as "post-jazz" in the same way that the laid-back "noodle-music" Thrill Jockey tends to release is categorised as "post-rock". At this stage, I can't accept this as a milestone release musically. That's not to say that it may not be influential in some way, of course. I've docked them an extra star for the length - 31 minutes for an effectively full price release. I see the Japanese version manages to include two more tracks which double the album length! What's the story?"
Another approach to revitalize the Jazz idiom
rootwitch | 03/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Isotope 217, another outfit coming from the incredibly fertile grounds of Chicago, offers in this release a near-perfect formula to translate the vast Jazz heritage to contemporary styles. The mix of intimate, confessional jazz passages with electronic collages met a rare balance in this recording, thanks to an extremelly competent production. Rob Mazurek's work on cornet only enhances the final product, and the transitions between old an new are seamless. This proves that bringing jazz to new audiences can be done without the poor pastiche concocted by the mundane acid-jazz crowd. Give it a try, you'll be surprised."
Better than Tortoise
Matthew D. Mercer | Chicago, IL United States | 01/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"And that's saying a lot! Isotope 217 includes members of Tortoise as well as others and the sound is vaguely similar, although much more jazz-slanted, especially on this debut. The free-jazz sounds of the first track along with its tension chords make it a great opener, but it's really "La Jetee" that makes this essential: purely blissful, laid back listening. Those into the post-rock scene will not be disappointed by this release as Isotope 217 are among the best out there."