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Queen of All Ears
Lounge Lizards
Queen of All Ears
Genres: Jazz, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

John Lurie's Lounge Lizards have been around for almost 20 years, and their collective sound has improved over time. The latest edition of Lounge Lizards is a nine-piece ensemble of top-notch musicians. While featuring abl...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Lounge Lizards
Title: Queen of All Ears
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Strange & Beautiful
Release Date: 6/16/1998
Genres: Jazz, Pop
Styles: Modern Postbebop, Bebop
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 655217001526

John Lurie's Lounge Lizards have been around for almost 20 years, and their collective sound has improved over time. The latest edition of Lounge Lizards is a nine-piece ensemble of top-notch musicians. While featuring able-bodied soloists like Michael Blake on tenor, Steve Bernstein on trumpet, Dave Tronzo on guitar, and John's brother Evan on keyboards, the Lizards remain a musical vehicle for John Lurie's noirish, angular muse. Although inspired by jazz's instrumental nature, most of this music was thoroughly worked out in advance. Led by John Lurie's sardonic alto and soprano saxophone playing, the band embraces West African music, expositions from New Orleans, and interludes of wicked gamelan. Simultaneously sarcastic and spiritual, this is an unorthodox album that those who aren't jazz fans should be able to enjoy. --Mitch Myers

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CD Reviews

Scary Children.
(5 out of 5 stars)

"6 stars! Listen to the remarkable "Yak" and "Monsters Over Bangkok". Rarely have I enjoyed an album so much the first listen; and as with any great record, it improves each time. "Queen of All Ears" takes elements of Mingus, Coltrane, Zappa, David Byrne, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, and David Murray [to name a few] and combines it all, into something as refreshing to me as an anisette & water at lunchtime in late July. [After all, there's plenty of dreck out there. This one, however, is a keeper.] If you like this album I might suggest: the Sun Ra Arkestra's "Jazz in Silhouette"; Medeski Martin & Wood's "It's a Jungle in Here"; Zappa's "Uncle Meat"; and Ornette Coleman's "The Shape of Jazz to Come". The Lounge Lizards take what's best about all these albums and make music that's chaotic, logical, funny, spontaneous, controlled, serious, and intelligent. It's full of contradictions, quirks, and irregularities, but there's also beauty, art, and understanding. Isn't that how life is? I recently saw them in concert here in NYC and it was quite a ride. Mr. Lurie has commanding stage presence and a great sense of the audience. What's better, he's a wacky guy. [You won't find better song titles.] As far as my humble opinion goes, this band is one of the few who carry the torch of the future of jazz, & the future of music. People are finding out about it."
Best work of John Lurie
Kenichi Nagatomo | Japan | 06/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album and Marvin Pontiac album are best works of John Lurie!"
The lizards and the queen
Adolph Pinelad | Montreal, Quebec Canada | 08/05/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Te Lounge Lizard's lineup:

John Lurie (composer) - alto and soprano Sax
Evan Lurie - Piano, Organ
Ben Perowsky - Percussion
Calvin Weston - Drums
Erik Sanko - Bass
Jane Scarpantoni - Cello
David Tronzo - Slide Guitar
Steven Bernstein - Trumpet
Michael Blake - Clarinet, teno sax

This is an excellent disc I must say. And the name "fake jazz" that Lurie gives the lounge lizard's music goes pretty well with it. It is a strange hybrid where classical music meets jazz, resulting in quirky strange and beautiful music. The sound is more sober than previous Lounge Lizard albums. More refined, so to speak. It has lost the `punkish' edge to it, but this is definitely a good thing.
Every piece is relatively simple and thus, easy to digest. This means that for the adventurous ear this music is like a fine dessert; a sophisticated treat where everything is in its right place. Every element of the music is highlighted. Many pieces have a cinematic feel to them and in combination with the titles you get transported into other worlds, where beauty and humoristic irreverence reign.
Every musician gets a chance to shine, always retaining a firm anchor in each tune's structure, which means that everybody understands his or her role to perfection and therefore never going on aimless rants. The improvisations sound like the tightly-crafted orchestrations going liquid, or in some cases the deconstruction of the tune itself.
Highlights of the album:
1. Scary Children - Immediately jumps to attention. Lurie's work is great, but so is everybody else's. A dark piece that is light and colorful, you must here it to get it.
2. Monsters over Bangkok - Scarpantoni, Sanko and Bernstein make this shine. You can truly see the monsters over Bangkok.
3. John Zorn's S&M circus
Every piece is great, these three being in my opinion the highlights. Yak is great fun. On this tune Lurie goes off narrating a great story that highlights his particular sense of humor. This album is a gem.