Jeff Lederer: tenor and soprano saxophones; Petr Cancura: tenor saxophone; Kirk Knuffke: cornet, trumpet; Brian Drye: trombone; Art Bailey: accordion; Gary Lucas: guitar; Matt Wilson: percussion; Allison Miller: percussion; Stephen LaRose: percussion; Mary LaRose: vocals.
Saxophonist Jeff Lederer, a staunch representative of today’s creative jazz, has a new album entitled “Brooklyn Blowhards”, whose interesting concept mixes Albert Ayler’s music, Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”, and sea shanties, which are a particular type of work songs connected to the sea and shaped mostly as marches and folk songs. The result is a pretty amazing combination of push-pulling cadences that transpire resistance, survival, and spiritual.
Ayler’s “Bells” starts like a frolicking fanfare just until Lederer’s boisterous solo erupts alongside Bailey’s imperative accordion. “Haul Away Joe”, plays like a hymn and boasts unflinching improvisations. “Dancing Flower” initially suggests a ballad but shifts into a rhythm that easily gets under your skin by bestowing a rich, serpentine locution that comes out of the leader’s soprano sax.
One of the most impressive tracks is “Black Ball Line” where we have exciting calls-responses by the saxophonists, momentarily interrupted by another effusive popular march. Gary Lucas and Mary LaRose, respectively guitarist and singer, are firstly heard on the strongly folk “Shallow Brown”, a sort of Zappa meets Crosby, Stills, and Nash.
Both “Santi Anno” and “Hail on the Bowline” are impeccably led by Knuffke’s cornet and propelled by the percussive expansions and contractions created by Wilson and Allison. Before the talkative last tune, a seaman’s hymn, we have “The Language Of Resistance”, a cheerless lamentation professed with fervor and intuition.
01 – Bells ► 04 – Black Ball Line ► 06 – Santi Anno