Six of a Perfect Pair

A Question of Balance

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Equal parts experimental jazz and new age, Six of a Perfect Pair was a German jazz combo who crafted hypnotic, relaxing instrumentals in a bizarre fashion. It is really not anything too complicated or unusual, but the way this music is played is definitely more on the avant-garde side of the fence. This is probably the album's strongest point, when the music experiments with unusual textures and noises (like the end of the sound-effect-heavy "Waltz for 4"). But it is this sort of experimentation that is sorely lacking from most of the material, leaving the listener with competent jazz songs that grow dull and lifeless from the endless repetition. Imagine the Residents if they stopped using vocals and replaced them with a smooth trumpet. Thus listeners still get the unusual music, but without the fascinating lyrics and oddball vocals that the Residents can offer. Now sometimes the horn playing is actually quite good, as on the memorable "Subway." But more often than not the music lacks the proper ingredients to truly keep it from getting boring. Fans of ambient, avant-garde jazz, and new age will probably find this more interesting than the average listener. Most others will probably stop paying attention after a few tracks, as the music is very hard to concentrate on and works much better as background fodder. Six of a Perfect Pair was quite bizarre, but that offbeat charm did not translate into their music the way it should have.

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