Bill Ding

And the Sound of Adventure

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Bill Ding's debut LP, And the Sound of Adventure, is a clunky, low-fi triumph of John Hughes III (son of brat pack film auteur John Hughes) and cohort Dan Snazelle filled with moments of sharp musical brilliance. And the Sound of Adventure creeps up quickly with a hard dose of cynicism reflected in Hughes' subtle and understated vocals. And although they reveal a great deal of depth and creativity, the lyrics never overpower the perfectly sparse orchestration of violins, horns, cellos, vibes, bass, and guitar. There is certainly an element of free jazz present on Adventure, but Hughes and Snazelle generally opt for folk, ambient, and rock more often than not. With some added noise and screechiness -- usually generated by acoustic strings rather than electronics -- Bill Ding has skillfully crafted a patient and subtle record that encompasses many different genres. At times heavy and hard-rocking, though always heady and mood-driven, Bill Ding's And the Sound of Adventure is a tremendous rock interpretation of Chicago's heavily jazz-informed downtown scene.

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