Nils Wogram's Root 70

Heaps Dub

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Now this is a reversal: instead of a jazz band having its tunes reworked, spindled, shredded, and aborted by remixers, here the reedman of a bona fide jazz quartet -- Hayden Chisholm of trombonist Nils Wogram's Root 70 in this case -- takes the liberty of rearranging and recording favorite tunes from Flanger and Burnt Friedman & the Nu Dub Players using an acoustic jazz approach. But that's only part of the twist: after all of the mighty chart arrangements and harmonic possibilities are worked out for trombone, saxophone, bass, and drums, Root 70 get dubbed over in a final mix by Friedman himself! Uh-huh, jazz mischief of the highest order. Beginning with the exotica-tinged jazz and reggae of "Get Things Straight," this subtle but steamy brew begins to take one of its many shapes. As the band impressionistically works through the minimal changes in the piece, Friedman adds a real dub track with an added percussion layer. "Designer's Groove" comes off sounding like something the second Miles Davis Quintet would explore in their latter days: sparse, tight, rhythmically compelling, and full of suggestion. When Friedman adds his world of echo, doubled-up horn lines, and stacked rhythm tracks, it becomes future noir jazz. It would be easy to go cut by cut here -- most of which are by Friedman or Friedman & the Nu Dub Players, but "Revivitator (Tongs of Love)" is by Black Sifichi and is given a makeover via beat poetry, foghorn expressionistic trombone, and saxophone with brushed drums and plenty of space; it sounds like ambient jazz futurism. The slippery swing of Flanger's "It Ain't Rocket Science" is set up like a hard bop blues via West Coast jazz with a breakbeat track sewn in the pocket for good measure. This is a truly elegant yet weird and wacky listening experience; it's infectious, too. For anyone interested in a new form of jazz expression and the way it can be part of -- not apart from -- the new technological music, Heaps Dub is a key to the locked door.

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