Theo Bleckmann

No Boat

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    8
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This CD is billed under the co-leadership of vocalist Theo Bleckmann and guitarist Ben Monder, who are joined by drummer Jim Black and electric bassist Skuli Sverrisson. There is a certain abstract, esoteric quality to much of the music, which includes mostly originals by the musicians, with two standards, and a Maxime Hong Kingston poem put to the music of Jon Hollenback. Bleckmann's voice is generally used like an additional horn, although occasionally he sings the lyrics. Monder is a wonderfully creative guitarist who is equally effective whether he launches atmospheric blasts or post-bop cascades. Bleckmann has an unusually slithery voice, which he yodels, twists, and stretches like putty. He blends nicely with the trio, resulting in some highly attractive pieces. The closing "Every Time We Say Goodbye" is sung slow and straight, a gut-wrenching finale.

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