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SURD - Live at Glenn Miller Café

Geoffrey Totton, International Music Forum

Listening to new bands like Velvet Revolver on The Rock(Radio Station in Auckland )... I understand that for local bands to cover their songs ... many bands will have to raise their level of musicianship. A combination of an advanced trainer CD (like this) and a good teacher would be a good investment.

This CD opens with a collective improvisation ... very unconventional with guitar, sax, bass, and drums tuned to a tight frequency ... I love the Ornette Coleman voicings David Stackenas (the guitarist) uses.
Fredrik Nordstrom (the sax player) plays an in -out and all round improvisation not unlike Italian freejazzer Carlo Actis Dato. Filip Augustson (bass) and Thomas Stronen (drums) are not where you would normally expect .. but by now you will have guessed … the idea here is to try things in a different way.

There is a long double bass solo … like a sonic gypsy in the great dark exploring Spanish and North African scales ... the guitar comes in combined with bass and drums on a single line ... exploring up and down Charlie Parker like ... playing with authority .... the sax soloing like a heavy metal guitarist.
Yes free jazz and hard rock/metal are very close and the stars seem warm and close to touch. I love the way this band works in together.

The band plays a blues like no other ... a feel like the blues played on violins by Russian Gypsies ... can you imagine a meeting of Mississippi blues and traditional folk music .. that is the wonderful sound that Stackenas pulls out of his guitar.
The drums are not loud but do so much musically.

There is a sparse piece built on guitar harmonics ... while the sax explores the vast space Art Ensemble of Chicago style ... the drums are so subtle.

Stackenas and Stronen set up the feel of a great cosmic chord ... leading to a funky sax solo ... then Stackenas pulls all stops out for a passionate musical solo.

Except for 38 (by Steve Lacy) all compositions are by Surd ... 3 6 4 U ... Hello Paul ... Head P.... Bye Bye Teddy ... and Magnum Bonum.