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Jump For Joy! - 2016 - "Bat Pullover"

(51:28, Bonobo's Ark Records)


TRACK LIST:                 

1. Put Put Epidemik 4:33
2. Situation Normal 4:59
3. Soleil Cheval Malade 2:17
4. Nie Wieder Avantgarde 5:13
5. Jump For Joy! Part 1: Time 4:15
6. Amusement & Excitations 5:57
7. InstruMental 3:53
8. Jump For Joy! Part 2: Borborismes Barbares 11:24
9. Birds At The Dentist 8:57


Yumi Hara - piano, keyboards, vocals
Chris Cutler - drums, percussion
Jean-Herve Peron - bass, trumpet, effects, vocals
Geoff Leigh - flute, saxophones, electronics, vocals
Geraldine Swayne - organ, effects, vocals
Zappi Werner Diermaier - drums, percussion

Prolusion. Multinational ensemble JUMP FOR JOY! was an impromptu creation at a festival i 2014, combining members from the bands You, Me & Us and faUst. This spur of the moment band creation proved to be so successful that the band was invited to perform at a festival in Sweden the following year, and appears to have stayed in operation since. "Bat Pullover" is the first of the two albums released by the band to date.

Analysis. As this is a band that started out at a festival on a more or less spur of the moment decision, it is rather fitting that their debut album is a live performance. It is, as a matter of fact, a recording of the concert in Sweden the band was invited to perform at following their first concert. Those familiar with the names of the band members will obviously be more than aware of this being an ensemble consisting of top notch performers, and these are seasoned musicians that easily deliver the goods also in a live setting. I rather suspect that a band like this is best enjoyed in those circumstances actually, and if you enjoy music of this kind then this live album will obviously be a very good place to get to know them. While a lot can be said about this band, I guess the most important description to give is that this is not a progressive rock band. They may well have progressive tendencies, even if improvisation appears to be more of a driving force here, but the more important aspect is that there's just not all that much that has benn pulled in from the rock music universe here. Some organ details possibly, some bass lines perhaps, but at best then in more of a subtle manner. Room for improvisations appears to be a key aspect of this band throughout. Most of the songs have a sparse amount of vocals, mainly delivered in an expressive manner, and the main stable elements in many songs, or in some cases parts of songs, are the rhythms. They tie everything together rather effectively, and it is when the drums are on tribal or marching orders as a dominant pulse throughout this album experience, or live experience if you like, is at it's very best. The opening cuts 'Put Put Epidemik' and 'Situation Normal' are both good examples of that. Where this album will be divisive are in the more expressive passages, when atonal and non-rhythmic elements combine in chaotic, at times abrasive arrangements. When dramatic instrument details collide, backing instruments soar in machine-like pain and the vocals are shouting and chanting. Expressive modes of delivery on multiple and quite often different planes altogether. The description free form will be a frequent association, even if the songs themselves may or may not operate out from a core structure or idea. The word improvisation is unavoidable, as is the word avantgarde. The band manage to pull it off though, at least to the extent that someone like me, that aren't overly fond of music of this kind, still finds the album as such a pleasant and at times engaging experience. This obviously says a lot about the skills of the musicians involved, and for me at least also indicates that this live album may well have a reach a bit beyond the key audience for this type of music.

Conclusion. Jump For Joy! is an ensemble that moves quickly into the heartland of avantgarde jazz and stays there for the duration of the concert experience this live album documents. The musicians are renowned instrumentalists and performers, and this is an album where you can easily hear that this is the case, even if the music itself doesn't speak to you. Those fond of expressive, avantgarde jazz with a liberal amount of improvisation should have a field day with this album.

Progmessor: July 21st 2018
The Rating Room

Related Links: Plenty

Jump for Joy!


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