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SADO - 2010 - "Weather Underground"

(50:26x2, Banksville Records)

TRACK LIST:                   

1.  Intro 0:21
2.  Wet Weather 0:55
3.  Koningsplein A’dam 1017 BB 1:58
4.  Scorrimeeentoh 0:52
5.  Food a la Blue 2:19
6.  Poo Poo's Ugly Sister 2:55
7.  Spray Gun 0:09
8.  Tremolino e Mordicchio Vanno al Bagno 3:13
9.  Goodbye Megabyte 3:31
10. Adeste Fideles 2:39
11. Gimme Three Bombs and a Half 0:26
12. Cavalcioni Waltz 0:55
13. Pellicole Rombojdali 2:37
14. Un Incontro in Farmacia 2:51
15. Plexiglas Cubes 0:51
16. The War Goes On 1:20
17. Mary Quant Regina di Stoffa 2:46
18. For Funny 0:07
19. Chaos in Harward 3:19
20. Green Tea at 5 AM 2:03
21. Cuban's Capitalist Blues 1:58
22. Bad Cops over Poppella 0:09
23. Brano Maturo Serio e Responsabile 4:44
24. Violent Society 0:51
25. Weathermen's First Word 5:48


Sandro Marinoni – sax, flute, trombone
Paolo Baltaro – bass; keyboards
Enrico Bricco – guitars 
Boris Savoldelli – vocals 
Andrea Beccaro – drums, percussion
Barbara Rubin – viola; voice
G. Battista Franco – voice 
Guido Michelone – voice (CD 1)
Stevn Thomas – voice (CD 2)

Prolusion. The Italian outfit Societa Anonima Decostruzionismi Organici, also known as SADO, has been around in one form or another since the early 1990's. So far they have six productions to their name, of which "Weather Underground" is the most recent. This latest effort of theirs was issued by Banksville Records in the first half of 2010.

Analysis. A slight detail to take note of with this production is that it isn't an actual double album. It is a bilingual release, where each CD contains exactly the same tracks. The only difference is the language used by the storyteller: Italian on the first CD and English on the second. It's also worth noting that this difference concerns the role of the storyteller only, covering the thematic story alone and not the individual song lyrics as such. The theme explored is a curious one by the way, an interpretation of the central events in the US non-violent extremist organization the Weather Underground, a movement active in the late 60s and early 70s and best known for going out of their way to try to ensure that their attacks, most often bombs, I believe, never caused harm to any human beings. A slight quirk to this album, beside the already mentioned bilingual extravagance, is that the concept story is told in reverse chronological order. And the manner in which this production plays out may support the notion that the stylistic expressions, at least to some extent, are used as a tool to convey some message about the internal condition of this terrorist organization. Following the opening atmospheric presentation we're heading straight into the realms of jazz, and stay put there for quite a while. Throughout the first nine compositions to be exact, with a few forays into free jazz and avant-garde territories, but mostly staying put within a territory where 70s jazz rock and laid-back, smooth/night club jazz form the outer boundaries. From then on we're taken for quite a ride as far as genres go, and while trying to make an ample summary is a task demanding more space than most readers would feel comfortable with, a few examples should give a general idea of the scope. Un Incontro in Farmacia is a fragmented construction initially with brief bursts of folk-tinged musical snippets in between spoken words, with textures from chamber music sparingly applied before a droning synth dominated space-inspired theme takes over, all the time with vocal effects of a dadaistic nature and dissonant instrumental fragments liberally spicing the general arrangement. The War Goes On opens as a slick jazz-rock piece, suddenly erupting into a chaotic and frantic free improvisation. Chaos in Harward is an assembly of fragmented and disjointed instrumental motifs, vocals and spoken voice, where the instrumental details from time to time combine into short themes of different stylistic expressions, ranging from laidback jazz to avant-garde fusion. Cuban's Capitalist Blues is what it says, a blues tune featuring a rich organ motif and harmonizing solo guitars in the second half. The final piece Weathermen's First Word actually lasts a minute or so in total, where the second half is a fading droning sound and the first an energetic, aggressive and pace-filled affair with closer similarities to punk than anything else, followed by a few minutes of silence and then a secret track, a sleepy, tranquil psychedelic affair clocking in at 90 seconds or thereabout. It all adds up to a production both adventurous and challenging, perhaps more so than merely interesting and intriguing, but well made and well performed nonetheless.

Conclusion. My experience with SADO so far, after becoming familiar with their two most recent efforts, is that they are an unpredictable and rather challenging ensemble, with a stylistic foundation residing somewhere within the jazz realm, but frequently reaching out towards other stylistic territories, if not in full then at least on a more detailed level. "Weather Underground" stands out as a really well-made effort in this respect, with a thematic story that in itself is an intriguing experience. And if you enjoy jazz incorporating avant-garde, experimental and free improvisational features with frequent flirtations with fusion to boot, this is a CD you might want to become familiar with.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: February 1, 2011
The Rating Room

Related Links:

Banksville Records


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