Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Jacob Garchik - The Heavens: The Atheist Gospel Trombone Album (Yestereve, 2012)

Musician Jacob Garchik combined his unorthodox love of both gospel music and the scientific method as the background for this audacious solo album. Overdubbing up to eight trombones, two baritones, two sousaphones, and a slide trumpet in his Brooklyn home studio is quite a feat in itself, the fact that it holds together so well is a testament to Garchik’s talent and vision. “The Problem of Suffering” has higher sounding horns playing off against lower register instruments, laying out slabs of music that clears the path for the trumpet to dance through. “Optimism” brings together organized riffs of brass, sounding like something akin to the World Saxophone Quartets except with trombones. Fast and urgent, “Digression on the History of Jews and Black Music” shows to sousaphones laying down a boiling bottom end that propels the music forward. “This Song Is the Center of the Universe” is a short blast of witty banter, while “Glory/Infinity/Nothing” keeps the irreverent feel, delving into what seems like complex cartoon music. This is a very unusual album, and the instrumentation alone would mark it for listening. Garchik put a lot of time and energy into this recording and it shows in a fascinating and thoughtful recording. He takes a sense of renewed wonder into the music dealing with the sacred and the scientific and brings them together in a joyous and fun manner. This music is quite accessible, part brass band, a hint of New Orleans, some gospel and a lot of modern jazz sensibility. The Heavens - amazon.com

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