Monday, July 27, 2020

Brom - Dance With an Idiot (Trost, 2020)

Coming off a powerhouse 2018 album Sunstroke, it's interesting to hear the Russian band Brom broaden their sound and move from not just fire breathing free jazz (though there certainly is that at times) into a group that is using dynamics, varied textures and strains of light and shade to create a more artistic performance. The band consists of Dmitry Lapshin on bass, Anton Ponomarev on saxophone, Felix Mikensky on electronics and Bogdan Ivlev on drums. "Salty Peanuts" even uses the great Dizzy Gillespie bebop classic as a starting point, taking the familiar theme and pushing it into the stratosphere and then developing a complex full band improvisation from this classic wellspring. The opening track "Demons" shows that they still know how to leave a mark and can rip and tear just as well as any punk band you can care to name. The electric bass and ferocious drums are locked in tight and Ponomarev's saxophone leaves no mercy. The title track "Dance With an Idiot" is particularly interesting, with a theme that weaves a particular cockeyed cadence akin to a a dancer with two left feet. Mikensky's electronics add interesting tones to the music as well, at times playing the straight man with organ like sounds, but other times shadowing other instruments, particularly Lapshin's bass, opening up wider musical vistas for the group in their improvisations. This album worked well, it is great to hear the group to evolve and challenge themselves, adding aspects of progressive rock and experimental electronic music to their expanding palate and it will be very interesting to see where they go from here. Dance WIth An Idiot - amazon.com

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