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Memphis Flyer Turn Up That Noise!

By Edited by Stephen Grimstead

Another Society

Blood Wrong
(PC Music)

AUGUST 25, 1997:  CLEARLY, THE BRAND OF ANGER and sophomoric morbidity favored by grungeoids like Memphis-based Another Society has, by now, lost almost all of its power to impress. Featuring an abundance of weary metal contrivance and lyrics that read as if they were written on the sly during the author's junior-high-school math class, Blood Wrong, the band's second release, fails to matter much.

The album opens with some brief and fairly engaging tribal percussion, but quickly moves into the mediocrity zone with "Let Down," which serves as a lesson in the folly of aping your mentors (Metallica, in this case) too slavishly. Other songs reveal other predictable influences -- a little Soundgarden here, a touch of Alice In Chains there, blah, blah, blah.

Produced, engineered, and mixed by Don Gilmore at Ardent, the sound of the CD is pretty good. And I have to say that, instrumentally and vocally, Another Society certainly doesn't suck. But Blood Wrong doesn't contain one ounce of anything that hasn't been done considerably better by many others long before now. -- Stephen Grimstead

(If you feel that the opinion expressed here fails to matter much, you might be interested to know that Another Society's album-release party is scheduled for September 13th at the New Daisy Theatre.)


Dave Douglas/Tiny Bell Trio

Live in Europe
(Arabesque Jazz)

DOUGLAS SEEMS COMFORTABLE wearing a number of eccentric hats. Last year he dazzled with his Soul Note release Five, which cast the trumpeter with drums and a string trio. This year he dazzles again with his Tiny Bell Trio, consisting of Douglas on trumpet, guitarist Brad Schoeppach, and drummer Jim Black. With a cool juxtaposition of simplicity and complex interplay, with lots of space to work in, this trio mixes chaos and order, darkness and light, the coolly melodic and the wildly cacophonous, with consistently intriguing results.

Schoeppach works a myriad of sounds from his guitar, alternating thick rich chords, agile bass lines, and piercing wails with ease. Black is a versatile, energetic, and highly creative drummer, who emphasizes his toms, bass, and snares, shifting from rhythm to lead as the music requires. Douglas provides light, skipping melodies, resonant harmonies, and some wild playing. The trio mixes Hungarian folk tunes, Monk-inspired whimsy, dark and mysterious passages, and a carnival sense of glee. This is a profoundly original recording that bears repeated listenings, revealing more each time it's played. -- Gene Hyde


Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd

Jazz Samba
(Verve Master Editions)

Stan Getz and Joćo Gilberto

Getz/Gilberto
(Verve Master Editions)

THESE TWO LANDMARK ALBUMS introduced Brazilian bossa nova rhythms into the jazz idiom, and were hugely successful when they were first released. These new reissues are part of Verve's impressive Master Editions series, with excellent 20-bit remastering, expanded liner notes, and aesthetically pleasing folding cardboard covers.

When guitarist Byrd returned from a South American tour in 1961, he brought back a love for samba, an infectious, syncopated dance rhythm. 1962's Jazz Samba combined this popular Brazilian music with Getz's cool jazz temperament. The gentle, rolling rhythms are propelled by Bill Reicherbach and Buddy Deppen-schmidt's soft cymbal-driven drums and percussion. When Getz's amazingly lyrical tenor playing and Byrd's gentle guitar add melody and harmony, the results are magical. Deceptively laid-back, this is actually complex and deeply affecting music, with tunes that creep into your consciousness and tend to linger for days. Jazz Samba was the first jazz album ever to reach #1 on the pop charts, and Getz won a Grammy for his single of "Desafinado."

Getz followed this success in 1963 with Getz/Gilberto. Getz is joined by several giants of the Brazilian music world, including guitarist Joćo Gilberto, vocalist Astrud Gilberto, and pianist/composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. Musically, much of this album is similar to Jazz Samba, with several exquisite solos from Getz -- indeed, some of his finest playing is on this disc. But what made this album so unique were the vocals -- this is an American version of Brazilian popular music, with lyrics in both English and Portuguese. Included is one of jazz's most famous singles, "The Girl From Ipanema," which became a huge international hit. Getz/Gilberto went gold, and has been inducted into the Grammys Hall of Fame.

For jazz albums, these two recordings reached an unprecedented level of popularity. They spawned a million poor imitators, and "The Girl From Ipanema" has been covered to death. Yet these two discs, both quietly beautiful masterpieces, have stood the test of time well. -- G.H.


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