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Zu And Mats Gustafsson / How To Raise An Ox
Album:How To Raise An Ox Collection:Jazz
Artist:Zu And Mats Gustafsson Added:01/2006
Label:Atavistic/Truckstop Audio 

A-File Activity
Add Date:2006-02-12 Pull Date:2006-04-16 Charts:Jazz
Week Ending:16 Apr26 Mar19 Mar12 Mar5 Mar26 Feb19 Feb
Airplays:1112113

 Recent Airplay
1.Jun 20, 2006:Umami Jazz Program
How To Raise An Ox
4.Mar 24, 2006:Memory Select
The King Devours His Sons
2.Apr 18, 2006:Umami Jazz Program
How To Raise An Ox
5.Mar 17, 2006:Memory Select
How To Raise An Ox
3.Apr 11, 2006:Umami Jazz Program
The King Devours His Sons
6.Mar 10, 2006:Memory Select
The Tiger Teaches The Lamb

Album Review
Ben Wolfson
Reviewed 2006-02-09 
Herky-jerky, rhythmically complex, noisy/skronky jazz-based improvisations (or maybe compositions). Rooted in free jazz but would fit in rock shows. Zu are a trio of elec bass/drums/bari sax that frequently get no-wave comparisons, though I think of them more in line with Etron Fou Leloublan, who had the same lineup and similar metrical trickiness; they've collaborated previously with Ken Vandermark's Spaceways, Inc., Dälek, The Ex, and two with Eugene Chadbourne that are in the library. Gustafsson here on a second bari sax only adds to the energy level. The rhythm section, especially the bass, which Jannick Top would envy, here is really a knockout; they don't let up and are just as much in the lead as the two more conventional lead instruments which often as not take a more rhythmic role---there's not much emphasis on soloing here, and it's very heavy.

Best: 2, 3, 6, 9

1: Slow build suddenly explodes 30 seconds in, with intense throbbing bass.
2: Opens with high rhythmic bass plucks and harmonics, this changes later to distorted chords to support the saxes, which trade off short interlocking phrases (not unlike the ROVA sax quartet does on occasion). Intense breakdown in the middle.
3: Sparser and more atmospheric but still oppressive, this one features crushing bass random-seeming drum parts with the horns coming in only occasionally like brief interjections.
4: Opens with sax duet. Intense, shrieking solo part of the way in, played over increasingly chaotic accompaniment from the rhythm section. Ends focused on the bass.
5: Short squiggles coalescing into a threatening bass line, over which the saxes play sustained notes.
6: Squealing sax dominates the beginning, and plaintive, lengthy squalls characterize the entirety. Underneath the other instruments keep up a frenetic furor. Ends with a brief drum solo.
7: Percussion and mouthpiece-centric saxism. This one is a lot more restrained (no bass).
8: Slow, with lots of open space in the rhythm section.
9: Great, melodic (wrt the rest of the album) playing here. One sax skronks while the other one sings. Ends with herky-jerky brief sputters.

Track Listing
1.Over A Furnace 5.Bring The War Back Home
2.How To Raise An Ox 6.Meat Eater, Solar Bird
3.Eating The Landscape 7.Palace Of Reptiles
4.The King Devours His Sons 8.Beasts Only Die To Be Born
 9.The Tiger Teaches The Lamb