Review: From the sound of it, Ensemble Double Up is less concerned with making the material swing as it is in making it sing in its own odd and compelling way. Rubato moments abound, using god-only-knows-what as an anchor for the music. To play this freely yet stay together can't be that simple.
If You Like: Omar Sosa, Art Ensemble of Chicago, Roscoe Mitchell, Igor Stravinsky
Track Review (favorites denoted by *):
1/ Game is Up (22:48) – off-kilter piano starts, slow tempo> flute/piano duet joined by drums> slow jam with multiple instruments, like an invigorated conversation> piano solo slows even further, swells into crescendo & slides into slow jam> drum solo> uptempo jam> tuba solo> uptempo jam> piano/tuba duet> uptempo jam with shifting instruments> cello solo> sax solo> quick stop
*2/ Clear And Distinct From The Other A (9:56) – piano starts> languorous slow tempo jam> alto sax solo swings into uptempo jam> piano solo> off-kilter uptempo jam with intersecting instruments> quick stop
3/ Clear And Distinct From The Other B (6:15) – piano starts> slow tempo with intermingling of instrument voices> slow stately piano solo> slow & ominous jam like rolling thunder> jam swells in intensity & frenzy> quick stop
*4/ Clear And Distinct (8:38) – wild slow tuba solo starts, like a soundtrack for a hippopotamus> midtempo jam with a piano solo over the top> jam swings uptempo, ragged & wild, then mellows to midtempo> constantly shifting tempos> quick stop
5/ (spoken band intro)