Monday, January 11, 2016

Cleverhorse - 50: Fifty (2016)

Source & Label: Jazzhead

Since the release of their 2007 debut album, "Goodnight, Mr. Monster", cleverhorse have been quietly experimenting with compositional forms and improvisational methods. Their second album "50:fifty" represents a culmination of their shared vision, featuring a juxtaposition of heavily structured arrangements with free spirited extemporization, informed in equal measure by contemporary jazz and Norwegian folk, the sonic space of the soundtracks of the films of Wim Wenders, the density of Shanghai city, and the sparse and playful writings of Richard Brautigan.
In recent years, the idea of "folk" music, or "community" music has become an increasingly important element in Melville's creative development. This idea of community relies on two definitions. The first is one in which a small social unit shares common values, interests, preferences, beliefs and other characteristics that affect the individual identity of the participants in their pursuit of a collective goal. The second reflects the writings of Duncan Foster, in which community is defined as "an action rather than as a group of people, whereby the...artist acts in community with others". The community arts project, in this context, becomes the development of relationships and is the artist's "specific point of communion with others in collaboration".
Outside of cleverhorse, the band members perform vastly different styles of music from one another. Whilst this is not unique to this band, it has positively informed the development of a shared musical lexicon, an understanding of each other's personalities and playing, and a mutual trust on and off the bandstand. The music of cleverhorse is a reflection of their shared community, made as it is of multiple musicians, personalities and individuals, and a shared history.

1. Bug Monster 06:16
2. Reich I 01:27
3. Reich II 04:44
4. Bitter Cold 05:25
5. Lego So High Only Dogs Can Hear It 01:52
6. Fletcher & The Whirlybirds 05:28
7. Punch 01:38
8. Remark 03:47
9. I Owe You One 05:03
10.Hurts 01:39
11.June Tune 06:20
12.Stankey 01:20
13.Something About A Dog 05:44

Gideon Brazil - tenor saxophone, flute
Luke Hodgson - bass, guitar on "Punch"
Dan Macdonald - drums, percussion
Monty Mackenzie - alto saxophone
Robbie Melville - guitar, banjo