BIRMINGHAM POST
JAZZ CD OF THE WEEK
September 1, 2007
4 STARS

Floratone is a musical quartet with a difference – two are the instrumentalists Bill Frisell (guitar) and Matt Chamberlain (drums) and two are the producers Tucker Martine and Lee Townsend.  It’s a fine reminder that in today’s world, knob twiddlers rank alongside string pluckers or velum strikers.

The result is jazz in the broadest sense, in that it is instrumental, improvisatory and has a groove and is marginally more appropriate in the jazz category than filed under surf guitar, swamp music or twang-thump (a category I am proud to have just created).

In fact “Swamped” is one of the track titles, along with “Mississippi Rising”, “Monsoon”, “Louisiana Lowboat” and “Threadbare”.

All have an earthy, rural quality and would do very well as part of the soundtrack to the recent Spike Lee documentaries on the Katrina aftermath.

Our ears have become more accustomed to the spacey music with not a lot happening and very open-ended in structure that was previously written solely as an adjunct to film.  Maybe it is the ipod generation’s desire for music that can be a soundtrack to their own lives.  Whatever, this is very attractive.

 

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