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Free Jazz Posse | Fanfares For The Noh Age

Freedonia Music • www.freedoniamusic.org

“All music by Free Jazz Posse” says the tiny blurb inside this CD. That’s an important statement as either (a) the band is at its creative peak or (b) they have a tendency to favour their own craftsmanship and writing over that of someone who came prior. What is most surprising is that this session was recorded ten years ago, which only begs the question: why was there a decade-long span in getting it to the listeners?

Free Jazz Posse is a seven piece band, whose main goal is to play loud. It’s not just the volume that gets heard right up front, but their tenacity and unnerving ferocity. Made up of saxophonist/clarinetist Dave Stone, flautist/saxophonist Jay Zelenka, trombonist Jeremy Melsha, guitarist Drek Leu, clarinetists Aaron Smith and Ajay Khanna and trumpeter Mike Fitzgerald, the band gambles on music that is honest, direct and most of all, highly creative.

Energy driven blows are heard throughout from the generous woodwind section. Clarinet players attack Jeremy Melsha on trombone, who is left scrambling much of the time. Lack of a rhythm section only means Melsha is forced to take on some of the rhythmic qualities. Derek Lau’s guitar machinations unfortunately get buried underneath the rumble of winds. When the band slows down their break-neck pacing for a few minutes, they begin to resemble a contemporary new music ensemble. Forget about tempos, charts or written music, this is some serious, fully improvised music from the get-go. The knack that each of these seven members possesses is a set of keen ears that closely listen to what the others are playing. The fervour, the drive and the passion is heard from beginning to the record’s end. In chaos, there is light. Structure comes to life when you least expect it. Free Jazz Posse holds the key to this multi-faceted world.

Tom Sekowski – May 2008

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Tom Sekowski
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