Saturday, February 8, 2014

Revolutionary Snake Ensemble Live Snakes 2014 Accurate 2014

A microcosm of life from cradle to grave and everything in between.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
Mardi Gras on steroids...Take everything you thought you were familiar with in terms of the music of New Orleans and wipe the slate clean. Boston based Revolutionary Snake Ensemble takes that Crescent City vibe to the next level with a live release that will set your hair on fire!
 
The more traditional concept of a New Orleans jazz funeral moves from the reverence of the passing to the joyous celebration of the reaffirmation that the very spirit of life itself is indeed a glorious thing. The irony here being that saxophonist and band leader Ken Field lost his wife to cancer one week into the recording of this spectacular release. This is a release recorded over time from 2011 - 2013 and the emotional uptick created with the passing of Field's wife sent the band into a creative frenzy...and these are live recordings.
 
This is an incredibly emotional, moving and introspective work from an ensemble known for a foot to the floor mentality that never quits. The moving interpretations of hymns such as "I'll Fly Away" and "Rock of Ages" kicks open the spiritual door to an emotionally charged release that captures the Crescent City spirit far better than some of the contemporaries that claim their New Orleans roots but reside comfortably in Manhattan, Ken Fields makes no such claims. Styles, genres and expectations are thrown out the door as free jazz, New Orleans roots music and improvisational fire power are on full display...
 
This my friends is what a musical party is all about!
4 Stars
 
Tracks: Parade; Cassandra 4; Rock of Ages; Slots; Caravan: Cassandra 5; Fpr Karen; I'll Fly Away; Que Sera Sera; I Got It; Cassandra 4 Remix; Breakdown Part 1.
 
Personnel: Ken Field: Alto Sax, flutes, percussion, Thereminator; Tom Hall: Tenor Sax (5,8); Matt Darriau: Tenor Sax & Flutes (1,4,9,10); Charles Neville: Tenor Sax (5,8); Jerry Sabatini: Trumpet ( 2,3, 5-8, 11,12); Danny Heath: Trombone: (2,4, 5-8, 11,12); Dave Harris: Trombone & Tuba (5,8); Alex Asher: Trombone (2,3,6,7,9,11,12); Josh Roseman: Trombone: (2,3,6,7,11,12); Blake Newman: Acoustic Bass; Alex Smith: Electric Bass (2,3,6,7,11,12); Phil Neighbors: Drums (1,4,5,8,9,10); Joey Lefitz: Drums (2,3,6,7,11,12); Kenny Wollesen: Drums & Percussion (1-4, 6, 7, 9-12); Andy Pinkham: Thereminator (11)