THE EITHER ORCHESTRA, MOOD MUSIC FOR TRAVELLERS

The compelling title might suggest a future perfect but this gang – a 10 piece jazz ensemble performing for over 20 years together – feeds a voracious need to swing and have a good time. Although they captured the imaginations and many new admirers with their arrangements of Ethiopian songs (“Ethiopiques 20: Either/Orchestra Live In Addis”) from 2005, here the band channels their love for sly tunes with a wink (“The One Of A Kind Shimmy”), hip cocktail jazz (“Beaucoups Kookoo”) and Latin merengue (“Coolcity”). This is lounge music for adults, like Pink Martini but less manic and more nourishing.

Leader and primary composer Russ Gershon steers his solid crew through a diverse course of tunes with solid Afro-Caribbean rhythms at their core. The orchestra plays with tight-as-a-drum precision and there’s no fronting, just solid musicianship and riveting solos that never overstay their welcome. A nimble flow courses throughout, whether combining the dark and dreamy (“Thirty Five”) with the elated grooves that shape “The Petrograd Revision,” or the magnificent “Suriname,” perhaps the most beautiful and artfully played tune on the album. (10 tracks; 77:03 minutes) www.either-orchestra.org www.accuraterecords.com 
   

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JAZZ IN SPACE: THE EITHER ORCHESTRA, MOOD MUSIC FOR TRAVELLERS

Thursday, November 11, 2010

THE EITHER ORCHESTRA, MOOD MUSIC FOR TRAVELLERS

The compelling title might suggest a future perfect but this gang – a 10 piece jazz ensemble performing for over 20 years together – feeds a voracious need to swing and have a good time. Although they captured the imaginations and many new admirers with their arrangements of Ethiopian songs (“Ethiopiques 20: Either/Orchestra Live In Addis”) from 2005, here the band channels their love for sly tunes with a wink (“The One Of A Kind Shimmy”), hip cocktail jazz (“Beaucoups Kookoo”) and Latin merengue (“Coolcity”). This is lounge music for adults, like Pink Martini but less manic and more nourishing.

Leader and primary composer Russ Gershon steers his solid crew through a diverse course of tunes with solid Afro-Caribbean rhythms at their core. The orchestra plays with tight-as-a-drum precision and there’s no fronting, just solid musicianship and riveting solos that never overstay their welcome. A nimble flow courses throughout, whether combining the dark and dreamy (“Thirty Five”) with the elated grooves that shape “The Petrograd Revision,” or the magnificent “Suriname,” perhaps the most beautiful and artfully played tune on the album. (10 tracks; 77:03 minutes) www.either-orchestra.org www.accuraterecords.com 
   

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