Ken Field's Revolutionary Snake Ensemble - Year of the Snake
Artist: Ken Field's Revolutionary Snake Ensemble
Title: Year of the Snake
Man, this "Snake" can move! Slithering from frontman Field's upbeat original
opener "Parade" to a spare Southern-fried cover of "Iko Iko," this
boa-nafied Jazz band proves time and time again that it is not constricted
to any one style. Angel Villodlo's "El Choclo" combines South American
flavors with touches of Blues and Klezmer and Sun Ra's "A Call for All
Demons" slides all over the place, from a tango-ed entrance to a Turkish
twisting finale. Among the highest high points (and there are many) are the
funkified Ensemble theme "Year of the Snake," the horn-punched take on Wanu
Dibango's "Soul Makossa," and a bridge-busting blast through James Brown's
"Soul Power" (featuring the groove-y bass work of Aaron Bellamy). From
Field's smooth alto and Mickey Bones' snappy snares to the brassy blasts of
trumpeter Jon Fraser and sax machines Mark Caughill and Charlie Kohlhase,
this album packs in not only a lot of great music but also a bunch of great
local players. Even the voice of the Boston subway gets in on the gig in the
appropriately frenetic "Central Square." Any band that has the guts to take
the guitar out of a John Scofield piece ("Some Nerve") has got to know what
it is about, and the Legendary Snake Ensemble is definiftely one such band.
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