New York's trombonist and guitarist
formed the Mellow Edwards in 1988 and reformed them as the
New Mellow Edwards in 2001.
For Number Stations (Cuneiform, 2013) the combo consisted of saxophonist
guitarist Mary Halvorson,
bassist Trevor Dunn (of Mr Bungle),
vibraphonist Matt Moran, and percussionists Ches Smith and Satoshi Takeishi;
basically the New Mellow Edwards (Speed, Dunn, Smith) joined by Decoupage (Halvorson, Moran, Takeishi).
The compositions artfully employ the technical skills of these musicians
to thrive at the unlikely border of order and disorder, noise and melody.
The chaotic percussion and minimalist repetition of First Bus To Bismarck
lead to a soulful bebop dialogue between the horns.
The Cuban-tinged suspense-filled Tux Is Traitor boasts a
nostalgic trombone melody and a swinging vibrahone solo before turning into
a jagged jam.
The extremes can be joined in the most radical manner: the joyful catchy tune of Make Anchor Babies sounds like a tribute to the cinematic soundtracks of the 1960s, but then fades into a oneiric finale.
Another piece that harks back in time is
37ø 56' 39" By 111ø 32', a bluesy shuffle
in which the trombone seems to mimic Luis Armstrong's most colloquial and
The leader's sense of humor is responsible for the driving
Frank Zappa-esque vignette of
Green Dress Maryland Welcome Center 95 NB.
The ten-minute It's Not A Bunny (composed in 2010), ostensibly the most
ambitious composition here, is actually the weakest piece, slow and confused.
Curha's I (2018) was a
collaboration with his brother Jack on tenor sax.
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