The group's name alone has to cause one to chuckle, but this is no Bonzo Dog Band or Zappa-inspired humor-music combine but rather one of three ensembles player and composer Samantha Boshnack heads, a gaggle of what she calls 'alternative chamber orchestrals' bringing her work to our delectating ears. The woman is talented beyond mere mortals and has peformed with—you're not going to believe this—Terry Riley, Butch Morris, Oliver Lake, Stuart Dempster, Wayne Horvitz, and a wild-card pack full of avant-gardists and outsiders known to be defiant naughty musicalists, the sort who just don't follow rules or take to authority very well. Shaaaaaaaame on them!
As some smart-ass over at New York City Jazz Record put it, Sam has no sense of the bourgeois and will take "all sorts of music, from bargain basement to top shelf" for her staples and then turn out something you never expected. Snarkiselk shows this without apologies and winds up being equal parts Trummerflora Collective, Strata Institute, Gil Evans, Bang on a Can, parlor dance music, and God only knows who and what else. Some other yuckbuckle, this time from City Arts Magazine, called this stuff "gypsy junkyard jazz", heh!, and there's indeed a lot of the Balkan in it, but, goshdang it all to heck!, wotta bunch of snarky a-holes all these critics can be. Whoa!, waitaminnit!, I'm a critic too! Hmmmmm…
This is music to get schnockered to, preferably on Drambuie, Southern Comfort (if'n yer a rednecker, Jeeter), Midori, or Jagermeister, as it's halfway between cloudy dream tunes from purgatorial angels and then backwoods vagrant innerleckshools trying to rip a doorway in the fabric of reality and trot on back to elder pre-industrial days to frolic with grandma and grandpa when they were kicking up their heels on moonshine and spirited good fellowship. The levels of sophistication are deceptive even beyond what's flagrantly apparent here unless you're an adherent of modern classicalism, the far reaches of progrock, fusion jazz, and the wonders of true World music well past New Age gewgaws…and, um, you are, aren't you? Just making sure.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2013, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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