Tabs Out top 200 Tapes of 2014
JSpicer - Tiny Mix Tape, Cerberus:
In days of yore, jazz was a playing field with no boundaries and rarely a dull moment. It wasn’t the stuff of stuffy community clubs and late night band leaders for vanilla hosts. There was something dangerous and unpredictable about its appeal; a rebel yell that became the impetus for hip-hop, punk, and rock alike. Or so I’m led to believe by the unbelievable amount of material now at our disposal. I never lived it – too young and far too un-hip to ever do more than put in a CD or lay needle to vinyl for some many years. But listening to this foursome (so brazen as to not even name themselves beyond what was supplied at birth), I begin to get a sense of what it meant to be a musician romanticized by jazz in its heyday. It’s a sexy and dangerous, a shift from our milquetoast existence. It requires something more than passive listening, and to be more than a bit player, you must work well with a group but be unafraid to steal the spotlight when its your turn. Built Like a Brick Shithouse does its muscle bound job, jumping you into this gang of post-orchestration deconstruction. It’s punch after punch under a heavy strobe, until all that’s left is a willing pulp of flesh now able to understand that there’s few musics are ferocious and independent as jazz. Those left to still call its name do so with a passion that is unmatched. Henderson, Mettler, Foisy and Lachance are but a chosen few. -
Guillaume Belhomme - Le son du grisli:
Jeff Henderson (saxophone, clarinette), Vicky Mettler (guitare électrique), Raphaël Foisy (basse) et Félix Lachance (batterie) composent ce Built Like a Brick Shithouse enregistré en septembre 2013 à « Feu la brique, Montréal ». L’exercice est d’un free jazz à l’ancienne, tendu et grinçant, mais qui démontre un intérêt pour le travail du son : ainsi l’alto d’Henderson et la mesure défaite de Mettler colorent cette poignée d’improvisations virulentes. -
François Couture - Monsieur Délire:
This time we have, in order: sax/clarinet, guitar, bass, drums. Considerably less jazzy, more in the European style of free improvisation, though there’s still quite some drive to these improvisations. Foisy’s bass playing is worth hearing well. The album consists in a 22-minute piece followed by four shorter improvisations (4 to 10 minutes). Fine range of intensity, satisfactory listening skills. It holds promise. And between these two tapes I’ve had the opportunity to hear six musicians I hadn’t encountered yet. I’ll review the other two tapes tomorrow. Oh, and this cassette is green, in case you wonder -
Joshua Macala -Raised By Gypsies:
This combination of Henderson, Mettler, Foisy and Lachance is one of the few times, perhaps even the second time, I've heard something of this nature in 2015 and it is being compared really with BCH+C which is also from Small Scale Music. It's got that free flow jazz sound that goes somewhere between noise and not and could also be along the lines of Stephanie Lak and/or Roadside Picnic.
"Built Like A Brick Shithouse" has a somewhat different story to tell than not only the BCH+C cassette but just everything in general. It begins with horns, high hats and trumpet and has an almost traditional jazz feel to it. This leads to car horns, tire squeals and strings being plucked. It can go from frequency tuning to just plain wild on Side A. It reminds me of samplings of various locations where jazz is being played.
You have to imagine that hole in the wall bar where someone would play a lone saxaphone, but not only are those scenes are spliced together here in a patchwork sort of manner but with the car horns I kind of also can feel as if it's being observed from the outside looking in. (In many states, Connecticut is one of them, you are not allowed to smoke inside bars and clubs and must go outside to do so)
While Side A ends with a fray, a culmination of the build from the various scenes interlaced, Side B starts off with quiet guitar sounds. It does manage to gain some momentum throughout but just is an overall calmer and slower paced tempo than the madness which ensues previously. I actually really like this a lot because as there are two sides to a cassette (and record), this kind of takes each side and displays them as being similar yet different. It's got that whole Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hide quality to it and why not because if the two sides sounded similiar I feel as if it would just be boring.
So if you want to take a journey out through the streets at night to the sleepless nights you'll spend after, this is where the quartet will take you with a bang. This plays for me the way that a good, gritty crime novel reads and in that sense it has pulp qualities to it and I just feel like it's not to be missed. -
released September 3, 2014
Jeff Henderson: Sax and Clarinet
Vicky Mettler: Guitar
Raphaël Foisy : Bass
Félix Lachance: Drums
Recorded by : Étienne Legast
Mixed and Mastered by: Jonathan Legault and Jeff Henderson
Artwork by: Jeff Henderson
Layout by: VIcky Mettler and Florence Cardinal
Thank you for caring!