1.Slam The Door Stewart (Kanzig) 4:39*
2 I’m a Road Runner (Hollan/Dozier/Holland)
3.Wenn min Schatz go fuetere goht (trad./Kanzig)
4.Prospection (Mayer) 6:46
5.Night Breeze (Kanzig/Sokal) 4:41***
6.Damenwahl (Kanzig) 4:12
7.Hip Pop Tamus (Kanzig/Sokal) 4:04
8.Better Report Kanzig) (6:20
9.Be My Love (Cahn/Brodszky)1:48
10.Slice Of Bread (Kanzig))5:00
11.Mountain Messenger (Kanzig) 4:29
12.Und wenn’s e mol ober isch (trad./Kanzig)
Total time: 57:01
*Dedicated to the great bass player Slam Stewart.
**Traditional Swiss Jodel Song (Appenzell)
arranged by Heiri Kanzig
***Additional percussion on "Night Breeze":
Harry Sokal-tenor & soprano sax, effects
Heiri Kanzig-double bass
Jojo Mayer- drums
This is a clever CD. The
musicians are more than competent and their
handling of an ensemble that lacks the support
of a keyboard or guitar is on the whole, good.
But it is mainly the fact
that they all have to be playing together
most of the time to make chords out of melodic
lines, which doesn’t make for easy listening;
nor is it a totally reliable way of communicating
a harmonic progression, particularly when
they are improvising. The result can be a
bit of meandering over the drums.
Track 1 begins with an "Effect.
reminiscent of an indignant Donald Duck"
and although it is a fun sound it was an odd
thing to use in an opening number.
In track 2 the holes in the
harmony start to show up when the sax gets
cornered on one note or moves into riffs rather
than melody lines. The frenetic efforts of
the bass and drums to un-stick the sax are
not very successful.
Track 3 is a Slow and is
a welcome respite from the hurly burly that
has preceded it.
There is some good planning
and melodic invention and the recurring theme
which is lovingly handled becomes almost a
Track 4 brings Donald quacking
away again interspersed with some clever instrumentation.
In the solos there are some reflections on
the previous tracks which work well to hold
the musical style together, and the repeated
fragments are well judged until the end where
the ending is stretched too far.
Track 5 I could not decide
whether Harry Sokal was doing a Roland Kirk
or if the engineers were the stars on this
track. The sleeve tells us there is additional
percussion, but strangely there seems a lot
less than on the other tracks.
Track 6 sounds like an attempt
at a commercial style derived from Calypso,
which is not very successful but the bass
solo near the end is pleasant.
Track 7 Initially this seems
to merge into its predecessor but it changes
very subtly into a raunchy number with a catchy
Track 8 The opening high
bass along with the soprano leads into a fast
tempo. This works well until one tires of
the stubborn double bass which is stuck on
an ostinato. There is more of the Kirk technique,
(or the engineer’s art.)
Track 9 Why? One of the Goons
once included "All the things you are"
sung in a wavering voice amongst a series
of comic items.
This tenor solo doesn’t waver
but it is almost as incongruous in its context.
Track 10 The infection of
track 9’s retrospective, seems to arrive in
a quote of
and bewildered" at the beginning and
the style of the CD changes. Most odd!
Track 11 is the Title track
and opens with a more Monkish theme which
moves along nicely. The theme recurs from
time to time which is a good ploy used several
times on the CD and it serves not just as
a restatement, but as a good punctuation when
the solos start to run dry.
Track 12 states the traditional
tune and then after jokey semitone ‘jack-up’
sits back into the improvisation. There are
a lot of fast notes which don’t always manage
to go anywhere and when the tempo relaxes
there is a sense of relief.
Heiri Kanzag the double bass
player is the composer of 9 of these tracks
and listening to his playing, he knows where
to lay the foundations for improvisation and
so Harry Sokal gets a lot of support.
Jojo Mayer is an enthusiastic
drummer, who has more of a big band style
This group claims to be innovative.
There is humor, some good
playing, but I didn’t get any feeling of anything