reviews

04.12.2012.

Inzinzac: Inzinzac (High Two)

Philly Band Inzinzac, on their homonymous debut album, brings us back the faith in the power of unproccessed, raw energy in jazz context, and hilariously entertaining interaction of saxophone and a guitar

It`s been more than 30 years since saxophonist/actor/painter John Lurie recorded his debut The Lounge Lizards album with eccentric Arto Lindsay and his rusty guitar sound breaking the waves of a no-wave scene; 20 years after Zorn`s revolutionary album Naked City, where he had sorted virtuos jazz-metal tracks; and finally, more than 10 years since New Yorkers band Gutbucket recorded their debut and stylistically rounded the trend of combining jazz with a punk/metal aesthetics.

In short, just enough time for odd to slowly become a stylized mainstream. Many bands today would be brave enough to use that phrase `punk jazz` in order to highlight how very `wicked` and `edgy` they are, although you can`t really recognize it in their music ( for example Soil & Pimp Sessions). While for other bands such descripton will be governed, but with the stylistic features borrowed from other genres and packed into a relatively mild and acceptable form (British bands such as Acoustic Ladyland, Led Bib…).

Philadelphia Band Inzinzac on their homonymous debut album brings us back the faith in the power of unproccessed, raw energy in jazz context, and hilariously entertaining interaction of saxophone and a guitar. Their music is not very original and it`s easy to identify the impacts of the New York scene, but the implementation is so heartful and impeccable, that your pedantic critic discourse soon becomes utterly irrelevant.

Frontman and author of the compositions is a French guitarist Alban Bailly that in 2005. settled in Philadelphia and began creating his road in that scene. In this adventure two other members joined him – soprano/tenor saxophonist Dan Scofield and a drummer Eli Litwin. Inzinzac does not have a bass player, and that might be one of their most powerful assets. That would have been a handicap for some other band, but the trio from Philadelpha skillfully deployed existing instruments in their sound image.

The guitar is turned on `to the max` and its overwhelming sound covers the entire frequency range, but the nature of the instrument makes the bass sound harsh and inhospitable. There is also a pleasant contrast to the antique-jazz sound of the guitar and a rock distortion, which evokes associations on early works of Gutbucket. Scofield sounds convincing on both instruments, although the soprano saxophone in particular raises the tension in the range of agressive sounds that are flying out of the speakers and scratching the ears.

The repertoar itself is very stylish and qualitatively balanced. Among my favorites are “Chap Chapo” with the eastern european odd rhythms and a sparkling melody, also the long “Limuriem” with pseudo-pathetic folk influence that breaks throught the raw guitar-drum debris. With a similar vibe is also the composition “Dobro”, that dominates in the high registers of the saxophone, but in a slow tempo, and with the variations of a theme, which all culminates in ecstatic cacophony of sounds of all three instruments.

After you draw the line, it is difficult to see the dominant themes and melodies that would take the title of a `single` or a `hit` tune. The energy and the noise take away the attention from the delicacy of the autorship, but the combination of all these elements is what gives the charm to the music of Inzinzac. It`s like when you mix together some of your favorite meals, spice them up a lot, and frantically eat a plate after a plate. It might not be what you`re taught to do, but who can resist it?

 

 

Alban Bailley – guitar

Dan Scofield – soprano & tenor saxophone

Eli Litwin – drums

 

Translation: Sofija Knežević

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