Bruford, Bill - Tim Garland - Earthworks Underground Orchestra

Year of Release: 2006
Label: Summerfold Records
Catalog Number: BBSF 013CD
Format: CD
Total Time: 80:42:00

In progressive rock circles, Bill Bruford remains a name to conjure by. His "early" work in progressive rock elicits delightful memories of genre foundations Yes, King Crimson, and UK, to name just a few. Bruford's jazz resumé is equally impressive, and becoming more so with time; his growing propensity for jazz scoring and playing, fired over the past four years by his association with saxophonist and arranger Tim Garland, has eclipsed Brill Bill's prog-rock roots, revealing a musician who's found his true and joyful place in the musical world.

To celebrate the approaching twentieth anniversary of Earthworks, Bruford and Garland chose to marry the concepts of Earthworks and Garland's Dean Street Underground Orchestra, and headed to New York. Hiring on a slew of New York's finest local talent, Bruford and Garland expanded Earthworks into a nine-piece swing unit called the Earthworks Underground Orchestra for a week's worth of shows at the Iridium Jazz Club. The resultant end-of-2004 gigs were recorded and have now been released for fans of Earthworks (and swing jazz) to share in the festivities.

The music is all Earthworks, drawn from their entire catalogue of the past twenty years, and newly arranged by Mr. Garland, who shows a true knack for adapting small-unit pieces into complex and lively workouts for big band. Every player has a place in the pageant of sound, and each gets his blow, often together with - and sometimes against - two or more bandmates. The songs are busy and engrossing, but never cluttered or over-complicated to the point of getting lost, thanks to Garland's skillful arrangements. Case in point is "Libreville," which starts off innocently enough, then closes in a breathtaking crossfire of competing solos by what seems to be every horn on stage.

Of course, Earthworks has never played swing "straight", so it's easy to argue that Earthworks Underground Orchestra has plenty of progressive edge. And it's true: the off-beat architecture, challenging musical interplay and off-kilter time signatures that progressive fans demand are all over EWUO, played with the effortless precision that only musicians of such lofty caliber can achieve. The fresh arrangements are also tantalizing and offer exciting those new takes on "old classics" that died-in-the-wool proggers have always demanded. One listen to "The Wooden Man Sings and The Stone Woman Dances" and you'll know that this is more than just The Sound of Surprise. (To sweeten the pot, a bonus CD with two extra tracks - the racing "Thud" and Goao-sounding "Rosa Ballerina" - is included in the first 3000 copies of Earthworks Underground Orchestra.)

In a nutshell, a grand experiment, a great celebration, and a smashing success. Bruford has grown into a true jazz maestro, and together with Garland, has crafted some of the best swing to be heard of late. Check out Earthworks Underground Orchestra and get a piece of the Earthworks' 20th birthday cake ? mmm, Tasty!

Libreville (7:49) / Up North (7:41) / Pigalle (5:22) / Speaking In Wooden Tongues (8:30) / Footloose And Fancy Free (10:17) / Bajo Del Sol (9:14) / It Needn't End In Tears (8:31) / The Wooden Man Sings, And The Stone Woman Dances (13:07)

Bonus CD: Thud (5:19) / Rosa Ballerina (4:52)

Bill Bruford -drums, percussion
Tim Garland - tenor & soprano saxes, flute, bass clarinet
Jon Owens - trumpet
Alex 'Sasha' Sipiagin - trumpet
Rock Ciccarone - trombone
Robin Eubanks - trombone
Chris Karlic - baritone sax, flute
Steve Wilson - alto & soprano saxes, flute
Henry Hey - piano
Mike Pope - electric & acoustic basses

Bruford - Feels Good To Me (1977/2005)
Bruford - One Of A Kind (1978/2005)
Bruford - The Bruford Tapes (1979)
Bruford - Gradually Going Tornado (1980/2005)
Bruford - Master Strokes (1986)
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Earthworks (1987/2005)
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Dig? (1989/2005)
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - All Heaven Broke Loose (1991/2005)
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Stamping Ground, Live (1993)
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Heavenly Bodies (1997)
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - If Summer Had Ghosts (1998)
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - A Part And Yet Apart (1999)
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - The Sound Of Surprise (2001)
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Footloose And Fancy Free (2002)
Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Random Acts Of Happiness (2004)
Bill Bruford and Tim Garland - Earthworks Underground Orchestra (2006)

Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Footloose In NYC (2002) (DVD)

Genre: Jazz-Trad. Jazz

Origin UK

Added: April 9th 2006
Reviewer: David Cisco
Artist website:
Hits: 1061
Language: english


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