Jugalbandi - The Cram And Stuff Method

Year of Release: 2000
Label: Great Artiste 89 Records
Catalog Number: GAJG003
Format: CD
Total Time: 71:17:00

The Cram And Stuff Method is the third in series of improv CDs from Jugalbandi. For a brief bio of the band and details of these recordings, see our review of The View Is Better From From The Top Of The Food Chain.

This collection of 5 pieces is punchier than the previous two. It is certainly livelier than Yellow Star Mailing List, the second disc of the series. What hits you immediately from the opening notes of the title and first track is Hyam R. Sosnow's drumming. Greg Segal lets loose on his guitar as well. The fuzzed tone of Segal's guitar (a '67 Gibson SG) gives the album a raw feel - not raw in terms of unpolished - it is an improv, after all, no studio wizardry involved other than getting the DAT's to CD. But raw in that unbridled energy kind of way... that "I'm angry and I don't give a s--t" kind of way. "La Bionda" is darkly cool... in the same way as the "Theme From Peter Gunn" is. Perfect for driving in your sleek, classic 50's convertible, cruising around town with a hip coolness that makes others a bit wary -- a hint of danger lurking at your edges. The closing piece, the 18-plus minute "Get Out A Walk" is a bit moody, but still contains more movement that the drearier material on Yellow Star, all of which makes for a much better, and all-around more "repeat-listen-able" CD. The longest piece is the 23-plus minute title track, the shortest, the nearly 6-and-a-half minute "My Yiddishe Boogie." The latter is a groovy, funky, and intense piece. Reading the liner notes*, we learn that the pair were in a very pissed off mood after a previous take was lost, as they thought they'd nailed it.

"Approaching Readiness" begins with some gurgling effects that give the piece a sci-fi feel... like a scene out of War Of The Worlds, where everything is silent and desolate but for the high-pitched whirring of the alien craft hover-gliding over the surface. It's Segal through an effects pedal, to be sure. Segal's rumbling drumming and taut percussion only add to the tense drama unfolding. A tension that only increases as Segal's guitar starts crying and keening with an unearthly sound. I thought a bit of Pink Floyd, actually -- a darker, more menacing Pink Floyd... crossed with a bit of early Tangerine Dream. And, in fact, this would be a War Of The Worlds remade by Ridley Scott and James Cameron -- dark, gritty, and industrial looking; that is, Blade Runner meets The Terminator and yet still with a 50s B-movie sci-fi feel.

I generally read liner notes after I've already written the core of the review, especially those are written by the artists where they discuss the pieces. This so I'm not influenced by their intent or influence. It is interesting to finish the review and then read how close I came to their intent. The example here is with "La Bionda," where Segal writes, "We set out to do something which suggested elements of tonque-in-cheek Italian spy thriller..." and Sosnow writes, "I kept the idea of mid-1960's vintage spy movie music in my head..." Okay, Gunn was a detective, not a spy...

The music on this release will appeal especially to the jazz-fusion fans out there, as one can compare it stylistically to Attention Deficit and McGill/Manring/Stevens, among others, of course -- and, of course, without the bass. Jugalbandi aren't as tight a duo as the named trios, but Cram And Stuff is an interesting release none the less. There's a hint at King Crimson in the sound, too - a certainly element of angularity. I also thought of French TV, though I don't ascribe any influence between the two.

Of the three, this is the one I like the most, the shrill guitar tone from Segal's guitar absent here, or at least not as shrill. The first piece does wander a bit, but when one is following their muse, that's likely to happen. At least it wanders interestingly.

I recommend you check this band out and the first and third entries of the series in particular.

The Cram And Stuff Method (26:20) / Approaching Readiness (10:51) / My Yiddish Boogie (6:26) / La Bionda (10:17) / Get Out And Walk (18:03)

Greg Segal - guitars and gadgets
Hyam Sosnow - drums and percussion

Greg Segal - A Man Who Was Here (1985)
Greg Segal - Night Circus (1985)
Greg Segal - The Fourth Of Three (1986)
Greg Segal - Water From The Moon (1987)
Greg Segal - A Real Human Being (1991)
Greg Segal - Darkland Express (1993)
Jugalbandi: 1999 (1999)
Jugalbandi: 2009 - Deep Cuts (1999)
The View Is Better From The Top Of The Food Chain (2000)
The Yellow Star Mailing List (2000)
The Cram And Stuff Method (2000)
Greg Segal - Experimental Guitar Sampler (2000)
Greg Segal - Always Look On The Dark Side Of Life (2001)
Greg Segal - In Search Of The Fantastic (2002)
Night Crazy (2003)
Laydown Delivery (2003)
Bid For Legitmacy (2003)
Mount Pinatubo Sunsets (2003)
Hyam R. Sosnow - The Teller-Ulam Configuration (2003)
Greg Segal - An Awareness Of Frameworks (2004)
Greg Segal - The Eye That Shines In Darkness (2004)
Greg Segal - Standard (2004)
Greg Segal - The Hero As Pantry (2004)
Greg Segal - Planet Of Garbage (2004)
Greg Segal - Episode (2004)
Greg Segal - Adventures Of Forever And Nowhere (2004)
Greg Segal - River (2005)
Greg Segal - A Play Of Light And Shadow (2006)
Greg Segal - The Old Familiar Place (2006)
Greg Segal - Tales Of Today Will Be Tales Of Long Ago (2006)
Greg Segal - Phase Two (2006)
Greg Segal - Jugalbandi Classic (rec. 1993, rel. 2007)
Hyam R. Sosnow - Tickling The Dragon's Tail (2008)

Genre: Progressive Rock

Origin US

Added: October 20th 2002
Reviewer: Stephanie Sollow
Artist website: www.jugalbandi-music.com
Hits: 1113
Language: english


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