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City Of Angles by Industrial Jazz Group

Despite the group's name, this disc does not feature hard bop arrangements of Trent Reznor songs, although you'll find some hard bop references here and there, along with many others. Organized by composer/pianist Andrew Durkin, the Industrial Jazz Group lays claim to a wide range of influences - Mingus, Monk, Gob Graettinger, Ornette Coleman, Edgar Varese, Kurt Weill, Henry Mancini. The list goes on, but if you want and easier and generally accurate handle on the sound, think Duke Ellington meets Frank Zappa.

The group itself started out as a trio and is now performing as a nonette, although eleven musicians appear on this, their second album, and sixteen names appear on the personnel listing at their website. Basically, Durkin uses as many players of whatever instruments (or implements) as his compositions require. It's economically ludicrous, of course, but artistically very satisfying.

The compositions, with titles like "Interlude In Krupa," "Anger Management Classes" and "Tribute To Chrome," are beyond simple categorization. The music swings way too hard to satisfy many of the more cerebral avant-garde aficionados, but Durkin takes way too many liberties with time signatures to keep big band swing dancers happy. He seems to write the music he wants to hear, and finds talented people to play it. Not a sure fire formula for commercial success, perhaps, but in the process he's created a CD that I've been playing over and over and enjoying more with each spin. Who'll be in the band next time around is a matter of conjecture (actually, whether there will be a band is a matter of conjecture) and it's hard enough to get a handle on what they're doing now without speculating on what they might be doing next, but if top quality performances of creative compositions sounds even slightly appealing, this is one you'll want to hear.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Industrial Jazz Group
  • CD Title: City Of Angles
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2002
  • Record Label: Innova
  • Rating: Four Stars
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