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Between The Suns by Ro'i Raz

Sometimes a reviewer’s patience is richly rewarded, sifting through a bunch of discs on a regular basis, separating the dross from the decent and the gems.... however, this ‘view is not about such a time. Once in a while, an album comes along where The Critic mutters, "they don’t pay me enough to sit through this," where it’s really work to listen to a disc. This is one of those times -R. Raz’s Between The Suns is a collection of mostly aimless, meandering, multicultural hooey, complete with bad poetry, recited with plenty of portentousness: "they say we have no future/HAH!/and that’s fine with us." Deep. (A couple of this disc’s titles have the notation "poetic segment" beside them, to make sure we don’t, uh, miss the poetry.) True, some of the instrumental work is rather promising, as the band hints at a folk/improv/jazz/world fusion, but there’s precious little focus to the pieces (calling them "tunes" or compositions is a misnomer) - most of the performances here float vaguely about in a patchouli-scented fog. There’s also a sense of smug, overbearing Seriousness about the proceedings, as if the performers where letting the listener sneak a peak into their Collective voyage to the bottom of the Unconsciousness. Let me put it this way: this makes the Paul Winter Consort sound like the Peter Brotzmann Tentet, George Winston like Jerry Lee Lewis. Oregon at their most impressionist-vaguest are practically John Zorn’s Painkiller compared to this lot. If you want to hear this kinda stuff done right, check out Oregon's Winter Light; the early albums by the Incredible String Band, Third Ear Band, Dando Shaft, Pentagle and Kaleidoscope; Codona (Don Cherry, Colin Walcott, Nana Vasconcelos); Adam Rudolph; Tony Scott.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Ro'i Raz
  • CD Title: Between The Suns
  • Genre: Folk Jazz
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Sachimay
  • Musicians: R.R.: guitar; Liz Ehrman: cello; James Falzone: clarinet; Eric Platz: drums, perc.; Josh Sinton: bass clarinet; others.
  • Rating: One Star
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