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Conspiracy Of Equals by Fulcher/Standon/Brandt/Anderson

This U.K. based improvising quartet exerts unrelenting energy while shifting the musical parameters down to investigative dialogues, free-bop movements and more. They’re a fun-seeking unit that occasionally closes in for the kill while expanding its perimeters via cunning explorations, as diversity looms as a major component of the band’s methodology.

On the workout titled "The Tibetan XI," the band delves into minimalist-type maneuvers, featuring saxophonist Harry S. Fulcher’s lower register phrasings, as they generate semblances of a covert action. But they gradually pick up the flow and segue into an avant, electric Miles Davis style funk groove highlighter by guitarist Aaron Standon’s rhythmic chord progressions and Fulcher’s popping sax lines. In other regions of sound and style, the quartet executes medium-tempi swing vamps and rapidly-paced flurries, evidenced on the supercharged jazz-fusion romp "Starters."

In effect, the musicians sustain a great deal of interest by launching into different modes and stylizations, abetted by their intuitive dialogues and improvisations. For example, they change gears during the somewhat rowdy free-jazz vibe heard on "Voodoo Butter," where the rhythm section underscores the proceedings with an African tribal pulse. Consequently, they cover quite a bit of musical terrain while collectively displaying insight, focus and enviable chops. There’s a lot of substance to be found throughout this outwardly upbeat and enjoyable endeavor.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Fulcher/Standon/Brandt/Anderson
  • CD Title: Conspiracy Of Equals
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Year Released: 2007
  • Record Label: Leo Records
  • Musicians: Harry S. Fulcher (tenor & alto sax, clarinet), Aaron Standon (alto sax, guitar), Pete Brandt (acoustic bass), Marco Anderson (traps, percussion)
  • Rating: Four Stars
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