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Progressive Jazz: the Wrong Object and Trank Zappa Grappa in Varese?

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Here we have an example of two separate bands who share some members.

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THE WRONG OBJECT: Stories from the Shed (CD on Moonjune Records)

This release from 2008 offers 54 minutes of intense progrock.

The Wrong Object is: Michel Delville (on guitar, guitar-synth, and electronics), Fred Delplanco (on tenor saxophone), Jean-Paul Estievenart (on trumpet and flugelhorn), Damien Polard (on bass and electronics), and Laurent Delchambre (on drums, percussion, and samples). All music was recorded live in the studio with no overdubs.

Tight is the key word here. Tight compositions, tight performances, tight intentions, and tight consequences. The various instruments meld together into a compact unit that pursues each melody with a strict focus and an exuberant heart.

The horns blare away with passion and cerebral determination. Their resonance lifts the listener to soaring heights, and the journey is an ambrosial one. From this dizzying altitude, saxophone and trumpet coalesce to form an emphatic brass section that possesses an almost addictive quality.

The percussion is intricate and forceful, providing more than just locomotion, instilling an expansive flair to the tunes. At times, the beats adopt a cacophonous character, only to ascend into cohesion with engaging charisma.

The guitar sears and growls and wails, imbuing each song with astounding pyrotechnics of the audible variety. Crashing outbursts slide into nimble-fingered chords of glistening disposition.

The bass rumbles, establishing a sturdy foundation lurking in the mix for the melodies to stand erect and stretch their delightful threads.

Amidst this compressed mass are electronic touches that act as bonding agents, connecting diverse aspects with a cybernetic cement that is often barely discernible.

The compositions are trim and often all too brief. The longest song is under six minutes, yet each track flourishes with maturity and totality. The melodies surge with charming authority and then espouse whimsical variations of bewitching distinction.

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TRANK ZAPPA GRAPPA IN VARESE?: More Light (CD on Fazzul Records)

This release from 2008 offers 70 minutes of frantic jazz music recorded live in Belgium and the Netherlands on November 16 and 17, 2007.

Trank Zappa Grappa in Varese? is: Michel Delville (on guitar and guitar-synth), Markus Strauss (on saxophones), Damien Campion (on electric and double bass), and Laurent Delchambre (on drums, percussion, and devices).

Each instrument seems to commandeer the whole, yet they fit perfectly with each other in a glorious communion.

The guitar blazes with fervent power, filling the air with vibrant riffs that threaten to scald the ears. The notes establish a shrill cadence that exudes a bewitching and infectious charm.

The horns achieve a transcendent state that rivals the guitar’s authoritative role. Potent strains blare away, scraping paint from the walls with their strident outcries. These brass melodies serve to oust the listener from the influence of gravity, propelling the audience into the air where each chord and sustain buffets everyone with forceful yet elegant caresses.

The bass rumbles like a mammoth beast lurking under the floorboards, sending dense vibrations that rattle the audience’s skeletal structures, finally focusing on the gut where visceral pleasure is instigated through fundamental means.

The percussion is thunderous, yet refined in its appealing complexity. The rhythms not only compliment the overall melodies, they generate sidereal enhancement through their appetizing constructions of fevered tempos.

The compositions are difficult to confine to any single genre. Diverse influences (ranging from modern jazz and esoteric rock to medieval strains) crash and collide to form curious structures of dazzling charisma. The general mood is modern, though, while the vivacity of the performance spawns a breathless appreciation. If sound could generate light, this music would need to be apppreciated wearing sunglasses.

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