Sunday, November 18, 2012

Ratchet Orchestra - Hemlock [Drip Audio]

Reeds: Cristoper Cauley (soprano), Louisa Sage (alto), Damian Nisenson (tenor), Jason Sharp (bass), Lori Freedman (clarinet), Gordon Krieger (bass clarinet); Flutes: Craig Dionne, Jean Derome (bass flute, piccolo, flute)
Trumpets: Gordon Allen, Philipp Battikha
Trombones: Scott Thomso, Jacques Gravel; Brass: Thea Pratt (Eb horn), Eric Lewis (Euphonium), Noah Countability (sousaphone), Gabriel Rivest (Tube); Strings: Joshua Zubot (violin), Brigitte Dajczer (violin), Guido Del Fabbro (violin), Jean Rene (viola), Gen Heistek (viola), Norsola Johnson (cello), Nicolas Caloia (bass), Chris Burns (guitar), Sam Shalabi (guitar); Piano: Guillame Dostale; Rhythm: Isiaiah Ceccarelli (drums), John Heward (drums), Ken Doolittle (percussion), Michel Bonneau (conga)

                                                                          DRIP Audio 2012

I felt that once I've copied the band's members list my work is close to finished. The Ratchet Orchestra is led by Montreal based bass player Nicolas Caloia who composed all the tunes on "Hemlock" which is the big band's second release. Just one look at the line-up gives you some idea about how huge might be the sound of this music.

It is colourfull and rich and mesmerizes with the palette of shades and lights. "Winnow" starts the cd gently and peacefully, broad orchestral strokes paint a delicate landscape, strings' cadenza rises like a sunshine and the trombone solo is like a children's song. Captivating and enchanting as the morning's gentle light. 
"Dusty" resembles in the beginning an african song, light melody dances glides over the steady slow beat, rhythmic ctrucutre filled with guitars, percussion, occasional riff by the brass section. Couple minutes into the track the guitar starts to stirr the pot with a distored solo and the music becomes frenzy as the other instuments join in, the third part of the piece the airy mood is brought upon a built-up orchestral chord. 
"Yield" brings back the joyfull and rhythmic african influences with a sudden if short waltz motive inbeetween. 
And there's so much more to enjoy on the cd. "Wish" with its soulfull saxophone solo in the first part and frenetic fender piano-based groove in the second. A short yet to the point "Kick" which is an orchestral reading of jazz poetry (chords based on the repeated rhythmically in various order words: kick, that, habit, man). The peacefull "Safety". The misterious "Hemlock".

The music on this cd is majestic, a constant flow of coulourfull images in high- resolution, it charms with the melodious substance but captivates with the harmonic depth and greandeur. It sweeps you with the reach and richness of musical vision. It's scope far beyond jazz but improvisation remains one of the main ingredients. The about this 30-piece (sic!) unit is that the instruments don't top each other, the goal is not to add "above" to the sound, cumulate it but rather broaden and enrich it. To hear 30 minds coexist in one space and cocreate is, to simply put it, infinitely inspiring. Bordering on jazz, classic orchestra music and movies score this is music of rare beauty and magnitude.

some tracks from the cd are presented in this radio playlist.

A few more vidoes,  coming from the very same recording session, are available on YouTube, check them and buy the cd if you enjoy the music as much as I do.

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