Half Notes: Mike Pride's From Bacteria To Boys – Betweenwhile (2010)

Share this:

by S. Victor Aaron

Here’s another CD of advanced jazz led by its composing drummer, this time Mike Pride. One thing I’ve found with drummer-led combos, is that drummers have a natural tendency toward democracy in a band, and his Bacteria To Boys (Darius Jones, alto sax; Peter Bitenc, bass; Alexis Marcelo, piano) share the load equitably and logically. The exceptional drummer-leaders find a way to bolster the songs and the guys in front of him without having to resort to ham-handed tactics, and Pride, a veteran of groups led by as diverse a lot as John Zorn to the Boredoms to Chinese pop sensation Priscilla Chan, never does. Within these ten tracks, nine composed by Pride, are modern jazz numbers that are sometimes advanced bop and sometime flat out whack jazz, but wherever it lands doesn’t seem to matter much to the players. From the sizzling 2/4 ruckus of the title tune to the Bill Evans mood of “Kancamagus,” there’s something completely distinctive and sophisticated about each song. The curiously titled “Reese Witherspoon” is a rhythmic clinic even though Pride takes no solos: he is seemingly directing every little turn—of which there are plenty—from behind his drum kit. Betweenwhile is a well-executed performance of complexity made to sound simpler than it really is.

Something Else!

Something Else!

The Something Else! webzine, an accredited Google News affiliate, has been featured in The New York Times and NPR.com's A Blog Supreme, while our writers have also been published by USA Today, Jazz.com and UltimateClassicRock.com, among others. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Something Else!
Share this:
Close