Half Notes: Little Worlds – Book One (EP) (2011)

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Little Worlds is another one of those oddly configured trios that’s been popping up lately in jazz, but there is nothing gimmicky sounding from this guitar (Ryan Mackstaller), trombone (Rick Parker) and drums (Tim Kuhl) getup. With all three of these musicians being veterans of rock, jazz and whack jazz, Book One is a great combination of all three music forms, the result being something similar to post-rock. But that doesn’t tell but a small part of the story about this music: all five selections on this debut EP are etudes (short pieces) composed by famed Hungarian composer Béla Bartók. In the hands of Little Worlds, the arrangements they apply to these songs make optimal use of their instruments: Mackstaller rough-edged guitar counters Parker’s direct, unaffected trombone while Kuhl applies a wide enough tonal palette that there’s no gap apparent where the bass would normally go. An EP is usually a teaser for a more complete album to follow. Instead, Book Two is set to release soon, presumably with more of Bartók‘s masterful miniatures. I could certainly stand for more of that.

In the meantime, you can listen to the entire Book One EP from their website, as well as purchase a download. It’s well worth the four bucks.

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S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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