Half Notes: Dead Cat Bounce – Chance Episodes (2011)

Share this:

photo: Charles N. Steckler


Matt Steckler’s Dead Count Bounce is a band that within the parameters of traditional jazz seeks new musical directions. A lofty goal and one often pursued but infrequently attained. Yet, Dead Cat Bounce really does pull it off. This ensemble is a quartet of woodwinds players (Steckler, Jared Sims, Terry Goss, Charlie Kohlhase) conjoined to a rhythm section manned by Dave Ambrosio (bass) and Bill Carbone (drums). There’s a third element to this combo, too, and it’s Steckler’s compositions. Unpredictable, polyphonic, soulful, swinging and grooving, his songs will mine a great vibe, stop dead its tracks, and start again on a totally different but equally compelling groove. It’s like whack jazz party music. It’s also like The World Saxophone Quartet or ROVA with a slab of organic and highly funky bass ‘n’ drums built-in. The bass-drums interaction is often one of the most interesting things going on within any song. Meanwhile, the saxes unite for some harmonic, sometimes multithreaded lines but each of the players are also afforded the freedom to go outside and play, too. Hard to pick a standout among a whole album of standouts, but “Silent Movie, Russia 1995” (Youtube below) is one of the more wildly veering tunes. Originating from works commissioned by Chamber Music America some eight years ago, the modified product was finally put to tape last year. Seemingly unrelated ideas are brought together much as random, unrelated events are recalled together by memory, thus the album title. For music that’s hard to describe but easy to dig, that analogy actually does apply here.

Chance Episodes, Dead Cat Bounce’s 4th album, was released September 27 by Cuneiform Records. Visit Dead Cat Bounce’s website. ‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

[amazon_enhanced asin=”B005EYP82M” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0001MZ84K” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B0007PYDZQ” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B005QTGPPE” /] [amazon_enhanced asin=”B002M3SO0G” /]

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
Share this:
Close