Half Notes: Talking Cows – Almost Human (2012)

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photo courtesy of AllAboutJazz.com

The Dutch quartet Talking Cows never take themselves too seriously—see video below—but the non-nonsense modern jazz they make is no joke. Admirers of The Netherlands’ great jazz icon Misha Menglelberg, Talking Cows uses strong melodies that often masks the intricacies happening underneath, and an energetic, pliable rhythm section (Dion Nijland, double bass; Yonga Sun, drums). Saxophonist Frans Vermeerssen and pianist Robert Vermeulen work well together whether in tandem or in unison. Many styles are tackled as they go from the multi-tempoed swing of “Hurdles In Three” and “Dinner Is Served,” to the unpredictable avant garde excursions of “Most Def!” and “Hang Glider,” the straight-at-ya bebop of “Mooing Around” and the snappy, pop-ready melody of “Two Guys And A Beer.” But it’s never jazz that’s too convoluted or soft, the Talking Cows have it modulated just right.

Almost Human goes out to pasture February 28, brought to you stateside by Jazzsick Records.

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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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