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Music Review: Mysteries of the Revolution – Mysteries Of The Revolution

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You know, I really hate to repeat myself, but recently I've been stumbling onto more and more music that defies easy categorization. Though the ability to affix a label on a chunk of music isn't completely necessary, it does add a little feeling of closure.

In the case of Mysteries Of The Revolution, I'm coming dangerously close to using that most dreaded of reviewer cliché's: sui generis. I won't do it though, partly because it's not entirely true, and partly because if I see that in print one more time, projectile vomiting may ensue.

So here's the deal: this band combines elements of fusion (think Zawinul), modern jam band sensibilities, psychedelia, Blue Note groove, and even a bit of Jethro Tull (I'm not kidding) to create a very fresh take on an area of modern jazz that had been all but abandoned. Drummer/percussionist BB Davis, bassist Mark Smith, and keyboardist Dan Biro present an almost art-rock approach to keyboard-based fusion while avoiding excess and keeping alive a strong sense of groove.

Oh, did I mention the flute? And the beat-boxing? Read on…

The record opens with "Welcome," a big swirl of Brian Wilson-esqe vocals that give way to some massive analog synthy chords (it may not be analog, but it sure has that sound) that vaporize, leaving some short flute passages and falling piano notes to bounce around in the newly abandoned, reverberant space. This leads into the ten minute-plus "The Crunch," which boils at the outset with its descending keyboard lines, drops back into an almost Billy Cobham/Spectrum kind of blues, only to switch gears into a final section that is more rock than jazz. You will turn this up very loud.

There are so many sonic diversions on this record that a complete listing would truly be exhausting. The vibraphonics added to the searching "Romantica" are really a nice touch. The gradual mood progression from pensive to driving on "Have You Seen Enough?" is truly exhilarating. "Moonfrog Tucker" drops us right into the psychedelics of Sun Ra.

Probably the most intriguing piece here is Big Buddah. It's an amazing human beat-box/flute freakout that Davis dedicates to the great Rahsann Roland Kirk. The percussiveness of the flute reminded me of Ian Anderson too — and that would be the first time I've ever thought about both Kirk and Jethro Tull in the same bit of time. Weird and wonderful.

So yes, Mysteries Of The Revolution really do have their own 'thing.' The label is indeed irrelevant as the music provides its own sense of closure.

About Mark Saleski

  • http://www.myspace.com/tullist ray brettman

    Believe me I am more than conversant in the world of jazz, Roland Kirk and Sun Ra. I remain sickened, and in part due to people like Lester Bangs and seemingly yourself that Jethro Tull is ever mentioned, and I mean counting each of the year between 1968 and now as some kind of sick sister to the likes of Roland Kirk. Ian Anderson is the most undervalued musician of his era, while the likes of the Velvet Undergound, Talking Heads,Nirvana, Peter Gabriel and Elvis Costello have had their ass kissed more times than I care to bare further witness to. Just how much Jethro Tull music do you and other alleged music afficianados have awareness of say post 1972. And just how aware were you really of their product prior to that? I know your Kirk and his Bright Moments well indeed and Ian Anderson, while doubtlessly influenced as a 19 year old, long since transcended Kirks inventions, and having seen both live, in stagecraft, Ian Anderson has no superior in his time, including Ra and Roland Kirk. Lester Bangs is a drugged jackass who had a willing audience. May that lot dance with the New York Dolls into damned eternity.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    i bet you’re loads of fun at parties.

  • http://daslob.blogspot.com/ Pico

    lmao

  • http://www.myspace.com/tullist ray brettman

    On what would you base my party worthiness? I am just sick to death of the rare mention of Jethro Tull being one where they are trivialized. One thing I like about sports is there is a final score, for instance, in any of Joe Zawinul’s days after Ben Webster, Miles and the earliest days of Weather Report, I would like Jethro Tull’s chances of scoring a first round tko against him and his latter day geekazoid efforts, and while Roland Kirk could play 3 instruments at once,though not well, the colors in his musical tapestry, even if i were to limit Tulls career to the same length are no where near as varied. The fact I make is while so many of the inteligentsia or however that is spelled have rushed to the sex pistols, the band, now the decemberists, new york dolls, the damned, king crimson the very best of their time who people think they know because of their brief flirtation with mass popularity via aqualung, 4 years of wearing a codpiece and standing on one leg from time to time, has passed right by their noses.o they also liked it recently when a former band member had a sex change, leaving out the part about being a former member of the grenidier guard and concertmaster of the lso at the same time he was a playing member in tull. I do okay at parties, the other night spent 5 hours drinking with denis savard, we were both standing no problem, i tend to like clifton chenier, muddy waters, howlin wolf, maybe even slim shady, i like that bit about which one of the spice girls am i going to impregnate or the grateful dead at parties.

  • Ian Anderson

    I’d love to go to a party with Ray!
    More power to you Ray!