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Cirkestra | 107

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United States - Mass. - Boston

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Jazz: Retro Swing World: Eastern European Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Cirkestra

Sounds like an old favorite you never heard before.
Genre: Jazz: Retro Swing
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Introduction
1:13 $0.99
2. 107
4:05 $0.99
3. The Romantic
3:39 $0.99
4. Hippopotamus
5:43 $0.99
5. Happy Day for George
4:38 $0.99
6. Silver (The Duct Tape Horse)
2:55 $0.99
7. The Honeymoon
3:22 $0.99
8. Ekat
4:04 $0.99
9. Zinavalodya
6:57 $0.99
10. The Last Long Mount
2:43 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
" Like a cartoon funeral on a rainy Sunday in 1925. I'll be seeing in sepia tones for days"
It has been five years since the group released "The Hairless Woman" and three years since they were last on stage together at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.
Within and in spite of this absence Cirkestra has evolved. A few new side men are among the ranks of long-time members and the group's two founding members. The nostalgic sound, the familiarity, and a sense of a bygone time; qualities that the troupe has been praised for, persist in this; their seventh record in over a decade of recording.
What is new in "107" is a profound level of warmth, liveness, and honesty that usually only emerged in the group's performances under the canvass of big-top.
They travelled a few hours away from Cirkestra World Headquarters in Boston and lived together in an intensive lock-in while they recorded these ten songs. "We were in a big, open, wooden building that used to be a barn," recalls Bufano, "and the process was continuous. None of that occasional editing, layering,and overdubbing for months and months like we did with "Alice", "or "Swing"".
The result is a sort of live-album-ness that one only hears on old jazz vinyl from the early and mid twentieth century. It comes as no surprise to learn that recording and mixing engineer John Escobar employed much analog equipment and traditional technique to capture this new epoch in american circus music. His work is nuanced and visionary in terms of choosing the vantage point from which we experience Cirkestra. But it is honest and unbiased in that "107" stands as a what-you-see-is-what-you-get kind of record. There is no auto-tune in the big top.
The players rely on being together and having eye contact, their only magic trick is a kind of performance telepathy that good jazz men and women have employed conventionally.
Perhaps the least jazzy song in the collection "Zinavoladya" is the most profound example of this. The performance was conceived by trombone man Dave Harris but has no agreed upon form. Shifts from one player to the next, and one mood to the next, all happened spontaneously, when it felt right. Alternative takes of this song ranged from three to ten minutes long. No two takes were similar.
The entire album could have been a very different thing if it was recorded on a different week or if the band had something different for lunch one day. The entire personality of it might be equally remarkable in some very different way if it were recorded in a different room.
Jason Hearst, the man who built that room, was integral in a number of other ways too. His curated collection of vintage microphones and processors amount to being a certain subtle tint in the lens through which we listen. One day Bufano asked Hearst if a small dancing stage could be constructed upon which the feet of Camilla Finlay would become musical instruments. She, in traditional flamenco shoes, can be heard along with various band members in the "Silver (The Duct Tape Horse)".
The title song is conceived as a slow motion charivari in which the ring becomes occupied one character after another, each overlapping and ultimately competing for the attention of the audience. One night after a tracking session the players watched Fellini's "The Orchestra" which seemed to bring into focus the concept for this song. The more unique they each try to be, the more similar to one another they become.
"The Romantic" is about the clown in all of us and about how un-romantic it is to try to be romantic. The energy elevates via the split solos of Claudio Ragazzi on guitar who channels Django and Sam Dechenne who instantly turns the chorus into a dance party. With this we know that despite being only a few minutes into this record there is no turning back.
"Ekat" is one of the two slow waltzes on the record. Kaethe Hostetter insists on working in the most exposed range to play this melody It leaves her untethered in flight. There is no net. The feeling is not unlike witnessing an aerialist perilously high above the ring. Sam Dechenne swoops in, catches her and lowers her to the sawdust floor.
"The Last Long Mount" is funereal in mood. It is the only song here not recorded in Camden. One night the group ventured down the road and occupied the vacant stage of the town opera house. The room provided the lonely mood of an unwanted departure. Bufano titled the song on the day that one of his former employers retired the last of their elephant herd.
Regarding the title "107" he says "Much of the speculation about the title of this record is untrue". As an example, it doesn't take one hundred and seven seconds to play "The Introduction". A conclusion probably based on the song being one minute and seven seconds long but which is actually only sixty eight seconds. "There is no 107 there", says Bufano. "It doesn't mean anything."



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