Gutbucket | Dance

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United States - New York

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Jazz: Progressive Jazz Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Moods: Instrumental
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by Gutbucket

Gutbucket's latest--- a painstakingly written, thoroughly prepared record that was recorded in a tricked-out studio built into the legendary downtown NYC club The Stone, recorded in front of a live audience.
Genre: Jazz: Progressive Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Luton
5:37 album only
2. Exercise
4:58 album only
3. Rum Spring
7:59 album only
4. So Many so Little
6:15 album only
5. Bounce Clap Shasta!
5:46 album only
6. Buseve
7:28 album only
7. F*cking Title
8:10 album only
8. 2 Is Not Enough
3:17 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Gutbucket's music doesn't always take its time. It often has a feverish presence, a fierce rock intensity. Dense textures and polyrhythmic mazes, 21st century harmony and four-part counterpoint all make for highly original compositions for sax, guitar, bass and drums. The New York Times calls it a “no-holds-barred approach to the jazz rock paradigm.”

Despite the immediacy of their sound, Gutbucket’s newest release, DANCE, took some time to fully realize.

After enlisting new bassist Pat Swoboda, the band began a year-long process of writing a new set of music. Just rehearsed enough by the end of 2013, with ink fresh and still raw, Gutbucket pushed this material into live settings across Europe and the States, and slowly worked their way through new musical challenges. Night after night in rehearsal and on the road, the music morphed and gelled, and the group started to feel ready to record.

Gutbucket has a reputation for theatrical and kinetic live shows - “Live, the band is tight and explosive...” (Time Out New York) -, so they’ve often gotten encouragement from fans to release a live CD. But given that their eight newest tunes were some of the most challenging, demanding music Gutbucket had ever explored, a live record seemed like walking on a wire between two tall buildings without a net. Why do that? It was a leap of faith at first.

Having been offered a weeklong residency in late November 2014 at John Zorn’s fabled club, the Stone, in downtown NYC, the band decided to dedicate four of their twelve sets to performing this new material and recording it. They knew what they were getting into. At the Stone, there is virtually no separation between audience and band. The club is a black box which holds less than 100 people; there’s no food, no drinks - just a focus on the music. The immediacy of the space creates a synergy between audience and band, and you can hear that on DANCE.

Gutbucket spent days working with their engineer to create a true studio inside the space – painstakingly adjusting microphones for each instrument and meticulously testing the sound. By the first concert, the Stone’s stage resembled an obstacle course of microphone stands and cables. Ty played through two double mic’d guitar amps; Ken had five mics on his sax; Adam had every drum covered; Pat’s wide dynamic range on the bottom end was captured. The room was a laboratory for live sound recording. Over the following months, Gutbucket meticulously edited and mixed the best of the best versions of each song from each night.

The answer to the question “why record live?” became clearer as the band began the process; since it’s a live CD, the music is completely honest. It’s four musicians playing their guts out in front of captivated audiences. It’s virtuosic, but not slick – there are mistakes: sometimes the tempo pushes a bit, sometimes there’s a yelp from an audience member. But that sound of a working band at its peak in concert is unlike anything they could have created in the studio.
Gutbucket has released five studio albums – InsomniacsDream (Knitting Factory, 2001), Dry Humping the American Dream (Enja, 2003), Sludge Test (Cantaloupe, 2006), A Modest Proposal (Cuneiform, 2009) and Flock (Cuneiform, 2011) – to great acclaim. They learned to use the studio to its fullest potential, recording 100% original music except for one cover (an adaptation of Olivier Messiaen’s “Quartet for the End of Time” on Sludge Test) – never with genre in mind, but instead with the four musicians as compositional focalpoint (“A classic case of a band that defies categorization…” - The Washington Post). Over sixteen years, Gutbucket focused on different aspects of the studio – and by the time they arrived at their latest two recordings for Cuneiform, they, were fully versed in creating full-blown arrangements, overdubbing multiple instruments and getting a large sound. So it’s this return to the quartet in this stripped-down setting that is the hallmark of DANCE.
The music is explosive: pieces like “Buseve” and “So Many So Little” open with some of the CD’s most aggressivepummeling moments (“ exhilarating, intelligently performed racket.” - The Guardian). But the compositions explore a wide dynamic range, and the music uses the combination of alto sax, guitar, bass and drums in unique and surprising ways. The opening track “Luton” features a cascade of high-octane runs with abrupt rhythmic punctuation marks and unexpected silences. The tune builds to a dense and aggressive conclusion, and is followed on the disc by “Exercise” – which focuses on simple melodic motifs and increasingly complex rhythmic counterpoint that generates momentum throughout. On DANCE, every instrument can play the melody, or be the drum, or both. The voice of free jazz seeps in as well, and the band members stretch out as they only would in concert, as in the unaccompanied drum solo which begins “fucking title.” As Time Out New York says, the music “achieves an impressive balance of passionate lyricism and pummeling angularity.”

Despite years of studio work, Gutbucket is first and foremost a working band. They’ve toured the world and played hundreds of shows. For DANCE they captured their live energy without sacrifices – and in so doing, celebrate the continued vitality of their music, as it forges ahead into this next phase of exploration.



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