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Trading With the Enemy


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Audio CD, June 23, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

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In 1996 R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck, Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin, and Luna bassist Justin Harwood united under the moniker Tuatara (a large, lizardlike animal) to create music that had little in common with anything they were doing with their full-time bands. Breaking the Ethers was mystical and resonant, combining swirling Middle Eastern melodies, hip-wiggling Latin percussion, and wafting film music. As innovative as it was, the band's follow-up, Trading with the Enemy, makes the debut seem as mainstream as R.E.M.'s hit "Losing My Religion." This time the group has hooked up with jazz players Steve Berlin (saxophone) and Craig Flory (clarinet) and delivered a multitextured musical hybrid that bounces between straight jazz, funk, film scores, and even Japanese koto music yet somehow flows cohesively from one diverse passage to the next. Influences include soundtrack gurus Bernard Herrmann (Taxi Driver) and Ennio Morricone, smoky-jazz greats Ben Webster and Stan Getz, and pimp daddies like Isaac Hayes. Trading with the Enemy is a refreshing change of pace from your average rock side project and one that easily lives up to each member's lofty reputation. --Jon Wiederhorn

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. The Streets Of New Delhi 5:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
  2. Smugglerõs Cove 5:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
  3. Night In The Emerald City 7:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
  4. The Bender 5:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
  5. Negotiation 3:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Fela The Conqueror 6:10$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. Wormwood 5:32$0.99  Buy MP3 
  8. Koto Song (The Old Shinjuku Trail) 6:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
  9. L'Espionnage Pomme De Terre 6:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. Angel And The Ass 3:13$0.69  Buy MP3 
11. P.C.H. 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
12. Afterburner 7:49$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 23, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000007QCY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,425 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bill Your 'Free Form FM Print DJ on April 24, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I don't think in the 1950s or 1960s there was really such a thing as hipster jazz. Lenny Bruce and the beat poets and jazz musicians cross bred in Greenwich Village, but it was really long after the fact that this became imagery--a filterless cigarette, a fedora, an upright bass neck surrounded by smoke.

Now, we have the mythology, and a whole genre of music to be made with a rich if long ago lineage behind it. Take Eric Dolphy's Out to Lunch, maybe some Modern Jazz Quartet, some 1960s euro soundtrack music, and ask yourself, if we were in 1962 New York, what would we sound like?

That answer is provided with conviction by Tuatura. This album has all the blues, aggressive chord structures, vibraphones and baritone saxes needed to create those long ago shadowed fedoras of the mind, walking in 4am Manhattan, on the street street but underground. There are modern production traces here, some marimba and other exotica that probably would not have been placed in the 50 year old article. But I hear a lot of Dolphy, Lalo Schfrin, Quincy Jones, which far outweighs any 1990s adulterations.

Does it work: absolutely. This music is well played, and much more importantly, understood deeply enough by Tuatara that it never becomes parody. If you were a 12-year-old just discovering jazz and had no idea of any history before the I-pod, the five shot espresso blues and snarling sax is more than hooky enough to snag any boy or girl genius with wings beyond Jessica Simpson.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 16, 1998
Format: Audio CD
Initially heard a couple of tunes on PRI's "World Cafe". The first one titled "The Streets of New Delhi" reminded me of the theme for Mission Impossible. By the second song, "Fela the Conqueror", I was hooked. So I ended up taking a detour and purchasing the CD before getting home. This CD just grooves, blending music of all forms, from traditional jazz to melodic latin vibes to percussion laden african jams into a sometimes funky, sometimes soothing, always intriguing musical delight. It's worth checking out. You'd never imagine Peter Buck of R.E.M. fame being a part of this band.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Perhaps, for the most part, there are two types of people who are unable to appreciate tuatara's musical prose: 1) those are are intrumentally inept; and 2) those far too musically adept. But, of course, there really are only two types of people in the world: 1) those who think they can classify other's into two categories; and 2) those who know better. Regardless, tuatara spawns passionate dances one minute only to be followed by intuitive reflections and meditations the next. A must have for the majority of us affectionate with the'fun is just beginning' non-classifiable jazz/world beat fusion bands.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 1, 1998
Format: Audio CD
An excellent piece of jazz-cum-rock-cum-latin and whatever have you, this record is both endlessly surprising and still wonderfully coherent. Masterly crafted by a bunch of very talented musicians - you'll only notice they're much more talented than you thought: hear Pearl Jam's Mike Stone playing the piano, Peter Buck on dulcimer, Scott McCaughey on Japanese traditional koto... Made by such an eclectic group of people, this record sounds nevertheless as if made in a jazzman's heaven. Go get it!
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By System Tree on August 6, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Superb musicianship, inventive composition, excellent production values. Wonderful, compelling, dynamic progressive rock flavored with exotica, jazz, lounge, and world music.

Those with mediocre tastes should stay far, far away from this - the Tuatara might just bite you.
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