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The Young Philadelphians Live In Tokyo
LP (12" album, 33 rpm), Live
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Live in Tokyo
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The Young Philadelphians pays tribute to twin legacies: The mind blowing harmolodic punk-funk of Ornette Coleman's first Prime Time band and the sweet, optimistic pulse of 1970s Philly soul. Marc Ribot enlists bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and drummer G. Calvin Weston, both Prime Time alumni and Philadelphia natives, along with guitarist Mary Halvorson and a lush 3-piece section to the job.
Forever young, forever Philadelphian, forever fixated on the moment before dance went digital. Stuck in the groove like a scratch in your favorite record. Ladies and Gentlemen...the hardest working musicians in punk/funk/soul/noise: The Young Philadelphians!!!
Marc Ribot s creativity and versatility astound, confound, and frighten. --The Boston Globe
Guitar trailblazer Mary Halvorson turns jazz on its head ... just as likely to pick out intricate, harmonically and melodically complex lines of stunning beauty as she is to unleash a violent spray of atonal, harshly distorted six-string noise. --Rolling Stone
Bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma s ... playing is as majestic as ever. --All About Jazz
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While the musicians clearly have avant garde backgrounds, and it shows in the music, they've also put such a hard groove (in large part due to Tacuma's bass lines) that it interestingly also sounds non-avant garde at the same time. Honestly, if I was going to try to get a friend into avant garde music, I'd probably start with this album as I feel even the most averse to creative sounds could dig this.
Perhaps the most surprising thing though is how Mary Halvorson fits into it all. Halvorson's a unique and gifted musician and guitarist. One concern is how her unique style of playing would fit in with the rest of this group's dynamic. While she's a little more toned down than usual, she does have some pretty fantastic lines and fits in with the group wonderfully.
And this album seems to get more interesting with each listen. I originally planned on giving it only 4 stars but after continued listening, believe it deserves the full 5. It's really incredible what they can do with a song even as ridiculous as the Hustle and turn it into something that is both artistic and makes you want to get up and dance.
Just a head's up for anyone planning to see this group live, Chris Cochrane subbed in for Halvorson when I saw them at the Newport Jazz Festival. My understanding is that is the current US touring group. It was great but feel like Halvorson works better in the lineup.