Music Reviews

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Artist: TIED AND TICKLED TRIO
Title: A.r.c.
Format: CD + DVD
Label: Morr (@)
Distributor: Wide
Rated: *****

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This Bavarian ensemble (not a trio at all!) is by now an established presence in Europe, and this is the latest multimedia offering, on Morr Records. On the CD there is one long track, "a.r.c. - studio version" (nearly 20 minutes), while the DVD is the main reason to consider buying the package, as it presents one full live concert of the band (8 tracks, among which "a.r.c" itself) recorded in 2004 in Munich, plus 3 videos spanning 1997 to 2003, and three other bonus live tracks, with variable video quality. All in all, therefore, an excellent chance to get to know Tied and Tickled Trio, who have fused contemporary jazz with rock elements and electronics since 1994. Samplers and specially-built instruments vie with tenor sax, upright bass and trumpet in an effort to bring jazz into the digital age. Listening to the CD track might leave one thinking that jazz is a hard beast to tame, but the live concert at the Registratur in Munich shows a far less traditional approach, as well as the groovy dub rhythms and club feel that the Trio manages to inject. The video recording is especially worthwhile for the excellent sound quality, making it a really nice listening experience. Don’t expect the club roof to fall down or the crowd to tear down the place, by all means. In Munich they behave themselves, apparently. The video footage tries its best to bring movement by switching cameras, showing the musicians playing while being recorded on LCD screens, or cutting to the bar and the crowd. A certain rough edge is preserved and the video is definitely subservient to the music. This means you can put your DVD on, turn the volume up and enjoy the music without being glued to the video all the time. You can relax, find your own inner groove and be enticed by this "non-purist" jazz, as they define it on their website. Two videoclips, "Tusovska Dub" and "Revolution", are worth mentioning, too. The first video track is an odd space adventure where two bands of men fight over the possession of two Earth females; the home-recording feel is actually well suited to this strange, eery fable. "Revolution" is an animation film, in which a miniature busload of blue blob-like creatures is shown round the supermarket alleys to find that every revolutionary hero has given his or her name to a brand product. Cute ideas for an ensemble who obviously stays away from jazz clichés and embraces pop irony and postmodernity...



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