March 3, 2011

Rattlemouth | 5

ARTIST:  Rattlemouth
LABEL:  self-released
REVIEW:  Now in their 22nd year, Rattlemouth is one of Richmond’s long-lived bands.  They’ve thrived on their ability to evolve through the years – they started out as a kind of Euro-improv art-rock combo, they’ve written and performed music for dance and film, and their focus right now is on world music.  This, their fifth full-length recording, captures the core of their current live shows – arrangements by guitarist George Lowe of classic compositions from Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.  There’s no category for what this band is doing; it’s closer to jazz than rock for sure, so these are interpretations not covers, and each one sounds more like Rattlemouth than like the original recordings that inspired them.  The band is fortunate to have two outstanding saxophone soloists in Danny Finney and Roger Carroll; they’re propelled by a rhythm section (Lowe plus bassist Marc Langelier and drummer Robbie Kinter) who are economical and sympathetic in a manner that comes only from years of playing together.  If you’re at all interested in world music or jazz, give this one a listen – it’s absolutely world class.
REVIEWER:  Bill Lupoletti
RECOMMENDED TRACKS:    1    2    4    5    7

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