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Karl 2000: Karl 2000

Karl 2000 is a trio based out of New York City consisting of Daniel Rovin (saxophones, jonaphone), Austin White (bass, cello) and Dave Miller (drums, toy drums). I had no idea what to expect from this album but perhaps the Soviet Union inspired red and gold coloured album cover should have provided a clue. The picture of a monkey wearing a bandana emblazoned with the Soviet red star reminded me of government propaganda posters form the '50s and '60s. The trio add their own twisted spin to Russian folk music, veering into the deepest recesses of avant jazz you are likely to hear. Suffice to say an easy listen this is not.

The album begins with "Meadowlands", featuring squelching bursts of saxophone and a sparse marching drum beat. It's a pretty short tune and not one of my favourites. Perhaps it is just too 'out there' for my liking. The second track "(All Of Them)" is a frenetic exercise in rampaging bass lines and challenging saxophone work. Again, if you like your music on the experimental side this may be your cup of tea. I found it be somewhat haphazard (which I am sure was the intent of the band) with the music venturing in multiple directions. In "A Cliff On The Volga", the discernible Russian melody is actually quite nice and the song moves along at a much slower pace.

The band also throws in a few covers including a blistering version of The Partridge Family's "I Think I Love You" which is at times barely recognizable from the pop soaked original version that had the young girls screaming all those years ago.

There are some other nice parts scattered throughout but if you do not dig free form jazz this will not be to your liking. Overall, it's a bit hit and miss for me but as an avant-garde jazz/folk recording it is actually quite well done and earns a respectable 2.5 stars.

Track Listing:
1. Meadowlands
2. (All Of Them)
3. A Cliff On The Volga
4. Pump It Out
5. Blumenlied
6. I Think I Love You
7. Chocolate Wonderfall
8. Message From Karl
9. Derrrrrrr…
10. A Birch Tree In A Field Did Stand
11. We'll Meet Again

Added: June 10th 2013
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Band's Official Site
Hits: 1639
Language: english

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