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Le Rex: Wild Man

The Swiss quintet known as Le Rex have unleashed their third release for Cuneiform Records, titled Wild Man and inspired by recent touring done here in the US. To take that one step further, the band even recorded the album in Chicago and introduced many of the songs included on Wild Man to live audiences here in the US before the actual CD release.

Wild Man consists of 13 vibrant, upbeat jazzy tracks created by the line-up of Benedikt Reising ( alto saxophone), Marc Stucki (tenor saxophone), Andreas Tschopp (trombone), Marc Unternährer (tuba), and Rico Baumann (drums). Not a conventional jazz ensemble by any means considering the lack of piano or upright bass, but the tuba seems to take over the role of the bassist here, with the drummer holding down the rest of the rhythms and the saxes & trombone firing off the lead melodies. Many of the tracks here are quite engaging, such as "Hymns to the Cold", "Mole's Dream of the Prairie", and "Dwarf", while the title cut offers up more solemn melodies and at times almost veers into free-jazz territory. "Riff Raff" is completely playful with some can't miss grooves, perhaps my favorite song on the album, but "Sugar Maple" and "Don't Lean on the Case!" are also impressive examples of upbeat, classy jazz with engaging melodies and musical passages.

A great thing about Wild Man, and Le Rex in general, is hearing the tuba in such a prominent role, not something we normally experience in a lot of the modern day jazz music we come across these days. Whether bubbling along as a 'bass substitute' alongside the drums, or taking on more of a lead role, Marc Unternähre is a joy to listen to throughout. If you a fan of horns and reeds in general, Wild Man contains some great playing by these inspiring musicians bleating, honking, and squonking along in fine fashion. This is ultimately a fun album, and another great release from the folks over at Cuneiform.

Track Listing
1. Mole's Dream of the Prairie 04:54
2. Home Alone 02:13
3. Dwarf 04:12
4. Mr Richard Kiel 05:49
5. Le Clic 04:55
6. Hymn to the Cold 05:16
7. Wild Man 04:15
8. Riff Raff 04:00
9. Sugar Maple 04:11
10. Anchor 07:06
11. Don't Lean on the Case! 04:40
12. A Walk on South Michigan 03:40
13. Be in Shape! 03:23

Added: December 26th 2015
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1682
Language: english

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