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Le Rex: Escape of the Fire Ants

Who says that big band jazz can't groove? Swiss ensemble Le Rex certainly do that and more on their latest release for Cuneiform Records, titled Escape of the Fire Ants, a fiery, engaging, and thrilling collection of songs featuring brass, reeds, and percussion...that's it. No guitar, bass, or keyboards to be found anywhere, and the truth is, you don't miss them one bit here. Starting off with the upbeat 8-minute title track, Le Rex bust out the grooves in a big way, the wispy saxophones of Benedikt Reising & Marc Stucki snaking around some muscular lines from trombonist Andreas Tschopp and tuba player Marc Unternährer, all the while drummer Rico Maumann flails away underneath it all. Fantastic stuff!

Things don't let up from there, with the brilliantly energetic "Alimentation Générale" following suit, all the weaving melodies and solos flying about the mix but always coming back together, while the irresistible "Harry Stamper Saves the Day" takes the big band jazz concept to another level, the melodies sweeping, the solo spots chock full of charm, especially the trombone exploration. There's more atmospheric stuff too, like "Strong Woods" and "Elliott's Theme", which allow the alto & tenor sax to really shine, but whether Le Rex are burning it up or laying down some refined, smoky lounge jazz, the results are always sensational.

Five guys making the sounds of ten, Le Rex have hit a home run here with Escape of the Fire Ants. Don't believe me? Check out the link to the albums bandcamp site below.

Track Listing
1. Escape of the Fire Ants 08:23
2. Alimentation Générale 06:41
3. Smoking Flowers 06:59
4. One Must Imagine Sisyphus Happy 06:10
5. Harry Stamper Saves The Day 05:53
6. Elliott's Theme 03:57
7. Bädumeh Landing 05:05
8. The Funding 03:23
9. Strong Woods 05:08
10. Glow 04:32
11. Ballad For An Optimist 06:49
12. Der Knochige Dürre 06:10

Added: June 29th 2019
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band @ Bandcamp
Hits: 993
Language: english

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