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Neslorchestra: The Primordial Epiphany

The Neslorchestra is led by trombonist/composer Rick Trolsen, who has gathered nearly thirty New Orleans jazz musicians to play on their debut album titled The Primordial Epiphany, released in 2018. Before we get to the music, first a little about Trolsen. He led the eclectic rock/fusion band Neslort from 1991 to 1998, releasing three albums before calling it quits. Trolsen went on to release four solo albums as a bandleader and has played on nearly forty albums so you can well imagine the immense number of musicians Trolsen has performed with over the years.

Okay, back to The Primordial Epiphany. It is a concept album of sorts with Trolsen adding narrative throughout the album, a sort of alien visitation/experiment involving the evolution of our species, originally set in motion by these aliens. I suppose this answers the age old question �" where do we come from? Maybe we are the alien species on this planet brought here for some nefarious purpose. The story unfolds through Trolsen’s deep and inviting voice, one in which you really can't ignore. Musically this falls into the jazz fusion category, exploring mostly avant-garde and big band jazz.

The first track “Primordial Fusion” is a short piece but still packs a punch with abstract shards of guitar and a nice deep groove. There are four ten minute pieces, the first being “March Of The Native Aliens”, veering in all sorts of directions through cacophonic builds, odd meter change ups and avant-garde tinged brass workouts. The main melody reminded me of a ‘60s detective story, and yes it’s pretty catchy. “Hell Hath Awaketh” begins with an impressive drum solo before unfolding in a big band sound solidified with excellent musicianship. The band’s soft side is highlighted in the pretty “A Ballad For Mankind” featuring gorgeous saxophone before the band lets loose on the wild and intense “Maniacal Hysteria”. The crazed big band of “Naked Frustration” follows suit incorporating some familiar melodies along the way. “The Gift” ends the disc with an uplifting melody representing the true gift of life.

The Primordial Epiphany is an outstanding jazz fusion album, strangely melodic while still pushing the boundaries within the confines of modern and big band jazz.

Track Listing:
1. Primordial Fusion (2:44)
2. March Of The Native Aliens (10:49)
3. Hell Hath Awaketh (10:27)
4. The Tyrant’s Invitation (9:49)
5. A Ballad For Mankind (7:03)
6. Maniacal Hysteria (10:34)
7. Naked Frustration (10:23)
8. The Gift (5:49)

Added: December 27th 2020
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 125
Language: english

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