Eric Rasmussen (as), Jason Hunter (ts, ss), Tim Luntzel (b), Eric Thompson (d, cymbals)
Bar code: 8427328421805
Guaranteed Swahili has attracted ever-increasing media attention since its inception in the summer of 1995. The band's instrumentation consists of alto saxophone, tenor (and soprano) saxophone, bass, and drums; producing an open, vibrant sound that ranges from intimate exploration to bombastic, collective improvisation. Swahili is influenced by jazz greats Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman, while also incorporating 20th century classical music, world music, hip-hop, rock, and funk. The result is a unique and accessible blend of original music and interpretations of jazz standards.
"Three More Years" is their 3rd album.
"With music that makes use of saxophone harmonies against a backdrop of free jazz, Guaranteed Swahilis third release, Three More Years, intricately delivers expressive and tightly knit musical ideas. The piano-less quartet was formed in 1995 and has been active in the vibrant Boston jazz scene with associations with other popular area musicians such as the sax group Dead Cat Bounce and widely known artists Danilo Perez and Joe Lovano.
The first thing that grabs the inner ear is the groups sound. Though saxophonists Jason Hunter and Eric Rasmussen are the primary soloists, their counterpartsdrummer Eric Thompson and bassist Tim Luntzelare equally impressive. The individual performances are all noteworthy, yet group unity is really what creates the excitement. Each solo performance is accentuated by the other members' contributions, which in turn gives the music a multi-layered sound.
The recording has the feel of an open jam session as musicians layer their instruments on the opening track, New Diet Revolution. Things take a more structured turn on the next piece, Remembrance, which quietly introduces the theme and then blossoms into different tempos and impressive solos all encased in a third world rhythm. Other selections are more exploratory, such as the free for all Chads Pregnant, which spotlights exceptional electric bass work and drum kit magic.
Things take a turn towards the dark side on the introspective Hair on My Pillow, which combines elements of both harmony and dissonance as the percussion and bass compellingly pushes the theme. Rasmussen and Hunter clearly have a musical bond as they interact with ease. On the reflective When, the duality of horns results in contrasting tones that create some interesting balladry. The recording also benefits from exceptional sound quality that further accentuates the groups noteworthy performance."
- Mark F. Turner (All About Jazz)
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