Near Misses


aec.scpg45.2 8/21/07 New
$11.99 $14.99

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Review Text In the '90s, the hip-hop and electronica scenes began integrating jazz licks to their music, and thus acid jazz was born. If a few jazzmen (most either unknown or aging) jumped at the idea in an effort to increase their exposure -- and it worked for a while -- most of the acid jazz impetus actually came from the electronica camp. Roam the Hello Clouds' debut, Near Misses, turns the tables. The trio proceeds from jazz, toward electronica. The group's main voice is Phil Slater's ultra-cool (as in Miles Davis cool) trumpet. All the melodies are for Slater to state. However, most of the emotion, feel, and excitement of the music is delicately carried by drummer Laurenz Pike (of Triosk and Pivot!) and laptop artist Dave Miller. Pike's drumming is informed by Bitches Brew-era jazz but shaped by lounge music. Miller's electronics, consisting of treated samples from the other musicians, act as both texture and interlocutor, providing an edge, but also rounding up the trio's sound palette, both in the low and high registers. If you are currently visualizing abstract electro-acoustic improvisations, think again; Roam the Hello Clouds' music is mostly about tunes and grooves, and the fact that all the album's tracks fall within the three- to six-minute range shows how tune-minded this music is. However, there are some freer, more abstract moments included to provide contrast, such as the penultimate "Uniform 64," but, as a whole, Near Misses provides an accessible listen for late-night chilling. Quietly original and very well performed, this is music jazz freaks should be getting excited about. ~ François Couture

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Phases - 5:49
  2. 2. Geoff as the Hulk - 5:52
  3. 3. Pretender's Hand - 6:40
  4. 4. Death and Possible Dreams - 6:30
  5. 5. Sprinter - 5:52
  6. 6. Supply - 5:29
  7. 7. Life of Near Misses - 6:29
  8. 8. Twenties in the Eighties - 4:07
  9. 9. Uniform 64 - 5:19
  10. 10. This Mountain - 3:23

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