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MP3 Tim Posgate Hornband featuring Howard Johnson - JAZZ: Weird Jazz

"Crazy and fun" Instrumental eclectic jazz songs with great improvisations featuring only three horns and guitar (bit of banjo too but no rhythm section..). Over-the top-Tuba playing from Howard Johnson (miles, mingus, john lennon...the Band Taj Mahal...

12 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Weird Jazz, JAZZ: Jazz Fusion

The Tim Posgate Hornband has released its debut, self-titled Cd featuring its newest member, American jazz-tuba legend and multi-instrumentalist Howard Johnson. (Charles Mingus, Muddy Waters, Taj Mahal, Miles Davis, The Band, John Lennon…) Summer of 2005 saw this eclectic quartet at the Stockholm Jazz Festival as well as the 40th anniversary of the Pori (Finland) Jazz Festival and back home at the Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa festivals. (https://www.tradebit.com)

Leader, guitarist and primary composer Tim Posgate and trumpeter Lina Allemano have toured Canada extensively including work with Tim Posgate’s Jazzstory and were both recently nominated as top instrumentalists for Canada’s National Jazz Awards. Quinsin Nachoff is the fourth member playing tenor sax, clarinet and flute. Nachoff was the winner of Canada Council’s Jazz ID Competition as well as being a semi-finalist in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Tenor Sax Competition in Washington D.C.

With only three horns and guitar this unique quartet creates a mélange of sound that will entertain and challenge the listener with it’s compositions drawing heavily on jazz, folk and “free improv” traditions.

These three Canadians have all released numerous Cds as leaders as well as working with Joe Lovano, Don Byron, Steve Lacy, Kenny Wheeler, Mark Helias, Jim Black, and Jane Bunnett among others. Howard Johnson continues to perform with his popular tuba ensemble Gravity.

All About Jazz Cd Review
John Kelman

Tim Posgate is a Canadian guitarist who has demonstrated the kind of diverse idiosyncratic mindset in the past ten years that places him in the same musical vicinity as Bill Frisell. His latest release, Tim Posgate Hornband Featuring Howard Johnson, draws an even more visible link, with clear stylistic reference to Frisell’s mid-‘90s quartet with trumpeter Ron Miles, trombonist Curtis Fowlkes, and violinist Eyvind Kang. Posgate’s group operates with a similar premise—steadfastly eschewing a more traditional rhythm section, but still managing to develop all the forward motion it needs, and creating a broader textural swath at the same time. But there are clear differences as well.
Posgate’s Hornband—featuring trumpeter Lina Allemano, woodwind multi-instrumentalist Quinsin Nachoff, and special guest Howard Johnson on tuba, baritone saxophone, and pennywhistle—is certainly unconventional, and it places more consistent responsibility on its members. Frisell’s quartet would often find different members taking on rhythm section roles at various times; Johnson’s tuba and baritone saxophone, while certainly getting the opportunity to come forward, are more likely to be found anchoring the bass and rhythm roles—although Posgate himself is equally likely to be found in an accompanying position.

The disc covers a lot of territory. The material ranges from the eccentrically funky “Hale Bopp,” where Posgate’s gritty guitar tone seems at odds with the lush sound of the horns—or does it?—to “Quartier St. Roche,” which, with Posgate’s indefinably Canadian folk alternative to Frisell’s Americana penchant, gives the piece a similar but distinct complexion. Posgate’s writing often allows for mood shifts within the same piece—“Quartier St. Roche” may start out with a loping folk rhythm, but by its end it has become more open-ended and considerably darker.

There’s room for spirited improvisation from everyone, and this is an album that, above all, sounds like it was a whole lot of fun to make, despite its stylistic diversity. But Posgate’s well-crafted arrangements give the album its personality. And yet, for all the careful construction, there’s a relaxed feel that allows everyone the chance to be more liberally interpretive. This may be Posgate’s session, and Howard Johnson, being the most well-known of the bunch, gets special mention on the marquee. But this is truly an equal opportunity band, with Allemano and Nachoff just as vital to its collective sound.

Magically, the group manages to imply all kinds of things that aren’t actually there. Posgate’s acoustic guitar riff propels “Muddy” along, with the horns finding ways to occupy solo space and provide accompaniment simultaneously. And that’s really the beauty of the recording. As quirky as it can sometimes get—and tracks like “Pramulating” move into more oblique free territory—the album remains thoroughly engaging throughout. Posgate is taking the Hornband, including Johnson, on a short road trip this summer, and it’s sure to be an even more entertaining experience live than on record.

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