weird

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Race Riot Suite

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey will release their 21st album Race Riot Suite on August 30th. Conceived, written and arranged by the band's lap steel guitarist Chris Combs, the recording is a long form conceptual piece that tells the tragic story of the 1921 Tulsa race riot. JFJO's core line-up, which in addition to Combs includes Brian Haas (piano), Jeff Harshbarger (bass) and Josh Raymer (drums), is accompanied by a five-piece horn section featuring Steven Bernstein (trumpet), Peter Apfelbaum (tenor and baritone saxophone), Jeff Coffin (tenor saxophone), Mark Southerland (tenor saxophone) and Matt Leland (trombone). The album was produced by Costa Stasinopoulos and recorded at Tulsa's legendary Church Studio less than a mile from where the riot happened.
In 1921, Tulsa was home to a powerful and affluent African-American community. In one of the largest racial conflicts and cover-ups in American history, massive race riots resulted in the death of hundreds of black Tulsans and the destruction of the entire Greenwood city district, including "Black Wall Street." With jittery melodies, propulsive rhythms and swirling improvisations, JFJO reflects on one of the least understood atrocities of the Jim Crow-era. As the Race Riot Suite unfolds, however, the music ultimately offers light amid the darkness, celebrating the resiliency of community and offering a prayer for the terrible mistakes of the past to never again be repeated. Through the process, the album becomes part of a long lineage of jazz recordings to bring awareness to civil rights issues.
"We felt obligated as Oklahomans to shine a light. What played a big part in the creation of the suite was that it wasn't talked about in Tulsa or taught in schools. So it's kind of this weird looming thing around a really comfortable middle-class suburban community," explains Combs. "As a Tulsan, there was this weird darkness that was still looming. It wasn't talked about. It was deliberately covered up by the local government and press. The idea came from me as a jazz musician and a Tulsan having an emotional reaction to what I learned."
JFJO debuted Race Riot Suite in its entirety with a live performance at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center this past May. They will embark on a U.S. tour to support the album's release in the Fall. The band performs at Festival International De Jazz De Montreal on Friday evening.

Cut Copy Announce New Album, Zonoscope

Ladies and gentlemen please welcome back Cut Copy! Ever the gracious houseguests, they’re returning armed with their 3rd and most ambitious work yet, Zonoscope which will be released February 8, 2011 in North America.

Zonoscope is Cut Copy boiled down to their purest form, a suite of futuristic visions built upon primal rhythm tracks. It is at once their most immediate work to date but also their most sonically exquisite. “Take Me Over” perfectly encapsulates this, it’s chiming highlife guitars bouncing around tropical percussion reminiscent of an island holiday in a pop song.

Zonoscope was dreamt in the comedown of In Ghost Colours, the album which cemented Cut Copy as a global sensation. Their perpetual touring cycle found the band headline a stage at Lollapalooza, become the first Australian act to play Colombia since INXS, have fire marshals shut down an LA performance mid-set as crowds began to buckle the seams of the Henry Fonda Theatre and be raced to the Pitchfork Festival via police escort following a cancelled flight.

After over two years of exhilarating chaos, frontman Dan Whitford bunkered down at home to flesh out rough synth and vocal skeletons, before heading into the studio with the band to bring these textured grooves to life. Whitford describes the wonderland which he set out to create with Tim Hoey, Mitchell Scott and Ben Browning, “All the way along we had this weird vision of a tropical, jungle, tribal sound. A place or an idea that we wanted to reach with some of the songwriting; to explore a looping hypnotic trance and revise the whole palette of what Cut Copy was about.”

Recorded over a 6 month period in a warehouse space the band rented in Melbourne and mixed in Atlanta by Ben H. Allen (Animal Collective, Gnarls Barkley, Deerhunter), Zonoscope paints a mesmerizing picture, conjured by a band at the height of their powers.

You can watch the second installment of the Krozm documentary on the process of making the record, entitled "Skies of The Ape" where it premiered on SPIN or HERE. More music is revealed in this piece, which sees the band moving into their Christmas St recording warehouse, and all band members involved in the creative process.