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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Molly Tigre - s/t

Very Special Recordings delivers another genre smack down to the listening world. This time a cassette debut by Molly Tigre. Some descriptive words from the bandcamp page, "Polyrhythmic stew", "Ethiopian Funk" and "Progressive Jazz Cocktail". Without a proper listen, these categorizing labels are still very broad. Sample a track or two and the overall feeling will only mirror they way you feel when pressing play, the pitfall of sampling music online. How can the mood of an entire album be conveyed when the average time for skipping a song to the next is so high? Not going to go into this data set, but here is an interesting article if you are interested. So let us dive into Molly Tigre and try to get the emotions these musicians are trying to bestow.

First and foremost, each person playing music on this release, either in the band or as a guest, is extremely talented. Their love for music is derived from the music they love. With the base of the band being a quintet, the amount of influences is going to be high. There is a very tight connection to the sounds of the recently passed Getatchew Mekurya, an astounding Ethiopian saxophonist. He developed horn sounds resembling Ethiopian war chants known as shellela. Powerful and haunting, the sax seems to focus in your consciousness, forcing you to take heed. Yes, Molly Tigre is commanding, rhythms imparting energy for a full hour or so. There is also both smoothness and playfulness. Like Ethiopian jazz master Mulatu Astatke mashed up with the chilled and tropical arrangements of Les Baxter. Resounding real jazz sophistication hanging like exotic arrangements from candle lit bamboo rafters. Or Brooklyn born Eddie "The Sheik" Kochak's rhythms backing New York's James Chance, super middle eastern influenced groove gone awry with punked out funk. Molly Tigre takes listeners on a world tour, but maintains poise throughout the entire composition. The objective is never to show how much they know or how skilled they are, the solid rhythms of both base and percussion keep these songs too perfectly grounded for that. So, free form jazz, this is not. Molly Tigre is the cool fifties vinyl you luckily find in the thrift store. Five guys standing by the hotel pool in matching suits, holding instruments like armament, half smiles on their faces, saying yeah to time, you caught us working. After listening through this release multiple times, there are many feelings Molly Tigre imparts. Straight forward from start to finish but complex all the way trough, i guess this describes life itself.

Released on Very Special Recordings in the middle of May. Not sure what the cassette run is, but tapes do have two extra songs not available on any digital platform. Thanks VSR, for making the physical purchase just a little bit more special.

Very Special Recordings - facebook - bandcamp
Molly Tigre site