The Last Elephant

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All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
The Mandala Octet dedicates this, its third album, to Siri, a Thailand-born elephant housed at a zoo in Syracuse, New York. The record includes a 28-minute concerto-like piece, as well as four other charts written by bassist and leader John Leaman. Again Leaman borrows heavily from the personnel of the Either/Orchestra, using saxophonists Matt Langley, Charlie Kohlhase, and Doug Yates; trumpeter Tom Duprey; trombonist Curtis Hasselbring; pianist John Medeski; and drummer Gene Calderazzo. For the eight-part title track, the octet is joined by Billy Martin on tympani. The composition rivals Siri in its enormity, starting off with an introduction of glaring trumpet, ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
The Mandala Octet dedicates this, its third album, to Siri, a Thailand-born elephant housed at a zoo in Syracuse, New York. The record includes a 28-minute concerto-like piece, as well as four other charts written by bassist and leader John Leaman. Again Leaman borrows heavily from the personnel of the Either/Orchestra, using saxophonists Matt Langley, Charlie Kohlhase, and Doug Yates; trumpeter Tom Duprey; trombonist Curtis Hasselbring; pianist John Medeski; and drummer Gene Calderazzo. For the eight-part title track, the octet is joined by Billy Martin on tympani. The composition rivals Siri in its enormity, starting off with an introduction of glaring trumpet, slowly steaming tom-tom rhythms, and signal-calling percussion. The segments segue seamlessly from clarion horns to cool funk, with Siri speaking through Hasselbring's lyrical trombone and Kohlhase's rich baritone inflections. The piece is further adorned with lush horn charts, a little reggae strut from Medeski, a frantic piano-bass-drums portion, and Langley's wailing tenor. On the funky "The Unknown Soldier," the group is augmented by Sam Pilafian tuba, Chris Wood electric bass guitar, Martin tympani, and guitarists John Dirac and Dave Fiuczynski. A spooky groove chart and Hasselbring's great solo highlight "La Vida Es Sueno." Over the course of its three recordings, the Mandala Octet has made some very challenging modern music in the jazz-based idiom. With luck, there's more on the horizon.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/13/1994
  • Label: Accurate Records
  • UPC: 743431362025
  • Catalog Number: 3620

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mandala Octet Primary Artist
Charlie Kohlhase Baritone Saxophone
John Dirac Guitar
David Fiuczynski Guitar
John Lehman Bass, Piano
John Medeski Piano
Doug Yates Alto Saxophone
Billy Martin Percussion, Repique, Timpani
Curtis Hasselbring Trombone
Gene Calderazzo Drums
Matt Langley Tenor Saxophone
Chris Wood Electric Bass
Tom Duprey Trumpet, Flugelhorn
Sam Pilafian Tuba
Technical Credits
John Lehman Producer
Joe Marciano Engineer
Michael Marciano Engineer
Gene Paul Mastering
Bob Ward Digital Editing
Matt Langley Graphic Design
Audi Adare Engineer
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