Tiny Resistors

Tiny Resistors

4.0 1
by Todd Sickafoose
     
 
The inventive bassist/composer Todd Sickafoose has been plying his trade as a sideman while occasionally venturing forth as a bandleader in the progressive jazz world. With Tiny Resistors, he's hitting for a high average in presenting original music with a dramatic flair while playing not just the bass. Overdubbing keyboards,

Overview

The inventive bassist/composer Todd Sickafoose has been plying his trade as a sideman while occasionally venturing forth as a bandleader in the progressive jazz world. With Tiny Resistors, he's hitting for a high average in presenting original music with a dramatic flair while playing not just the bass. Overdubbing keyboards, accordion, mallet instruments, and the electric bass guitar, he orchestrates charts with many layers for a large ensemble that features electric guitars, brass, and some woodwinds. Special guests Andrew Bird and Ani DiFranco play cameo roles, while the dynamic drummer Allison Miller focuses on tricky rhythms -- rock and funk -- to drive these pieces along bumpy hillsides. A walking-to-jogging pace, serious to whimsical, identifies "Future Flora" (great title!) as the amplified guitars of Adam Levy and Mike Gamble with Sickafoose on the Wurlitzer organ shush along with Miller and the horns of trumpeter Shane Endsley and trombonist Alan Ferber in a 10/8 rhythm. A rustic old New Orleans blues rhythm centers the muted brass during "Paper Trombones," a bit dour and holding a mystery train-like aura, with the vibes and bass playing of the leader conducting the trip. A wonderfully spacious intro with minimalist bells, vibes, and celeste overdubs turns probing, moving forward into dense terrain on the title selection, with Miller's busy drumming as a fulcrum. "Bye Bye Bees" and "Pianos of the Ninth Ward" include both Bird (violin) and DiFranco (wordless vocals); the former nearly 11-minute track has a polyrhythmic base with handclapping, whistling, and song sounds in tandem with the horns, while the latter is a somber post-Katrina waltz with Sickafoose on piano, the guitars, and an electric ukulele from DiFranco. Bird also plays some country & eastern-styled violin for the heartland Americana stylized "Cloud of Dust." Also along this line of Far East/Far West dialect comparable to Bill Frisell is the rural feeling of "Whistle" with Sickafoose again on piano, or the very Midwestern "Everyone Is Going." Closest to rock in 7/8 time is "Invisible Ink, Revealed," on the craggy, heavy, and darker edge of an inevitable unquiet storm. This is quite an ambitious project from Sickafoose. Considering his need to play many instruments while guiding the talented group through a variety of changes and phases, you would be hard-pressed to fully realize the effort it took to make this music perfect. It's very close to complete, universally appealing, and unique unto itself.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/10/2008
Label:
Cryptogramophone
UPC:
0671860013822
catalogNumber:
138
Rank:
340593

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Todd Sickafoose   Primary Artist,Piano,Accordion,Electric Bass,Celeste,Bass Guitar,Keyboards,Marimbas,Bells,Vibes,Acoustic Bass,Upright Bass,Wurlitzer
Ani DiFranco   Ukulele,Voices
Adam Levy   Acoustic Guitar
Skerik   Baritone Saxophone
Andrew Bird   Violin,Human Whistle
Shane Endsley   Trumpet
Allison Miller   Percussion,Drums
Adam Levy   Acoustic Guitar
Mike Gamble   Guitar
Alan Ferber   Trombone
Ben Wendel   Bassoon,Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Simon Lott   Percussion,Drums

Technical Credits

Jeff Gauthier   Executive Producer
Andy Taub   Engineer
Mike Napolitano   Engineer
Andrew Bird   Loop
Grady McFerrin   Artwork
Todd Sickafoose   Composer,Producer,Engineer

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Tiny Resistors 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Todd Sickafoose may be best known as Ani DiFranco's bassist, but on his own, Sickafoose is a first-rate instrumentalist, and this album proves his facility in multi-genre excursions that cross the borders between avant-garde, jazz, and mainstream music. His compositions are fully realized and intricate, but never academically unapproachable.