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Industrial Jazz Group 

The Star Chamber

Wednesday, Aug 25 2004
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L.A.-based composer Andrew Durkin's Industrial Jazz Group is young, hip, and, despite its evocative moniker, not predisposed to swing covers of Trent Reznor tunes. "Industrial" refers to "an approach that gets at the 'industry' (or craft) of musical creation," the bandleader explains in his press materials. Yet, while Durkin may be a bit of an academic, his music is far from starched. The seven spacious tracks on his nonet's third album since 2001 bounce with clever arrangements, high-energy performances, and rich references to jazz's big-band legacy (from Ellington to Mingus) and then some: There's arch avant-gardist Albert Ayler's freedom cry in the bent saxophone solo on "Little Owen"; Bach's mellifluous beauty haunts the interwoven flute and horn motifs on "Gross Fugue"; and the punchy melodies and jouncy rhythmic play on the CD's title track raise the ghost of Frank Zappa. Esteemed company one and all. And the IJG is welcome at the party.

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Sam Prestianni

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