What happens when you put the blues under a microscope? When the lens is wielded by the incisive deconstructivists of the Microscopic Septet, the musical odyssey traverses territory that’s disarmingly strange, pleasingly familiar and consistently revelatory.
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Visit The Microscopic Septet page at Cuneiform Records.
The Micros deliver a gripping investigation of the form on Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues, which was released on Cuneiform Records on Feb 10, 2017.
Following up their earlier post-2006 Cuneiform releases, Lobster Leaps In (2008), Friday The 13th: The Micros Play Monk (2010), and Manhattan Moonrise (2014), Been Down So Long is the latest recording documenting the 21st Century Micros saga: the co-leaders–wandering soprano saxophonist Phillip Johnston currently living in Sydney Australia, and Manhattan weird bop pianist Joel Forrester–come together, with the rest of the band in New York City regularly, and 35 years after their debut, write, perform and record new music.
A record that assembles a variety of different takes on the jazz-blues format, from blowing tunes to highly arranged orchestral pieces, a blues march, a punk rock tune, an homage to 20s Ellingtonia, a reharmonized blues interpretation of Silent Night, with a couple of bop tunes thrown in and a salute to R&B legend Joe Liggins and the Honeydrippers, Been Down So Long expresses Johnston & Forrester’s love of the melodic, rhythmic and harmonic language that has infused their work throughout their careers: the blues. But it’s also a chance for the great musicians who have always brought their work to life–drummer Richard Dworkin, bassist Dave Hofstra, and saxophonists Dave Sewelson, Mike Hashim and Don Davis–to stretch out in their idiosyncratic soloistic styles.
Don’t be down – get up! Join the fun with the new CD by the band Downbeat Magazine has described as “seminal, brilliant post-modern jazz” and John Shand of the Sydney Morning Herald called, “one of the most distinctive sounds in modern jazz.”
Listen to I Don’t Mind If I Do, from Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down To Me.