Fight The Big Bull: All Is Gladness In The Kingdom (2010)
Bernstein is, unsurprisingly, dominant on the soloing front, his agile muted splintering often stepping into the foreground. This is not to say that the six other horners are much less extroverted. This is why Bernstein fits in so easily, as the band enjoys a similarly lusty approach to retro reclamation. Stalking themes grab the ears with both fists, as most of the tunes reel with memorable riffs that could certainly draw in many rock aficionados. The pieces are very visual, inhabiting genre zones that invariably inspire filmic connections: imaginary seedy activities relating to guns, drugs, monsters, chicks, fast cars and murderous machinations.
FTBB craves the climactic blowout. Much of its unusualness lies in the percussion patterns of Brian Jones and Pinson Chanselle (the latter a star of one of those movies?). When these atmospheric chimings are audible, this means that FTBB is taking a rest from its brawling, oily, big band barging, an occasional respite from the slugging, brutalist majority. Sluggingly brutal with a refined intelligence, of course.
Track Listing: Mobile Tigers; Mothra; The Sacred Harp; Jemima Surrender; Gold Lions; All Is Gladness In The Kingdom; Eddie And Cameron Strike Back/Satchel Paige; Martin Denny; Rockers.
Personnel: Jason Scott: tenor/alto saxophones, clarinet; J.C. Kuhl: tenor saxophone, clarinet; John Lilley: tenor saxophone; Steven Bernstein: trumpet, slide trumpet; Bob Miller: trumpet; Reggie Price, Bryan Hooten: trombones; Matt White: guitar; Cameron Ralston: bass; Brian Jones: percussion; Pinson chanselle: drums; Eddie Prendergast: electric bass.
Record Label: Clean Feed Records
Style: Modern Jazz