The Necks: The Boys (2004)
If you're looking for minimalism in jazz, just listen to the Australian trio The Necks. The music of this band formed by pianist Chris Abrahams, drummer Tony Buck and bassist Lloyd Swanton, is characterized by its simplicity in forms. By continuously repeating phrases constructed from a few notes, the trio creates a musical ambience whose tension varies when small changes made by any of the group members transform the basic melodic line.
The Boys , which is drawn from the soundtrack the group composed for the Australian movie of the same name, continues in The Necks' minimal/ambient tradition, although the album represents a new move for the group. Until now they were known for the hour-long improvisations which made up their previous releases. On the contrary, this album offers seven pieces with different moods.
The group uses electronic instruments that built up ambiences reminiscent of the basic mood that Miles Davis developed in many of his electric records, although the music on The Boys is darker and relaxed and is influenced by contemporary rock and electronica. Like many instrumental soundtracks, the tension and the speed through the record rise and decrease, possibly related to the scenes in the movie; and the main theme appears at the opening, middle, and end of the album, linking all the pieces into one whole work.
The album would make a good start for those who want to get into these Australians' music, because it's made of smaller doses of the trio's traditional work.
Track Listing: 1.The Boys I; 2. He Led them Into the World; 3. Headlights; 4. The Boys II; 5. The Sleep of Champions; 6. Fife and Drum; 7. The Boys III
Personnel: Chris Abrahams:piano; Tony Buck: drums; Lloyd Swanton: bass