Yochk'o Seffer Big Band: YOG 3
To say that Yochk'o Seffer's Big Band release YOG 3 is an acquired taste is an incredible understatement. This is Jazz in Opposition at its core - the musical landscapes used here most certainly have their roots in music other than the traditional Western composers. I'll be right up front about YOG 3 - with a few exceptions, I found the music to be incredibly difficult to wade through and very grating on the ears. However, I would guess that fans of the JIO/RIO genre would probably enjoy the band's instrumental prowess and bizarrely structured chords - there are indeed some very well played passages here. One of the band's stand out areas is the percussion section of Jean-My Truong and Arnaud Frank - there's a incredibly wild conga(?) break in the 17-minute track "Szepseg" that really shows how interesting arrhythmic non-traditional percussion can be when performed by a good musician. Also, there's a totally RIPPIN' traditional (as traditional as these guys get, anyhow) jazz piano jam from pianist Thierry Maillard at the 6-minute mark of "Bunkos" that just takes the track to a whole new level with its discordant and almost disturbing structure. Unfortunately, to my untrained ears it just seemed like I had to wallow through too much "brass from another planet" sections to get to the really good bits, therefore making the CD as a whole pretty much unlistenable to this reviewer. So while my personal opinion is that these very talented musicians could benefit greatly from the use of more traditional song structures, I'm sure that folks who like the musical "Opposition movement" will greatly enjoy Yochk'o Seffer's YOG 3. There is no denying that the band contains excellent musicians and very innovative compositions, but I would certainly caution the casual ear to steer clear of this one.
Track Listing: 1. Uszok (8:07), 2. Szepseeg (17:53), 3. Bunkos (9:12), 4. Skiro (9:24), 5. Rez Fuvosok (2:18), 6. 2000 Point Zero Part 1 (5:06), 7. 2000 Point Zero Part 2 (6:03)
Record Label: Musea Parallele