Farcical Reviewed in All About Jazz NY; NYC Winter Jazzfest!

Respect’s newest album, “Farcical Built For Six” (Roister, 2010), has received some kind words this past week from All About Jazz NY’s Kurt Gottschalk. Check out the review below (which also gives praise to friend-of-the-band Ben Gallina’s band Salo!) and don’t forget to download the new issue at aaj-ny.com!

Sirius Respect was the third record by the powerfully focused Respect Sextet, but it’s the one with which they made their mark. The 2009 album featured the group playing compositions by Sun Ra and Karlheinz Stockhausen, in one instance laying these landmark figures of 20th Century music atop each other in a single piece. It was a defining work, not only firmly triangulating their workspace but establishing the dedication they put into their craft. Since then they have been workshopping a set of Misha Mengelberg compositions while developing the set of songs which has turned out to be Farcical Built for Six, an eclectic album of eight pieces that, to the band’s credit, come off effortlessly.

Through the lens of Sirius it can be seen how hard the band worked to make their new disc seem so easy. They swing hard while tossing Dixie-leaning solos (clarinetist Josh Rutner shines here) into their enigmatic compositions and at the same time borrow from Latin jazz and early rock ‘n’ roll at some points, at others harkening again to Ra’s space jazz. But the index of influences isn’t what makes Respect work as a band. What makes them work is that they are a band, very much so. Five of the six members contribute compositions, but there’s cohesion to the playing; the band arrives with a single purpose. They don’t use, reference or borrow from bebop, in other words. They integrate it. It is, in this case, a crucial distinction – while they may be playful, one thing the band isn’t is ironic. They play good jazz straight up, even if they come at it from several angles, often at the same time.

That wide-angle lens approach is shared by their sibling septet, Salo, with whom they share Rutner (bass clarinet and tenor sax) and Red Wierenga (piano and keyboards). The camera shot is even more sweeping, in fact, in Salo’s case. Bassist Ben Gallina’s compositions (all seven are his, with one interpolating a 1942 Paul Hindemith composition) on Sundial Lotus are cinematic in scope, making quick turns with a willingness to indulge in marches and psychedelia, most notably on the remarkably swirling “Metamorphistopheles”. Gallina has been working consistently around town with a number of bands and his first recording as a leader shows him to be an inventive composer and boss who will no doubt continue to be worth watching.

For more information, visit respectsextet.com and innova.mu. The Respect Sextet is at Le Poisson Rouge Jan. 7th as part of Winter Jazzfest. See Calendar.

As Kurt so kindly mentions, Respect will be playing at this year’s Winter Jazzfest this Friday (Jan 7) at 6:15pm at Le Poisson Rouge! More information is available at our events page and the Winter Jazzfest site. We hope to see some of you there!

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