Related Reviews
Coda
Throughout the lyrical, elegantly played music is consistently engaging.
more >>
The Scotsman
Their music revealed an engaging freshness and sense of invention.
more >>
Metro
The music they make evokes landscape and is strong on colour.
more >>
BBC Website
Umber-toned experiences that are as sumptuous as the finest chocolate melting in your mouth.
more >>
The Jazz Rag
this stimulating album...deserves your attention.
more >>
The Birmingham Post
Plaudits continue for Arnie Somogyi's Ambulance as they complete their UK tour.
more >>
The Guardian
4 Stars
Over two intense sets, the six musicians make an overwhelming case for jazz that is visceral, intellectual and disciplined, while wowing an audience of musicians, fans, hacks and punters.
more >>
The Guardian
3 Stars
Elegant writing hitched to imaginative improvising.
more >>
The List
4 Stars
Bristling with inventive manipulations of instrumental sonority and timbre, surprising chordal developments and effective shifts in tempo.
more >>
The Herald
A clear sense of direction, strong melodies and focused improvising.
more >>
The Northern Echo
Enjoyable and stimulating...
more >>
Jazzwise
4 Stars
That unlikely mix of gentle attentiveness between musicians, a caring, unfussy, love of detail and a capacity to laugh and robustly stretch out makes this a joyous recording indeed.
more >>
The Scotsman
4 Stars
Intelligent and probing contemporary jazz...
more >>
BBC Music Magazine
4 Stars
The result is a dynamic set that's full of surprises, tumbling chord and tempo changes, atmospheric effects and quicksilver improvised solo runs.
more >>
Independent On Sunday
The collective effect is sometimes marvellous.
more >>
The Times
4 Stars
Varied, thoughtful and consistently engaging.
more >>
Straight No Chaser
Eleven original compositions of such measure, mystique and eccentricity that it's incredibly hard not to keep rushing back for another dose.
more >>
www.muszeroldal.hu
The open musicality of Henderson, of more mature years than the rest of the ensemble, has a positive effect on the playing of the band.
more >>
George FM - New Zealand
Delightful, challenging music.
more >>
Vortex Jazz Website
This is a highly entertaining and thoroughly absorbing set.
more >>

Arnie Somogyi's Ambulance - Accident and Insurgency - Atlantic Audio Society


26 May 2008
Atlantic Audio Society

Accident and Insurgency seems an odd title for this recent effort by bassist Arnie Somogyi's quintet Ambulance. The music heard here isn't at all strident, in-your-face stuff. Rather, it's meditative, elegant music, sophisticated in its color palette and descriptive of the seashore and marshlands around Aldeburgh on the Suffolk coast of England and nearby Snape Maltings, where Ambulance were the first jazz group to be invited to establish a residency. For the most part, it's intimate music, a cohesive, sympathetic group effort that eschews showy riffs and knock-dead solos in favor of subtle variations and changes in mood.

On this disc, the regular Ambulance personnel, consisting of Paul Booth, tenor and soprano saxophones and bass clarinet; Tim Lapthorn, piano, fender rhodes and melodica; Dave Smith, drums; Ron Townsend, tenor and soprano saxophones, alto flute, bass clarinet and laptop; and Somogyi, double bass, joined by Eddie Henderson on trumpet and flugelhorn. A Yank who distinguished himself playing with Herbie Hancock and Art Blakey, Henderson first toured with Ambulance in 2006. He makes his presence felt here not only in the tumbling down melody that provides a contrast in rhythm and tempo in the middle of Lapthorn's ballad "Tumbledown," but in the ways he melds into a very congenial group effort.

Upon first hearing, one is immediately impressed by the degree to which these fellows have settled in and absorbed the color, atmosphere and deep mood of the coastal setting. Both consciously and unconsciously, it informs their well focused improvisations. I must admit I do get a little annoyed at the laptop business and the electronic loops with actual sounds of the sea. (Why, when a drummer of Dave Smith's caliber can do so much to create the desired atmosphere with his brushes?) They do use the electronic stuff sparingly in only two tracks, so it isn't very intrusive. One thing I like about this group is the versatility in their musicianship, which multiplies the color possibilities in a piece like "Don't Improvise." Here, the gag is in the title, referring to the present-day trend to cut down on improvising in favor of repetitive grooves. Somogyi and his mates opt for an unchanging melody in the bass and piano with plenty of room to improvise "over the top" by delicious combinations of soprano saxophones and bass clarinets.

Local color is reflected in such whimsical titles as "Serenity," "Lobster Pot 999," "Mick the Fish" (a vendor of fresh cod on Aldeburgh beach, and definitely not a fish!), and "Captain Courageous." Add two Ambulance standards, "Walking wounded" and "Sirenity" (the alternating pulse tones being the sound of a European emergency vehicle, quite distinct from the long low wail of historic sirens on this side of the pond), and you have a rich album. They conclude with "Broadside," which is the name of their favorite beer, with a nod to Duke Ellington's "Caravan" as a backdrop.


Bookmark and Share


Related Links

Arnie Somogyi's AmbulanceArnie Somogyi's Ambulance
Accident and InsurgencyAccident and Insurgency