C.L.BOB : STEREOSCOPE : EYE 019
A C.L.BOB show is a complete guerilla musical experience that takes you on a tour of duty through beautiful composed ballads, raw intense free jazz and back, rollicking and laughing, then running for cover, through just plain fun tunes.
C.L.BOB play from the heart and soul, searching for the magic that defines great live music while never forgetting that the audience must not forget the show. No other band in the world will take you from HENDRIX to SUN RA then back to ole New Orleans within the action-packed intensity of a minute.
Last summer the band completed a tour of the South Island and Melbourne where they played three gigs as part of the Melbourne International Jazz Festival. This is the band's ninth tour in New Zealand. C.L.BOB have headlined the last two Wellington International Jazz Festivals and have toured the country to sell-out crowds eight times over the last seven years.
The band repertoire is completely original with strong influences from rock, folk, free jazz, New Orleans music, Bebop, Afro-Cuban styles, reggae and even country. It's the jazz of today, unafraid to look back. C.L.BOB are the one of the best and most enjoyable jazz bands touring in New Zealand and have developed a loyal following - just ask the fans who pack out all the gigs.
SUNDAY STAR TIMES
Lastly, a belated thumbs up to Wellington-based jazz band, C.L. BOB, a fine and frisky combo of born-again beatniks about to embark on a national tour. Why more of you didn't invest in the Bob's excellent second album STEREOSCOPE LP (Yellow Eye Records) I'll never know. From lovely Latin shuffles, sub-Hendrix free-jazz freakouts and elegant Eastern elegies to saxhappy slow burners and spooky lounge music designed for the kinds of bars your mama warned you about, C.L.BOB cover much ground with a minimum of snooty jazz-bore posturing and a maximum of skill, humour and panache.
Then came C. L. BOB looking like a jazz supergroup. With an extended horn section comprising some of the city's finest musicians, the band created a huge violent jazz sound to couple with their beautiful song composition skills.
C. L. BOB, the ghost of ALBERT AYLER, COLTRANE, and the shadow of ERIC DOLPHY hung like smoke around an amazing set that rebounded from improv to trad jazz and back again, the second track was especially great, recalling 'The Truth Is Marching In' by AYLER. Yep, the night was a hot and sweaty festival of all that was good about jazz. Beautiful, just perfect.
An inventive ensemble whose music ranged from Afro-Caribbean shuffles to Hendrix-style mayhem.
THE Old blends seamlessly with the new on STEREOSCOPE. A jazz feel, modern sounds, complex harmony and sense of style pervades each song. Tracks range from improvised noodlings on a theme to beautifully structured tunes - reflecting the varied interests of the band. The quirky 'Shallop' had me grinning and mumbling "jeepers creepers". 'Endings' transports the listener straight to a late 1960s lounge bar. And 'Vesala' is a gorgeous, slow latin tune of love. As good as it gets. C.L.BOB have hit their stride.
STEREOSCOPE, from Wellington's C.L.BOB, is also quality presentation and, fittingly, the music matches the make up. Young, free and jazzy, C.L.BOB are a mood swing band, with flair for character filled scat-styled playing. STEREOSCOPE is a feast of textures, humour and shared leads, overflowing with themes for imaginary dramas (TV or otherwise). With a surprise croon to end it all as well, C.L.BOB are fresh pleasure in the YELLOW EYE JAZZ roster.
Another thing to add to your memory banks so you don't forget next time (example: Must remember to use sick days during summer when I am not actually sick) is the following: Must go and see jazz band C.L.BOB next time they are in town. STEREOSCOPE (complete with nostalgic CD packaging that resembles a viewmaster) is the Wellington Sextet's second album, and it's been well worth the wait. Recorded over two days in November 2000 at Massey University Conservatorium of Music, STEREOSCOPE continues the band's broad array of influences and styles. The core of the group is Simon Bowden (guitar), Steve Cournane (percussion) and Nils Olsen (saxophones, clarinets, flute, voice), with new players Tim Jaray (double bass), Toby Laing (trumpet, synthesizer) and Chris Williamson (guitar) all new additions for this album. From the straight jazz opener 'Voices', the next track 'Shallop' begins to shake things up, BOB-style. The free jazz element emerges midway through the piece, and very nearly collapses it. It's only when Cournane's get-in-line whack on the drum happens, that 'Shallop' is allowed to spiral home. 'Beautiful B and the Chlorpromazine E', a glorious slow burner, lets Olsen's sax work take the spotlight. 'The Beginning of the End' is C.L.Bob acting as house band at One-Eyed Jacks, up at Twin Peaks. It's a brooding piece, with Laing and Olsen's horns prowling all over the piece. 'Another Happy Day in Iraq' and '1987' give rise to a suspicion that amongst the BOB camp, there lie some ZAPPA fans. Both are twisted scorchers. STEREOSCOPE closes like the last C.L.BOB album, with another version of 'Endings'. It is an album full of heart, humour and daring. Superb.