Ground Zero - "Plays Standards"

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2002 CD reissue.

Other than Null & Void, this is the most fully realized album from Ground Zero, one of many projects master-minded by ambitious gadfly-turntablist Otomo Yoshihide. Although this Japanese band includes two drummers, a sampler-player, and a shamisen (Japanese stringed instrument) player, the real voice is saxophonist Kikuchi Naruyoshi, whose wails and bleats lead most of the songs here. As far as cover albums go, it's obviously not as historic as Ray Charles Modern Sounds in Country and Western, but it's much smarter than Guns N' Roses The Spaghetti Incident?.

An impressively diverse brew is served up and reconfigured. Some highlights are Chilean protest singer Victor Jara's "El Derecho De Vivir En Paz done as a driving waltz, torch-class "Those Were The Days" done as a maelstrom, jazz pianist Steve Beresford's "The Bath of Surprise" recorded in audio-verite in an actual bathtub, a lovely sweeping tribute to singer Sakamoto Kyu, a John Philip Sousa march that would make Monty Python proud and a 'Roland Kirk version' of "I Say A Little Prayer." All of which bespeaks of Yoshihide's kaleidoscopic vision of Eastern/Western music, especially appealing here as it's presented in a song-based format that grounds the avant excursions.

Jason Gross ~ AllMusicGuide



SKU 75272501422
Barcode # 75272501422
Brand ReR Records

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