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John Burgess Quartet, The Urge to Burge

Reviews of this Album
Reviews of Live Gigs
'The Clock'
Real audio clip from this CD

Phil Bancroft (sax)
Kevin MacKenzie (guitar)
Tom Bancroft (drums)
Brian Finnegan (flutes and whistles)

1) Ant's Milk 4.36
2) Station 6.05
3) Oddity 5.16
4) Yet 6.41
5) Sundance Phil Bancroft 5.33
6) Stuff Swing 6.46
7) The Clock 8.48
8) Fin 6.34
9) Curiouser and Curiouser
10) Two 7.17

Trio AAB
'Stranger Things Happen at C'
Caber 027
Other releases from Trio AAB are:
Trio AAB 'Cold Fusion'
Trio AAB 'Wherever I Lay My Home That's My Hat'
The members of Trio AAB also appear on these releases
Tom Bancroft Orchestra 'Pieology'
Swirler 'Swirler'
Phil Bancroft 'Swings and Roundabouts'
John Rae 'Celtic Feet' & 'Beware The Feet'
Dave Milligan 'Late Show'

Album Notes :

‘Stranger Things Happen at C’ is Trio AAB's third album. This outing on the face of it represents a change of direction for the bass-less Scottish trio following their critically acclaimed and punk rock spiked 2nd release (Top 10 Jazz Albums of 2001 - The Guardian) and their eclectic folk, drum n bass, ECM and hip hop influenced debut (Jazz Album of the Year 1999 BBC Radio 3).

Since their last recorded outing the band has been ripping up jazz festivals across Europe, as well as doing critically lauded, madcap deconstruction's of Broadway musicals in Edinburgh Jazz clubs. The music has continued to evolve because the increasing familiarity, and comfort and freedom in the bass-less format, that comes from a band playing together over an extended period.

Album Notes (Continued):

This album features the virtuoso traditional Celtic whistle player, Brian Finnegan, from the band Flook and Northern Ireland. Celtic music has always been a major influence on the band, and all of the musicians play with folk musicians on the ‘integrated’ Scottish scene (including Karen Mathieson and Charlie MacKerron of Capercaillie, Martyn Bennett, Simon Thoumire & John McCusker).

In fact their improvised folk tone poem "Abstract' from Cold Fusion(Caber 004) , is reputedly played to students on the Newcastle University Traditional Music Degree Course, but the Celtic influences were more submerged in the second disc.

This album has been recorded in the lead up to a overtly jazz/folk crossover CMN tour "Double Helix' a double bill featuring the Annie Whitehead/Alistair Anderson band 'Northern Lights' and Trio AAB with Brian Finnegan, a musician who the band first met at a revolutionary "folk/jazz music melting pot" festival, BigFest, held in Newcastle in the late 90's. Finnegan immediately stood out as one of the few leading young traditional musicians who was a genuine improviser, whose technical command and speed of thought allowed him to genuinely react 'in the moment'.

Although this Cd contains 5 tracks without Finnegan, including the searing funky bagpipe opener "Ant’s Milk" and the impish Ornette inspired 'Stuff Swing" - both of which contain the uninhibited AAB trademarks of flowing group improvisation and pulsating groove - the band's centre of gravity, though conceptually constant, is here built around the quicksilver lightness of his flutes' and whistles' agility.

Possibly as a result this album is mellower and lighter at heart than the previous CD, but contains all of the underlying elements that have earned Trio AAB recognition as "one of the most interesting contemporary small groups" The Guardian or "the most complete mix of originality and invention" The Times.

This album, like a omnibus of short stories from around various worlds, beautifully captures the musician's individual voices, irreverent sense of fun, and avoidance of the cliché. This is not the more common type of jazz/folk collaboration. Here Finnegan is at the centre of the music making, playing his part like an eccentric bird in the 'magic realist' african tinged short story that is "The Clock', and weaving a beautiful and seamless web with the trio in the "soft on the outside/hard on the inside" drum ‘n bass in 7 "Oddity".

The most overtly Celtic opening to a tune, on Yet, then heads of somewhere else entirely, like a jazz-folk Radiohead. This album should confirm Trio AAB’s status as one of the most rigorously original and creative bands working in Jazz today.

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