Go Forth Not
Flight of Hektor
Archive for April, 2012
Here’s what Nate Chinen from the NY Times says….
The confluence of post-bop, indie-rock and chamber music finds another good outlet in “Forth” (NCM), by the Four Bags. It’s an album of springy friction, its lineup consisting of Brian Drye’s trombone, Michael McGinnis’s clarinets, Jacob Garchik’s accordion and Sean Moran’s guitar. Every band member contributes at least one composition; there are also deft arrangements of songs from the Persian devotional realm, the Brazilian Forró canon and the catalog of the French electronic duo Air. Throughout the album the improvisation shifts easily from one musician to the next, and the rhythmic brio in the group obviates the need for a percussionist. Every now and then you hear the punchy click of the buttons on Mr. Moran’s effects pedals, and that turns out to be enough.
Edgy electric guitar improvisations…
Electric guitarist Sean Moran plays a critical role throughout, with his hard-laced solos blending a rock sensibility with a free aesthetic.
The group is a chamber ensemble making music in the era-defining category of the uncategorizable, its work a hybrid of jazz, classical, folk, and pop musics from around the world. Exuberant, virtuosic, and light-spirited, the Four Bags make smart music with a quiet, joyful intensity..I’m loving the group’s new CD, Forth
“What a strange lineup for a jazz quartet: trombone, accordion, guitar, and woodwinds. But what vibrant, compelling music. This is as hip as chamber jazz gets. To drive the point home the quartet even covers a song by the French electronic duo Air.”
Guitarist Sean Moran, in particular, is a curious player who stands out even within such a curious group (The Four Bags). His electric playing seems to be informed largely by post-rock atmospherics (think delay, trem picking, all the rest) and classic film soundtracks (a little noir here, a little Morricone there) – it’s a daring fit within the accordion/clarinet/trombone/guitar schematic. At one point, the group segued from a classic French waltz into one of Moran’s own compositions, which featured a hilariously chug-y metallic breakdown fit for any number of contemporary hardcore groups to ransack.
Mr. Moran, a forward-thinking guitarist, focuses on his nylon-string and his own compositions in this new ensemble. (Small Elephant)