Adam Niewood & His Rabble Rousers: Demented Lullaby


Demented Lullaby


Adam Niewood & His Rabble Rousers


Epic Journey: Volumes I & II (Innova 708)

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Adam Niewood (saxes, clarinets),

Kristja Randalu (piano), Jesse Lewis (guitar), Matt Brewer (bass), Greg Ritchie (drums)


Composed by Adam Niewood


Recorded: Hampton, NJ, June 2007


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

Yes, Adam is the son of noted jazz saxophonist, flutist, etc. Gerry Niewood. I thought I would answer that before you asked. His mother Gurly Niewood is also a gifted musician. It always helps to have genes like that.

Epic Journey Volumes I & II (2 CDs) comprises many unrecorded original Adam Niewood compositions that had been piling up over the years. They are performed by a couple of talented groups of musicians, whom he calls the Rabble Rousers, familiar with the material thanks to much collaboration with Niewood.

"Demented Lullaby," Volume I's first cut, is the prelude for two diverse jazz sets. Swirling saxophones introduce the piece, which lives in the basement level. This is a lullaby for which you keep the curtains drawn and the doors locked. The story is told in circular piano arpeggios, a throbbing bassline and textural rhythms. Niewood's flowing playing advances the tale. Plot twists are indicated by his stunted blowing. This is not a feel-good bedtime story. In that sense, it is demented. But it gets the job done. The tune successfully psyches you up for the next chapters of the impressive opus that will become an Epic Journey. After all, that is what rabble rousers are supposed to do.

Reviewer: Walter Kolosky


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