Quartet Offensive: The Dirty Dollar


The Dirty Dollar


Quartet Offensive


Carnivore (self-released QOFF-001)

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John Dierker (bass clarinet), Adam Hopkins (bass),

Eric Trudel (tenor saxophone), Matt Frazâo (guitar, electronics), Nathan Ellman-Bell (drums)


Composed by Adam Hopkins


Recorded: November 17-18 2008


Rating: 89/100 (learn more)

Neither a quartet nor offensive, this five-piece band from Baltimore thrives in the crevices that separate jazz, rock and improvised music.. As so well illuminated in the leadoff track from their debut album Carnivore, being avant-garde doesn’t mean being a burden to listen to. As a matter of fact, “The Dirty Dollar” is built around crunchy riffs and John Bonham authoritative rhythms taken from the Led Zeppelin II playbook. The distinction with these guys is that they get the horn players to rock your face, too (a bass clarinet goes well with a nicely amplified guitar, by the way). Just before the first riff gets too repetitive, the song comes to a screeching halt so that the guys can regroup, ruminate a bit and create some free jazz around more riffs.

The marriage of such dissimilar styles didn’t come about through a shotgun wedding. On “The Dirty Dollar,” the union is a blissfully kinky one.

Reviewer: S. Victor Aaron


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