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Plunge into the realm of the unforeseen when you drop
this jazz number down. Right off, the back cover photo gives you some indication of
what is to come: four youngish kids in rapper attire, against the backdrop of a
graffiti-smeared wall. The jacket, too, will give you a clue: among the instruments
is . . . an alphorn?
Rough, pure, clean; these are all descriptions that come to mind about
the CD as a whole. Plunge has a garage band edge to it; a kind of disciplined bebop,
humorous, chancy, yet all held together like super glue by the steady, unrelenting rhythm
"Let the good times roll, man. I got ants in my pants and I
got to dance.: and off we go with this to guide us. The first cut, Wagdanz, is
energetic, with a film noir mood to accompany it. Were Mad magazine's "Spy Vs.
Spy" set to music, this might be a top pick for a backdrop.
Suddenly the ride lurches and rounds into a dark tunnel, and we find
ourselves gliding through 394, a whimsical, dreamy number, interspersed with what sounds
like a rapper's record "scratching," providing points of reference, and jolting
us out of our reverie.
The mood changes again with Beneath the Wheel, faster-paced still,
trombone and tuba immersed in a feverish, high-brow conversation that ends suddenly and
amicably. And picks up again with - the alphorn! - for all of 38 seconds, in
Reveille. Smooth, meditative; it feels like a refreshing daydream, stolen while the
boss went to get coffee.
But don't get too comfortable, 'cause there's a triple loop
roller-coaster ride just around the corner. Dog reminds us not to get too
comfortable, as we're thrown into sounds of the electric guitar [actually elec. trombone]
a la Jimmy Hendrix. Oddly, though, it seems fitting and appropriate.
All in all, this one's without a doubt worth the price of admission.
It's good to find artists like Plunge who are not afraid to take chances, and who
invite us to do the same.