|Following up the Latin-tinged Afro-Cubism(AC-3283, 2002) is Neo-Modernism. With this recording the E/O salutes diverse innovators of modern jazz not by emulating their styles, but by seeking the spark of the creation in their sound experiments.
Bandleader Russ Gershon's compositions here are inspired by Billy Harper's extension and "lyricalization" of John Coltrane ("Los Olvidados"), Thelonious Monk's swing and Steve Lacy's Monk ("Baby Invents Monk"), the contrasting ways that Wayne Shorter and Charles Mingus achieved transcendence in their music ("The Modernist"), and the middle-aged Miles Davis and Sun Ra of the 1970s, bringing electronics into their respective ensemble sounds ("Heavily Amplified Hairpiece"). The set is completed by Bob Nieske's "Fast Edd," which the bassist brought to the Either/Orchestra during his tenure in the band during 1990-91. "Fast Edd" contains two superb duets, between Charlie Kohlhase's baritone sax and Joel Yennor's trombone, and between Vicente Lebron's congas and the drums of Harvey Wirht.
"Boston's Either/Orchestra has been bearing the progressive jazz banner for longer than most young jazz fans have been alive....the E/O consistently displays a hip, forward-thinking approach whether blazing through Latin charts (as on the band's latest album, Afro-Cubism), stirring the soup of old-timey ballads or swinging madly on uptempo jazz standard and originals...In an era of jazz neoclassicism, the E/O salutes the past while embracing the future." (Ken Micallef, Philadelphia Weekly, July 2003)
"A remarkable body of work." (Fernando Gonzales, Washington Post)
"An abundance of talent, excellent solos, excellent writing." (Steven Loewy, Cadence)
Either/Orchestra: Tom Halter, Colin Fisher (trumpets); Joel Yennior (trombone); Jeremy Udden (alto sax); Russ Gershon (tenor and soprano saxophones); Charlie Kohlhase (baritone sax); Gregory Burk (piano, Rhodes piano, Moog, Univox); Rick McLaughlin (bass); Harvey Wirht (drums, cymbals, cowbells); Vincente Lebron (congas, bongos, percussion)