A few years ago I had this crazy idea...why not ask Obnox aka Lamont "Bim" Thomas to make a free jazz record? After seeing him on tour playing drums with Cleveland out-rock legends X_X, I just had to try and make it happen.. Bim, who is no stranger to making out-there genre defying records, surprised me a bit by happily agreeing. It seems a bit of a cliche to try and get rock people to make jazz records, or jazz folks to make rock records, but what the hell? Of all people, Obnox seemed like a pretty solid candidate.
Although it may not directly sound like it, to these ears it's an updated take on some of the late 70's free jazz LP's that, at the time, were panned by critics but now are being rediscovered...think Albert Ayler's "New Grass" (and come on let's acknowledge the deep Cleveland connection here), Archie Shepp's "Attica Blues," Larry Young's "Fuel", even reminds me of Tony Williams Lifetime at times." Bim has infused "templo del sonido" with that same sense of urgency and protest. Like the 70's, we are once again in a time of protest and discontent with the world around us -- as Bim so elegantly states in the first lyrics of the album, "wake up...wake up...America...wake your punk ass up."
'templo del sonido" will surprise you, from the opening upright bass hymn, "Stagger Lee Cain" to the intense groove of "Names" with an amazing spoken word performance from Kisha Nicole Foster, "Broke Socialite" mixes opening Motown-esque vocal harmonies with a rolling & intense noisy groove. "Mother/Sister" closes the album with a track that wouldn't be out of place on Tony William's Lifetime "Emergency!"
Bim has gifted us with what I would say is his most ambitious and far-reaching album of his already prolific career. If you're an Obnox fan, this will not disappoint, if you're new to Obnox, welcome. What took you so long?
Obnox's "templo del sonido" is out August 17, 2018 in an edition of 500 vinyl LP's.
released August 17, 2018
Lamont Thomas -- drums, vocals, rhythm guitar, tambourine
w/ very special guests:
Leland Cain -- upright bass on 1, 4, 6, 10 and electric bass on 11
Josh Novak -- bass on 2 and tape loops on 5, 7
Chuck Cieslik -- lead guitar on 2, 3, 4, 5 and sax on 2
Morgan Phelps -- Warr guitar on 3, 4, 5
Josh Kolenc -- midi synth on 8
Buddy Akita -- guitar on 2, 6, 10
Bill Weita -- lead guitar on 10
Recorded by Paul Maccarrone at Whoa Mack Studios
Mastered by Adam Smith
Layout and design by Henry Owings
Photography by Morgan Rae Staley
Virgin Mary Illustrated by Morgan Rae Staley
supported by 42 fans who also own “Templo del Sonido”
So happy to see a new album from this band. I've long been a fan of Mazurek and Parker's work in Tortoise, on top of the CUQ... Anyhow, if you're curious about contemporary jazz, this is a terrific place to start.