The Matthew Herbert Big Band – Goodbye Swingtime

Brit glitch techno bod tries jazz to disappointingly muted effect

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Herbert assembles a 16-piece big band whose playing he attempts to subvert with electronic processing, but sadly he has done little with the resources available.

The arrangements suggest “hello Third Stream” and their utterly conventional nature places Herbert closer to John Dankworth than Sun Ra. Various vocalists try to liven up the torpor, but even Arto Lindsay’s patented Tropicalia croon on “Fiction” has little effect, and at its worst (“Chromoshop”) one thinks: bad Leonard Bernstein. By far the most affecting track is “The Three Ws” sung by Plaid’s Mara Carlyle, which tellingly makes virtually no use of the big band.


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