The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Moonsigns  |  Band Guide  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
CD Reviews  |  Classical  |  Live Reviews  |  Music Features

Burnt Sugar The Arkestra Chamber | Making Love to the Dark Ages

LiveWired (2009)
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  March 17, 2009
2.5 2.5 Stars

Listening to Burnt Sugar audio isn't unlike watching TV minus the picture — you get most of what's going on, but you know something's missing. Here that something is the visual impact of leader Greg Tate's conduction, a technique pioneered by Butch Morris and based on gestures and expressions meant to coax the musicians into improvisational directions unknown beforehand and never to be repeated.

With reference points that won't be surprising to anyone who's read Tate's music-journo writings over the decades — Sun Ra (hence the addition of Arkestra Chamber to the band's name), Hendrix, P-Funk, electro-funk-era Miles, and the avant wilderness beyond — Making Love to the Dark Ages is a careering joy ride. A decade in, Burnt Sugar understand that sometimes taking risks pays off in fits of inspiration and sometimes it doesn't. Wielding guitar and laptop, Tate leads a massive, diverse crew as comfortable with the free-form and the discordant as with the loosely composed.

When the music bonds, as in the first of three parts that make up the neo-soul "Chains and Water," and in the instrumentally stripped-down "Dominata (The Gabri Ballad)," Making Love is its own stimulus package. But in the meandering improvs "Love to Tical," "Thorazine" (before it gives way to an intriguing working of Miles's "Eighty-One"), and the epic title track, this outing approaches stultifying, lacking in movement and spark.
Related: The least you need to know, Sex Drive, What kind of Trosexual are you?, More more >
  Topics: CD Reviews , Butch Morris, Culture and Lifestyle, Greg Tate,  More more >
  • Share:
  • RSS feed Rss
  • Email this article to a friend Email
  • Print this article Print

--> -->
Share this entry with Delicious

 See all articles by: JEFF TAMARKIN

RSS Feed of for the most popular articles
 Most Viewed   Most Emailed 

  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group