Johnny La Marama: ...Fire!: Presscuts
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Release Date: 17.03.2006
TT Catalogue No: 4488
"The power-trio JOHNNY LA MARAMA is a transatlantic affair, bringing together
Finnish guitarist Kalle Kalima, American bassist Chris Dahlgren and German drummer
Eric Schaefer. On “…FIRE!” (Traumton Records 4488) they plunder
evenhandedly from rock, country, metal, dub, grunge, &c; the abrasive grab-bag
aesthetic owes a lot to Naked City, though they’re generally more interested
in song-form and extended jamming than in Zorn’s brutal jump-cuts. (They’ve
also taken a page from Zorn’s fondness for evocative/violent images drawn
from early photojournalism: the cover-image is a 1917 photo of Mexican counterfeiter/revolutionary
Fortino Samano moments before his death by firing-squad. It’s said he gave
the command to fire himself.) It’s a tremendously entertaining album, full
of burning energy and guitar solos that range from sidelong wit to roaring distortion,
and just when you think it’s going to settle for Frisell pastiche they
pull out something different — a bit of African pop music or some sleazy/goofy
lyrics. One of the best play-it-loud albums I’ve heard this year."
"This is expressive, experimental jazz of a fairly young formation: the trio combines elements from jazz, ska, atmospherical music as well as African rhythms and develops its own style, which is expressive and popular at the same time. ... Johnny La Marama manages indeed to create its own, mostly very expressive sound."
jazzdimensions.de, Jan Lautenbach
"hey shook loose from cliches and played beyond current categories with vital energy... The trio changes as fast as lighting and with astonishing soverenity from one idiom to another melding reggae, blues, noise and folk elements. Although they excursion into un-researched sounds, they always come back to the point without cheating."
Leipziger Volkszeitung, Bert Noglik, 26/4/04
"Kalima is Virtuoso who pulls off everything from single notes up to electronically altered hyper-slide guitar. Schaefer is an astounding, scrupulous timekeeper, which he has to be in the rhythmic and melodic chaos that his band mates happily create. Dahlgren's bass rumbles in sophistication and swings exaltedly. What you want to call this music doesn't make a difference."
Jazzpodium, Thomas Wörtche, 4/03
"The trans-Atlantic allience of Kalima and Schaefer from Berlin with the New York basist Dahlgren works freely in sound imagination, without free jazz associations. The linear structure and eruptive craft of the songs remind one of hip hop, funk or grunge."
TIP, Wolf Kampmann, 17/03