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Lard Free - Gilbert Artman's Lard Free  CD (album) cover


Lard Free



3.77 | 69 ratings

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3 stars The music on Gilbert Altman's Lard Free is psychedelic jazz-rock that tends to start off deceptively simple before moving into a less comfortable, often discordant zone. There is an acidic, improvised feel to a lot of the music that makes it more a direct descendant of Jimi Hendrix jazz-rock flirtations (a la Still Raining on Electric Ladyland) than any recognisable school of fusion or free jazz. I do feel though that a little more structure would have turned this album into a more essential offering.

Warinobaril sets the tone by riding on a relaxed bass figure, while brass and then all manner of viciously distorted industrial sounding sound effects build to a crescendo. This formula informs 12 ou 13 Juillet qui je Sais D'Elle, an 8 minute excursion into distorted spacey synth soundscapes that segues into some ferocious improvised jazz-rock and is also repeated on Monfleur Ecarlate.

Acide Framboise is the most "hippie jam" type song of them all, probably cos of the bluesy guitar leads from Francois Mativet ... there's some fine musicianship on display here, not least from the multi-talented Artman himself, but you really have to be in the "zone" to dig it. Indeed a sober jazz fan is likely to lose patience when, after the six minute jam concludes, the very next piece Livarot Respiration begins with the exact same bass line, although thankfully its atmosphere is different thanks to the skillful use of vibraphone and saxes to create an ultra-mellow vibe.

To tell the truth, there's a little too much feedback-drenched improvisation for my liking, and this album has gradually slipped down in my estimation. ... 55% on the MPV scale

Trotsky | 3/5 |


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