The Brooklyn jazz quartet Endangered Blood was formed so its members could play benefit concerts for their friend, saxophonist Andrew D’Angelo, who’d been diagnosed with a brain tumor. D’Angelo eventually made a full recovery, but the group — Trevor Dunn (bass), Jim Black (drums), Chris Speed (tenor saxophone) and Oscar Noriega (alto saxophone) — realized that this ensemble had potential to become a real working band. In 2011, the four released a self-titled debut album.
Endangered Blood’s music draws from the members’ diverse backgrounds and influences, combining post-bop, 20th-century chromaticism, traditional New Orleans funeral marches, avant-garde jazz and post-punk to create a sort of mad-scientist concoction. Its compositions are cerebral, but they’re also gritty and full of energy.
The band plays two songs and the description above really gives a feel for what they sound like–kind of all over the place
“Iris” is a slow song that has a real Tom Waits feel (although no vocals). It has a slow nightclub jazz feel and I love watching the drummer do that kind of swaying lots of arms but quiet hitting drum sound. There’s an interesting (although quiet) bowed upright bass solo in the middle of the piece.
“Uri Bird” opens with a lengthy bass and drum solo (the drummer seems to be having a ton of fun–including hitting his sticks off the walls and floor). Then the two saxes come in playing the exact same riff. This has a bit more bebop feel with the saxes trading off solos. It ends with a fast wail and a solid beat.
[READ: March 6, 2016] Johnny Boo and the Mean Little Boy
I love how the Johnny Boo universe is so small that characters keep returning. Like in this one, the fourth book, Johnny Boo tells Squiggle that they can’t play today because his playing with his new friend Rocky the Rock. This is the same rock that he threatened to make his best friend in the first book.
Johnny promises Squiggle that they will play together soon, as long as Squiggle can give him a “hooray.” But Squiggle’s hooray is not very enthusiastic.
Squiggle says that he will go off and find other friends, too. But it turns out to be not so easy. And then a butterfly starts flying around him. At first Squiggle is annoyed by it but then he thinks they can be friends.
But a butterfly can only mean one thing–someone else chasing it with a net, of course. But the mean little boy would much rather catch Squiggle than a butterfly.
Squiggle says that the boy can’t keep butterflies and Squiggle in jars because they have feelings. The boy says he has a feeling too. But he feels like he has to pee. There’s a very funny follow-up to that later.
Turns out that the mean little boy thinks that he is tougher than Johnny Boo. He’s not even impressed by Johnny’s Boo Power.
This whole book cracked me it. It stayed firmly within the framework of the Johnny stories but it allowed for a new bad guy which meant all new (and very different) jokes.
I also like that the mean little boy has the same basic hair cut as Johnny.