The Red Microphone: And I Became of the Dark (ESP-Disk’, 2021)

September 5, 2021 at 7:22 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

The Red Microphone: And I Became of the Dark

Bringing together a few veterans of the downtown NYC jazz scene as well as co-producer Ivan Julian (Richard Hell & the Voidoids) and poet John Pietaro, the newest Red Microphone album on ESP-Disk’ recalls the freak-rock acts of the label’s early history as well as various jazz and creative music ensembles from throughout the eras. “Revenge of the Atom Spies” definitely morphs from bongo-driven psychedelic beat music to freewheeling violin, sax, guitar, and drum solos. “Blue” is a jazz poem with raw, feverish instrumentation backing the clear-cut yet sometimes highly spirited words about some of the biggest legends of the genre. “Burroughs Inferno” is more about a sizzling night at a jazz club than its title suggests, but it does allude to the author’s likeness. “When Reagan Was Bad” is a vicious reminder that horrors of the past half-decade were foreshadowed by the former B-movie star who sat in the Oval Office during most of the ’80s. Finally, “Viva La Quince Brigade” is a timely update of a popular protest anthem from the Spanish Civil War.

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