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By Proxy

Artist: Partisans

Date of Release: 06/07/2009

Catalogue no: BDV2983

Label: Babel

Price: £11.69

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Advance

7.21

2

 

By Proxy

6.41

3

 

Mirrors

7.19

4

 

MBadgers

7.50

5

 

Lapdog

6.55

6

 

Munch

5.57

7

 

Partisans#1

6.22

8

 

Traitor

4.53

9

 

Prelude to a kiss

5.15

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Julian Siegel, Phil Robson

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"By Proxy is one of the most exciting albums to be released on either side of the Atlantic in 2009." Chris May Allaboutjazz.com

Since its formation in 1996 Partisans has been thrilling audiences with its ferociously energetic performances of tightly knit themes and the great freedom coming from their years of playing together. Partisans are real band, where the combination of each member's influences feeds a genuine creative spark generating huge excitement and energy. Co-led by Phil Robson (guitar – best musician 2009 Parliamentary Jazz Awards) and Julian Siegel (reeds - best instrumentalist BBC Jazz Awards 2007) the quartet line-up is completed by Thaddeus Kelly (bass) and Gene Calderazzo (drums).

'BY PROXY' is Partisans’ 4th album and packs a punch. A great set of original tunes is caught live and at full throttle in the studio, beautifully engineered by Philip Bagenal at London's Eastcote Studios. Partisans cook up a trademark shot of gritty be-bop and hard bop, early electric Miles, ballads with sustained delicacy, rock riffs mixed with P-Funk grooves and with fresh departures into electronica notably on Thad Kelly's distinctive remix of Duke Ellington's 'Prelude to a Kiss'. The richly lyrical and strongly melodic compositions written by Robson and Siegel provide the framework and starting point, underpinned by the rock solid, freewheeling and supercharged rhythm section of Kelly and Calderazzo.

 

Reviews

 

05/07/2009 Kenny Mathieson THE SCOTSMAN

PARTISANS: BY PROXY ****

'PARTISANS are one of the most consistently inventive and original bands currently working in jazz, and this is the strongest recording they have released. The London-based quartet features guitarist Phil Robson, saxophonist Julian Siegel, bassist Thaddeus Kelly and drummer Gene Calderazzo. The band's edgy, energised sound and imaginative soloing is always absorbing, and the manifest rock and funk influences on their music are always fully integrated into the overall sound and concept. Robson and Siegel provide four and three compositions respectively here, alongside Wayne Krantz's Partisans #1 and a remarkable electronica-infused reworking of Duke Ellington's Prelude To A Kiss. While Robson's multifaceted guitar work and Siegel's fluid outings on tenor and soprano saxophone and bass clarinet grab the attention, the contributions of Kelly and Calderazzo are equally crucial elements in creating the band's distinctive sound and palpable sense of collective engagement.'

 

29/06/2009 Chris May AllaboutJazz.com

www.allaboutjazz.com

"London band Partisans has been making the hair stand up on the back of audiences' necks with its supercharged collision of jazz and rock since 1996. By Proxy is the band's fourth album following the acclaimed Max (Babel, 2005), which was the most effective recreation of Partisans' ferocious live sound in the recording studio up to that date.

Max was a monster. By Proxy is even better. Like its predecessor, it conveys much of the impact of the group live, but is also a cleverly conceived studio set, in which the group's multi-layered, rhythmically sophisticated, twisting and turning arrangements reveal new points of interest each time they are heard. The gumbo of genres touched on is the same as before—updated electric Miles Davis, bop, hard bop, rock and funk (of the intelligently bootalicious Parliament/Funkadelic type), even an occasional taste of heavy metal—but the blend is deeper, displaying those degrees of collective energy and focus which only a stable, working band can achieve after years of playing together.

Partisans is co-led by reed player Julian Siegel and guitarist Phil Robson, each of whom has recently released an outstanding solo album. Siegel's double CD Live At The Vortex (Basho, 2009), made with Americans Greg Cohen on bass and Joey Baron on drums, is one of the year's great saxophone albums. Robson's Six Strings And The Beat (Babel, 2008), made with a string quartet, is an elegant electric guitar and chamber music outing, all the more delightful for having apparently come out of nowhere. Good things are said to come in threes, and By Proxy completes the sequence.

Siegel and Robson are Partisans' chief composers—between them they wrote all the tunes on By Proxy with the exception of Wayne Krantz's "Partisans #1" and Duke Ellington's "Prelude To A Kiss" (like it's never been heard before)—but the high energy contributions of bassist Thaddeus Kelly and drummer Gene Calderazzo, a long-time American resident in London, are key to the band's sound. Kelly, in addition, is responsible for the daring, electronica-seeped mix-down of "Prelude To A Kiss," featuring Siegel's delicately poised saxophone over urgent, rapid-fire bass, drums and effects-laden guitar.

True to form, there aren't many ballads on By Proxy, and it's not until track six, "Munch," a feature for tenor saxophone and acoustic guitar, that there's a sustained softening of the ambiance. But the arrangements of the other tunes, with their unexpected but always on the money diversions, tributaries, meter morphs and secondary themes, provide plenty of internal contrasts and varied dynamics. "Partisans #1" and "Advance" are both jewels of serpentine, post-Miles Davis, electric jazz/rock; the first features Siegel on bass clarinet, the second soprano saxophone over a tricksy electric guitar and bass ostinato. The heavy metal tinged "By Proxy" takes a more relentless path.

Partisans' long expected masterpiece, By Proxy is one of the most exciting albums to be released on either side of the Atlantic in 2009."

 

01/06/2009 Duncan Heining Jazzwise June 2009

“If the first impression is immediate, By Proxy has all the power and personality needed to keep you coming back, the playing is superb… filled with hooks and riffs and sly twists and turns.”

 

01/06/2009 Delfeayo Marsalis

'It's bad, man"

 

01/06/2009 Duncan Heining - Jazzwise June 2009

"By Proxy bears out Partisans' status as one of the UK's finest bands. What was promised is now confirmed. This is totally a group sound and identity. The writing gels perfectly with the arrangements, the solos arise logically and precisely out of the ensembles and there are hints of where the group are heading in the future. Words and phrases such as 'hard edged' and 'high energy' are often bandied around but here they apply, and the sheer power and joyous swing that the rhythm section sustain throughout these nine tracks give the record much of its fire and edge"

 

01/06/2009 BBC Radio 3 Jazz Line Up

'One of the most exciting all star experimental groups in Jazz today'

 

01/06/0009 Peter Bacon Birmingham Post

'This is a very exciting time for British jazz and Partisans are one of the prime reasons for this.' Birmingham Post

 

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