482 Music's Document Chicago Series Continues With Herculaneum's Orange Blossom


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On October 17th, 482 Music will release Herculaneum's Orange Blossom (482 -1051), the 12th title in the label's ongoing Document Chicago series, which has been recording the latest generation of the city's illustrious creative music scene for the past four years. Founded in 2002, Herculaneum mixes creative improvisation with diverse influences such as 20th Century avant-garde composition and Romany Gypsy brass bands to create a cohesive yet cosmopolitan new sound.

“The band's trombone/trumpet/alto sax front line paints lush chordal sketches reminiscent of classical composer Oliver Messiaen and Miles Davis collaborator Gil Evans, while the piano-less rhythm section provides roiling support worthy of John Zorn's Masada," wrote Ben Taylor in a recent Time Out Chicago preview piece. “Herculaneum doesn't just coast on fluid soloing and intuitive interplay--it's got solid original material, expansively arranged to sound bigger than a quintet. It's refreshing to hear younger players with the chops and discipline necessary to push things forward while keeping an eye on the past, and Herculaneum has the potential to grow into something quite special."

Herculaneum is Nick Broste (trombone), Greg Danek (bass), David McDonnell (alto saxophone and clarinet), Patrick Newbery (trumpet), and Dylan Ryan (drums and vibraphone), a conglomeration of players who have collectively performed with a wide variety of other Chicago-based jazz, improvised music and experimental rock bands. The Chicago Reader's Peter Margasak writes that the band has “arrived at a surprisingly agile and elegant sound," adding, “the musicians are equally inventive as writers, arrangers and improvisers, and they make excellent use of tight, varied horn charts to both propel and provide counterpoint to whoever's soloing." Orange Blossom is the follow-up to the group's eponymous self-released 2004 debut.

This story appears courtesy of Improvised Communications.
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