THE WRONG OBJECT — After The Exhibition (review)

THE WRONG OBJECT — After The Exhibition album cover Album · 2013 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
js
“After the Exhibition” is the latest offering from artsy fusioneers, The Wrong Object, who haven’t released an album in five years. This new CD finds Wrong Object working with a mostly revamped lineup that now features two saxophonists plus bass, drums, keys and guitarist/band leader Michel Deville. Guest Benoit Moerlin also adds marimba and xylophone to many of the tracks, pretty much sounding like a regular member of the band. The ensemble sound Wrong Object has on here is like a jazz-rock mini ‘big band’, very much in the style of Frank Zappa or early Don Ellis. The musical influences on here also show a strong interest in Zappa, as well as music from Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the melodies of Bartok and Stravinsky, and that quirky European style of jazz-rock known as Canterbury.

There is rarely a dull moment on “Exhibition” as complex arranged melodies build and then open up to solo sections that give the different members a chance to really stretch out. The individual tracks don’t seem to matter much as every thing just flows together as a sort of world beat fusion symphony. The style of fusion on here accentuates the jazz and is very much rooted in a loose swing feel as invented by guys like Jack DeJohnette, so there is very little plodding rock beats. Despite their obvious interest in the past, Wrong Object maintains a modern sound with a tasteful use of electronic ambience, occasional chiming post-rock guitars and some drumnbass beat influences too.

After years of neglect and dwindling sameness, the fusion genre has been making a comeback recently in the hands of artists who are re-exploring the jazz roots of the genre and bringing in fresh creative approaches. The fact that fusion is no longer as profitable as it once was has been a blessing for the style’s integrity and helped drive away those who soaked the fusion style for big dollars. In that spirit of high energy creativity, it is easy to recommend “After the Exhibition” to fans of modern jazz fusion.

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