THE MICROSCOPIC SEPTET — Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues (review)

THE MICROSCOPIC SEPTET — Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down to Me: The Micros Play the Blues album cover Album · 2017 · Swing Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
kev rowland
The complete title of this album is ‘Been Up So Long It Looks Like Down To Me: The Micros Play The Blues’, and was recorded in just two days last May. The Micros were originally formed in 1980, but split up in 1992 after releasing four albums. These were then reissued as two double CD sets by Cuneiform in 2006, which were so successful that it prompted the band to reform (with only one line-up change). Since then they have released three other albums, and are now back with their fourth. There is only one problem, now that I’ve heard this one I’m going to have to go back and get all the others! When playing jazz recorded before 1960, something I’ve been doing a lot of over the last few years, there are some bands that come close to the boundary with blues, providing a swing and feeling that interweaves the two genres, and that is what I am listening to right now.

This is class Golden Age jazz being taken into blues and creating music that is incredibly accessible, enjoyable, and just so damn soulful all at the same time. My father introduced me to jazz when I was young, encouraging me to listen to Jack Teagarden, Gene Krupa, Bunk Johnson and others, and I know he would get a real kick out of this release as it is right up his alley. They’ve listened to the orchestrations of Duke Ellington, and the way that Thelonious Monk played piano, and brought all this into an incredible album that I can listen to all day. Strangely enough, the song that made the most impression on me is not a blues number as such, but instead is a rather well-known carol. I can honestly say I’ve never heard “Silent Night” played like this before. It starts with just piano, but there is dissonance and chords that don’t quite fit, but actually do very well indeed. This moves into a full band piece that is always recognisable but is taking the song into very new directions indeed. This is a wonderful album, and for details on this and many more invaluable releases visit the label
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!

JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
MILES DAVIS
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
CHARLES MINGUS
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Pursuit of Happiness Big Band
THIERRY MAILLARD
Buy this album from MMA partners
Concert anniversaire 30 ans Progressive Big Band
ORCHESTRE NATIONAL DE JAZZ
Buy this album from MMA partners
Carnegie Hall '71 Avant-Garde Jazz
ALICE COLTRANE
Buy this album from MMA partners
My Favorite Things Part I & II Hard Bop
JOHN COLTRANE
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

"Stairway to the Stars" (2016) New York All-Star Big Band
THE NEW YORK ALL STAR BIG BAND
js· 112 minutes ago
Stimpy Lockjaw - Full Album Fraiche
STIMPY LOCKJAW
js· 14 hours ago
Juniper
JACK DESALVO
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions

More...

Latest Jazz News

members-submitted

More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us