THE WRONG OBJECT — Platform One (review)

THE WRONG OBJECT — Platform One album cover Album · 2007 · Fusion Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Sean Trane
Although I’m not familiar with every release of TWO’s discography, I believe that this could be the project’s first real studio release that has no direct link with Frank Zappa’s musical oeuvre that still today is one of the band’s raison d’être. Of course, you’ll still find the Zappa covers of Filthy Habits and Big Swifty on Platform One , but this album is mostly about serious JR/F (English-styled) with two of Britain’s jazz scene stalwarts, the legendary Harry Beckett and the female trombonist extraordinaire Annie Whitehead. Not sure what the modern industrial landscape pictures of the booklet bring to the music’s intent; but those who favour 70’s torrid fusion ala Nucleus or later Soft Machine, you’re in for a treat… Of course their previous collab Unbelievble Truth with Elton Dean and here with Beckett will be a slight hint, but it’s only by inserting the disc in your laser beck that you’ll be certain of it.

Right from the first notes of the opening intro of Honeypump Riff, you’ll just know that you’ve hit paydirt and the roller-coaster ride will be a thousand times worth the gate’s tariff. And once the excellent cover of Zappa’s Big Swifty reaches your ears, you’ll be almost disappointed that the band doesn’t stick with their own compositions, or one of the famous guest’s compositions. Whitehead’s Platform One double dapper is certainly one of the album’s centrepiece, and everyone fires from the own pistons, wind instruments or not - actually only Beckett and Dellicour have some (pistons), but the V-8 cylinder engine runs smoothly anyway. The other Zappa piece is a much better (and fitting in the overall concept) reprise than its predecessor, Delville filling Frank’s hoes in a very different (and yet totally awesome) manner, with a fiery guitar solo. The Delville-composed Wet Weather has a slight 100 MPH Peter Gunn trashy quality, which contract with the gentler Beckett-written Scarlet Mine, which oozes standard/boppy jazz, which again contrast heavily with the gentle-ballad Tinseltown with a stupendous succession of wind instrument solo, initiated by Dellicour”s sax underlined by Sun-Ra type of drumming. The closing 1é-mins Hello Mas overstays its welcome and is over-repetitious, though.

Of course, the main attraction to the album is Beckett and Whitehead’s names, just Elton was for their previous project, but what’s really the meat of the album is the TWO band, which will have a fairly stable line-up (for the jazz scene anyway) for a small decade. Lead by guitarist Michel Delville, the wind trio of Delplancq, Dellicourt and Estievenart is the other backbone of the band. Though the album contains less than 50% of the tracks written by TWO, there is no doubt that this album‘s artistic success gave them the self-confidence and assurance to pull out the pure masterpiece that would follow: Stories From The Shed. In the meantime, Platform One is definitely one of the band’s peaks, though it must fell like the Annapurra next to the Everest.

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