CD Review: Chaos Orchestra- Island Mentality

Chaos Orchestra- Island Mentality
(Chaos Collective CC002. CD Review by Frank Griffith)

The Chaos Orchestra’s début CD Island Mentality showcases the compositions of Laura Jurd, Simon Marsh and Alex Roth. An eclectic mix to be sure, with an angular, rhythmically complex take on the conventional big band line-up with a clarinet and flute added. The distinctive vocal talent and interpretations of Lauren Kinsella contribute richly to the mix as well.

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This outstanding band draws largely from the forces of recent graduates of the exemplary jazz course at the Trinity Laban. Time doesn’t allow discussion of each of the excellent eight tracks; I found Laura Jurd’s four offerings the most distinctive and refreshing. The eminent saxophonist and composer, Mark Lockheart, also makes brief cameos as both composer and soloist.

A young, vibrant ensemble with a quirky and humorous side yet not lacking in depth or love for the craft. Chaos models a sound and approach not dissimilar to Manchester’s Beats and Pieces but perhaps more along the lines of “Piecemeal Beatings” of the big band canon. Albums such as this move that tradition forward, and  in a fashion which is unique, inspired,…..and necessary.

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