Neo Jazz Licks

Under The Carpet
Under The Carpet

Experimentalist threesome Under The Carpet appear to be the real deal when it comes to a “hands across the ocean” working concept. Looking at the label’s cribsheet shows us a trio that’s based in Beirut, and was formed a couple of years back by ultra-bassist Paed Conca from Switzerland, french saxist Stephane Rives and guitarist Fadi Tabbal from Lebanon. And with with respective cvs as long as both your arms combined, involving work with heavyhitters like Jack Wright, Lionel Marchetti, Otomo Yoshihide, Bob Osterag, Uncle Tom Cobley and a full supporting cast.

Basically, the group’s modus operandi on their latest self-titled CD is that a clearly defined melodic line is improvised on for a brief time and eventually, that ole original theme is revisited – that’s jazz right? Or mebbe not in these boys’ hands. Perhaps neo jazz electronic improv? All rattling along at a pretty furious lick – with, it seems, some tracks almost colliding with the closing sections of the previous piece. And…all recorded live with not a single overdub in sight. The only breather taken being “Twinkle Twinkle” a charming repetitious, two part exercise in guitar chime. Nice.

On “Sizes, Performance and Capacity”, an unexpected Sweet-like/Arrowsy glam rock backbeat is joined by seasick moog smearings and takes me back (cue dreamy harp swirls…) to a stray “Elephant Table” comp track from yesteryear. RollKommando perchance? While “Get me a Pack” is the only cut where you can actually immediately recognize Rives’ sax squeals – the rest of the time – he’s processed it (via laptop) outta existence. Marry all this to titling which “might” be a set of band in-jokes (?). Check out “There is no one in the Accounting Department”, “New Hope for Medical Treatment” and “There is no Picture of the Band” and you have a pretty enthralling little disc of wonder. I’d really like to see U.T.C. on a bill with 70s U.S. hardrockers Dust, and 90s Camden noiserockers Silverfish…but on reflection…that’s just plain corny…and I apologize.