Notations in Tonations

The liner notes to this experimental Bay Area debut quote a passage from Henry Miller's Tropic of Capricorn, lamenting that you can't walk into a home and "find a man standing on his hands singing." Clearly intending to evoke such silliness, bandleader Aaron Novik's compositions possess the cheery dourness of eccentrics who know their eccentricity will affect their popularity, a hindrance that doesn't ruin the fun of "An Envelope Well Pushed," a song pulled to life by the Bollywood bureaucrat beats of Sameer Gupta's tabla and David Arend's bass. Mixed with looming bass clarinet, contemplative accordion, sighing organ lines, and a definite kinship with Miles Davis' fusion records, these Tonations walk on their hands with pride.


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