Django Bates: Spring Is Here! (Shall We Dance?)

Our rating 
5.0 out of 5 star rating 5.0

COMPOSERS: Django Bates
LABELS: Lost Marble
ALBUM TITLE: Spring Is Here! (Shall We Dance?)
WORKS: Spring Is Here! (Shall We Dance?)
PERFORMER: Django Bates (keyboards), Bo Skjold Christensen (clarinet), Anders Bast, Aske Drasbek, Marius Neset (saxophones), Lars Søberg Andersen, Jimmy Nyborg (trumpets), Kevin Christensen (trombone), Christian Bluhme (guitar), Petter Eldh (bass), Mikkel Schnettl


Despite now being an unstuffy musical academic, Bates hasn’t exactly let go of his whimsicality. Even that always seemed rather menacing, though, and his actually impressive skills as a composer and arranger have interpenetrated with his puckishness to produce a kind of Carla-Bley-on-hallucinogens approach quite unlike anyone else’s. This mixture of compositions (ranging from serpentine ballads to, at one point, a deranged pile-up of national anthems), performed mainly by his StoRMChaser big band with an adventurous injection of vocal and choral elements, is music you’ll probably either love or hate but certainly won’t be bored by. The musicians are let down by the strangely flat and undifferentiated recorded sound. Roger Thomas