Truists – “Ballroom”

I went to a gig tonight – a local get together of musicians and like-minded thinkers. The highlight was seeing the group cAVE and bumping in to a man named Geoff. Now then, Geoff is the percussionist in a group we got got talking about, called Truists.

The Truists comprise of: Richard Bostock (primarily on various saxophones, electro-clarinet, various bass and double bass instruments, and keyboards), Robin Stokes (primarily on guitar, bass, double bass, six string bass, and keyboards) & Geoff Clout, is primarily on drums, vocals, and technology. On the album being reviewed here, Ballroom, Richard Formby did further production and all the mixing.

All of these tunes were named and then spontaneously composed/played/sung. Most were then edited and some had overdubs added […] and of course some ideas had come privately to a player before the record button was pressed.

“Ballroom” is a recording of three friends having fun. Sounds simple, but: you cannot help but be infected by their enthusiasm and vigour for their work.

Though probably always heard as jazz, the tunes often criss-cross styles, sometimes being more world, funk, novelty, absurd, west coast, Spanish, or punk-ish. And though they are unrehearsed, improvised or freely “spontaneously composed” those are not good descriptions either. The genre should really be “Three friends enjoying discovering tunes together…”

I like to think of this LP as Space Jazz. Not, however, the Afro-Futurism of Sun Ra. But found in a dirtier, dustier, more used galaxy far, far away. It is alien music because it is so difficult to pigeon-hole. There seem to be the Barratt-era-Floyd vocals of Clout against the backdrop of a driving rhythm and soaring sax – “go on, let’s throw some electronica in there too ….”

This may not be an easily accessible genre – but – this is not accessible music. You have to go looking for the gold in this release and, when you find it, it is in a rich seam.

There is some killer walking bass in parts, the keys are sublime and the assorted saxophones created frisson on the back of my neck – they rival Marshall Allen for brass. The rhythm section is on top form in this release and the various, inter-crossing solos glide with ease. With “Ballroom” & the right information you are set to hearing a good album.

For more information on the group called Truists, please see their site www.polkaville.com

Leave a Reply