(All Album Reviews by Burgess Penguin)
David Zoffer: Keyboards, Guitars, some vocals
Bob Moses: Drums
Don Alias: Percussion
Eddie Gomez: Acoustic Bass
Stan Strickland: Saxophones and Flute
Luciana Souza: Surreal Vocals
Jeremy Steig: Flute on "Viciously Deliciously"
Holy organized chaos Batman!!! Andean pipe and voice melodies collide with odd-metered funk grooves, bebop and Zappa meets Stevie Ray Vaughan bluesy guitar, AND THAT'S JUST THE FIRST CUT!!
Welcome to the musical alternate universe of David Zoffer, where jazz takes on a whole different meaning!
If you need great tunes to listen to while crossing through a wormhole into an alternate universe, DZ's 1996 magnum opus "The Beginning Of The End" is the perfect soundtrack.
Here, DZ takes on more of a jazz slant, although any resemblance to regular "earth jazz" and DZ jazz is purely coincidental. Recruiting some amazing Boston and NY based maestros, DZ and Company take you on a wild ride thorugh musical netherworlds amusing and spooky all at the same time. One of the striking things here is how DZ takes some pretty well known jazz standards and gives them truly unique reworkings. The best examples are "I Could Write A Book" with its' dense "Astrud Gilberto guesting with Magma" vocalizing, and a positively funky and surreal take on Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing".
The original tunes are even more striking, like the aforementioned title cut (see above),"Distance and Magic" (a surreal slow swinging number with great interweaving vocals between David and Luciana), "Magneto"(a wild odd-meter romp with great interweaving melodies between Luciana and Stan Strickland's sax, just try to untie this melodic knot, I dare ya!), "The Long Waiting"(An initially amorphous piece that turns into blues from Saturn. David gets down and dirty on guitar to grand effect here) and "Viciously Deliciously" sort of makes me think of "Several Species of Small Furry Animals Gathered Together in a NY Jazz Club Grooving on Thelonious Monk". It's wild!!
All throughout, everyone turns in stellar performances with great wit! Luciana's surreal and entrancing vocals give the songs a unique edge, as does DZ's understated and colorful keyboard work (piano gets the lion's share of time here).
I can only dance about architecture for so long, so I say to you, please do check out David Zoffer's unique brand of musical madness!! Many surprises will continue to reveal themselves to you.