Eat. Sleep. Blog. Listening blind 'Game Changers' has a tasty Arve Henriksen-line. And everything slips down nicely working through the tracks. The album is out in May but we know you love early reviews, fellow anorak and rummager in online obscure jazz boutiques. Didn't have a clue as to who these groovy Aussies are or anything much about them until about an hour ago. So yup typing furiously as if life depended on it: Noel Mason: bass, Jeremy Rose: sax, bass clarinet, Alex Masso: drums, Nick Garbett: trumpet plus a starry guest - more on whom in a jiffy. Much later on 'Evergreen' Masso does what Seb Rochford used to do tumbling his mallets meaningfully in early Sons of Kemet days of yore when the band were in their heyday with the original line-up. So the starry guest? The pianist featured is the great Chris Abrahams from The Necks slumming it away from his usual zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance shtick with that great road racer of a trio. You could isolate the whole thing if you were being really anal (and why not?) and just listen to Abrahams comping and his little riffs all day long. 'High Plains' cries out to be sampled and remixed. But you would miss a lot because the other guys simply captain cook. According to Australian ''cultural attaché'' and veteran agent for The Necks, Lee ''Less-Les More-GoGo'' Paterson writing from down under in the middle of the night: ''The Vampires have been hot-housed in Sydney. Expanses get in our bloodstream, they are visceral. It’s in the music. Think of the 35 year long reverberations of The Necks. The Vampires grew into their own music listening intently to The Necks. Individual members of The Vampires play with individual Necks: Tony Buck on Nick Garbett’s 2019 The Glider; and Lloyd Swanton with Jeremy Rose and Hamed Sadeghi in the improvising trio Vazesh. Chris Abrahams was a compelling collaborator to make music with – which is now Nightjar.''
There you have it and Lee knows better than most. Check out the very can do head bobbing reggae-leaning 'Khan Shatyr' plucked from the album which is chock-a-block with an Ethio quasi coptic mode lilt to it ahead of full release. Strewth what a beaut. Bandcamp link.
The Vampires, photo: press