NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER | MIKE COTE | FEBRUARY 1, 2017
CLUB D’ELF “Live at Club Helsinki” (Face Pelt Records)
Boston-based Club D’elf produces jazz that traverses many genres and styles. Its trance-like grooves and improvised inventions includes trace elements of early Pink Floyd, the Grateful Dead, “Bitches Brew”-era Miles Davis, Frank Zappa, Fela Kuti and traditional Morrocan music.
The double-CD “Live at Club Helsinki” features a dozen extended “dub-jazz” journeys featuring core members bass player Mike Rivard and drummer Dean Johnston with guitarist Duke Levine, keyboardist John Medeski, DJ Mister Rourke, and cajon player and singer Brahim Fribgane.
On the 14-minute plus “Power Plant,” the band builds a slow-burning stew that features Levine’s low-register surf-guitar licks, Medeski’s organ flourishes and Rivard’s extended playing of the sintir, a Morrocan camel skin-covered bass lute, over a hypnotic tribal beat.
While the band produced some recent CD release shows with various members, the core group performs twice a month at Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, Mass. (The next show is Feb. 17).
MIKE COTE/NEW HAMPSHIRE UNION LEADER