Beyond Race (11.18.07)
Club d'Elf is not exactly your average band. First off, there's only one permanent member of the ever-changing club: bassist and bandleader Mike Rivard. Second, d'Elf dropped their first studio album, last year's Now I Understand, after eight years in existence; previously, they had released seven two-disc live albums. And now, less than a year since the release of Understand, we have Perhapsody, another two-disc live album, this time documenting their CD release party for Now I Understand. In the case of almost any other band, Perhapsody would be redundant. But this is another reason that d'Elf is not your average band. Perhapsody is a must-have, a killer album that is as different as can be from their excellent studio record. Plus, you'll flip when you find out who's chillin' in the clubhouse this time around: keyboardist John Medeski and slide guitar monster Dave Tronzo joined Rivard that night for two sets of explosive music. Under the bassist's careful supervision, they were free to roam the countryside of whatever distant land sounds they pleased, like a cross between James Brown and Medeski, Martin and Wood, with not-so-subtle dashes of dub, hip-hop and world music thrown in. Highlights include â€œBerber Song,â€ Rivard's â€œThe Tinglerâ€ and Steven Bernstein's anthemic â€œCaveman.â€ An album worth checking out for its eclectic variety and unpredictability.