TRANSVALUE, Chuck Britt, Michael Vlatkovich, David Crigger, David Crigger, Michael Vlatkovich
611 N. Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036
MV012 (TRANSVALUE BOOK III, The '58 Retractable Hardtop)
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You might even call this one Anthony Braxton meets
Philip Dick meets Gregory Corso.
Steven Loewy © Cadence Magazine 2008
Great to hear musicians who keep the integrity to their own voice.
Bruno & Peggy Kicks
Extreme Radio @ Radio Centraal (Antwerp, Belgium)
Transvalue are an amalgamation of talking turmoil and spectacular arrangements, existing since 1980. Its core members are trombonist and composer Michael Vlatkovich, spoken word artist Chuck Britt and percussionist David Crigger; the circle of aides for this CD encompasses a lot of terrific musicians, Vinny Golia being a name that was immediately recognized here. The record is quite long at over 76 minutes, and listening to a somewhat belligerent voice speaking for long stretches may be demanding sometimes - especially for the non-well versed in the English idiom - but boy, can these guys play. There’s not a note out of position, and after a while one even manages to become au fait with Britt’s not-instantly-gratifying rasping tone, which is more or less ever present (although not at all times in a nonstop manner: there are also duets - and lots of beautiful ensemble singing, too). The orchestrations called to memory several beloved entities of mine: Zappa (circa “Greggery Peccary” and “The Grand Wazoo”) on top of everything, The Tubes, British jazz (a number of sections reminded me, in short tracts, of Kenny Wheeler), the whole typified both by drama and thrilled outbursts - exactly as in an archetypal musical. Thetechnical altitude remains persistently remarkable, the eminence of the instrumentalists triumphing upon any potential defect (and I didn’t find so many indeed). My foot was often caught tapping when listening to this. Give these chaps an opportunity: although not really devising anything new, they just sound gorgeous.
Massimo Ricci, Rome, Italy
Chuck Britt, Michael Vlatkovich, David Crigger, Vinny Golia, etc. ...
This is a hurricane and you fall on rubble with the first notes of Transvalue Book III. The thunderous voice of Chuck Britt and the power of his words are supported by a big band playingMichael Vlatkovich’s score which is capable of constant change without losing any of the momentum that physically moves you. A mad embrace of life prevails. The voice and orchestra are tight and without economy, shamelessly and with pleasure unpacking and removing intimate memories that could be embarrassing (text and music are available on the Transvalue site at: http://www.transvalue.info). It is all purely American without doubt, all the more because he is an
eastern American on the west coast and he comes in a car. I am listening to this CD for the nth
time, and I can’t stop listening to write. I am struck by the words that escape from the voice of
Chuck Britt, and the whirlwind of Vlatkovich. The solos are up to the rest. This once in a lifetime
machine, is fuelled and at maximum power searching out our violence and tenderness with
Translated by Google and cmb
In TRANSVALUE BOOK III David Crigger, Chuck Britt and Michael Vlatkovich created the third
part of the TRANSVALUE saga. The CD is subtitled, “The ’ 58 Retractable Hardtop”, and is
released by Thankyou Records through Transvalue Press. This production links poetry (spoken
word) and music of many types: jazz, pop, funk, music of the cinema, the circus, the casino,
serious classical music, cabaret crooning, and the familiar sounds of life and very much more.
The poetry, which covers subjects like sex, morality and transcendence, is in the best tradition of
the beat poets. Chuck Britt recites with a flexible voice and great timing. He is able to reach
many registers and accents in each line with the necessary quantum of emotion to create the
The basic trio is reinforced and expanded substantially with the addition of notable members of
the North American improvisational and experimental music community including: Dominic
Genova (bass), Glenn Horiuchi (piano), Vinny Golia, Jay Hutson and Bill Plake (sax), Lou
Gonzales and Mark Underwood (trumpets), George McMullen (trombone), William Roper (tuba),
Melanie Cracchiolo and Chuck Sabatino (vocals), Warren Hartman (keyboards), Mike Turner
(congas), Matt Cooker (violin), Jeanette Wrate (percussion).
With a feel of the 70's, this disc was produced with the same pleasure and impudence what
Frank Zappa put into his best productions of that time. Lush arrangements are built up and
become almost conventional but soon they are shredded and re-sewn into truly new clothing.
The feminine voices are another strong component in this multifaceted universe of colors, tastes
and ideas. Flashy and noisy, technically competent and flooding with creative ideas, this is a
simple, spontaneous, witty and serious adventure into megalomania. Book III is worth the effort
and the time.
Posted by Eduardo Chagas @ 23.4.08
Translated from Portuguese by Google
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