PopMatters.com + The Wire Review The Fully Celebrated

August 13, 2009

PopMatters.com’s Scott Hreha and The Wire‘s Philip Clark both weighed in on The Fully Celebrated’s most recent release, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (AUM Fidelity), in reviews published this week.

Overall, the arrangements musically capture the latent humor in Hobbs’ song titles and showcase the trio’s incredible rapport.  Together, they’re able to shift on a dime from groove to freedom and back again, falling in and out of time as if affected by a constantly shifting series of magnetic fields.
Whether experimental or unadorned, the album’s production feels like a natural extension of the trio’s talent—something that forward-thinking jazz groups have been chasing since the 1960s, yet is rarely achieved.  This, together with the solid musical performances by Hobbs and his cohorts, makes Drunk On the Blood of the Holy Ones a potent concoction that will hopefully raise the “fully celebrated” of the band’s name from tongue-in-cheek irony to reality.

“Overall, the arrangements musically capture the latent humor in [Jim] Hobbs’ song titles and showcase the trio’s incredible rapport,” Hreha writes. “Together, they’re able to shift on a dime from groove to freedom and back again, falling in and out of time as if affected by a constantly shifting series of magnetic fields… a potent concoction that will hopefully raise the ‘fully celebrated’ of the band’s name from tongue-in-cheek irony to reality.”

Clark adds, “It’s kind of annoying when someone’s been making great music since 1987 but you’ve only just found out. His sharp intensity and machine gun attack when approaching abstract funk has obvious roots in Ornette’s 1980s Prime Time principles…but Hobbs’ immersion in reggae and dub soon asserts itself. ‘Reptoid Alliance’ is peppered with saxophone multiphonics that hit on the backbeats, as he grinds against bassist Timo Shanko’s and drummer Django Carranza’s funk groove.”


The Fully Celebrated’s AUM Fidelity Debut Released Today

May 26, 2009


Today is the official street date for The Fully Celebrated‘s seventh recording, and AUM Fidelity debut, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones (AUM054). Led by saxophonist Jim Hobbs, and formerly known as The Fully Celebrated Orchestra, the group has been a fixture on Boston’s jazz scene for more than two decades.

For its first recording in four years, the founding line-up of Hobbs, bassist Timo Shanko and drummer Django Carranza returned to the studio to document eight new quintessentially eclectic compositions. CD release concerts are scheduled for May 28th at Barbès in Brooklyn, New York and May 29th at Ryles Jazz Club in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Skillfully mixing reggae beats and Dub technology into the mix,” writes AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins, “this session adds a new wrinkle while maintaining their core appeal—catchy, mercurial tunes buoyed by visceral improvisation. Hobbs, the leader and primary songwriter, is one of his generation’s most gifted altoists; his ability to effortlessly glide between pitches and microtones enables a boundless capacity for tonal expression. Filled with memorable melodies, stirring interplay and a wealth of sonic variety, Drunk On The Blood Of The Holy Ones is a welcome return from one of the most resourceful saxophone trios working today.”


AAJ + The Boston Phoenix Review The Fully Celebrated

May 20, 2009


Two new reviews of the The Fully Celebrated‘s forthcoming AUM Fidelity debut, Drunk on the Blood of the Holy Ones, to report so far this week.  

“[Jim] Hobbs, the leader and primary songwriter, is one of his generation’s most gifted altoists,” writes AllAboutJazz.com’s Troy Collins, “his ability to effortlessly glide between pitches and microtones enables a boundless capacity for tonal expression. Filled with memorable melodies, stirring interplay and a wealth of sonic variety, Drunk On The Blood Of The Holy Ones is a welcome return from one of the most resourceful saxophone trios working today.”

In his review in this week’s Boston Phoenix, Jon Garelick added, “After two albums with cornetist Taylor Ho Bynum, and now dropping ‘Orchestra’ from their name, this venerable Boston avant-garde street band are again a trio—and they’re still a virtuoso ensemble. There’s no one with a more individual sound and conception than Hobbs—strangled and crying one minute, soft and bluesy the next, or just plain Johnny Hodges purdy.”

The disc officially hits the streets May 26th, to be followed by CD release shows at Barbès in Brooklyn on May 28th and Ryles Jazz Club in Boston on May 29th.