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Lobster Leaps In

by The Microscopic Septet

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Carsten Pieper
Carsten Pieper thumbnail
Carsten Pieper I had the Micros on my watchlist for quite some time, so when the lobster leapt in as this weekend's special Cuneiform deal, that was a welcome reminder!

To paraphrase Frank Z: Humour does belong in music and this jazz doesn't smell funny, it is funny! ;-)

The Micros are a sax quartet plus rhythm section, so to speak, and offer a very entertaining mix-up of almost every American jazz style. Favorite track: The Big Squeeze.
Nick Bradey
Nick Bradey thumbnail
Nick Bradey great fun!I highly recommend this .It would be great if the septet could come to the UK .However I hope they are playing in New York when I go back there .Check this out.

Favorite track: The Big Squeeze.
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Got Lucky 06:05
Lies 08:35
Almost Right 04:00


"...the saxophone-heavy Microscopic Septet drew on a cache of sophisticated improvisers and two of the era's most sophisticated and stylistically slippery jazz composers and players – the pianist Joel Forrester and the saxophonist Phillip Johnston. This reunion promises equal parts zaniness and braininess..."
– The New Yorker

"...the Microscopic Septet served notice that they remain one of New York's most distinctive and entertaining groups."
– All About Jazz New York

"They took 20 years off, but it seems like they never went away.... Lots of comedy, which is sorely missing from most jazz, and whacked-out solos and ensemble playing. Why wasn't this disc more celebrated?"
– Denver Post

"...a wildly idiosyncratic, devastatingly accomplished ensemble."
– Wall Street Journal

"The Microscopic Septet...served up serpentine bop melodies, suave four-saxophone arrangements, and Dixieland-style collective raves–sometimes in the space of a single chart."
– Time Out New York


released September 17, 2008

Phillip Johnston: soprano saxophone
Don Davis: alto saxophone
Mike Hashim: tenor saxophone
Dave Swelson: baritone saxophone
Joel Forrester: piano
David Hofstra: bass
Richard Dworkin: drums

Originally active from 1980-1992, the "Micros" started with a basic reeds-and-rhythm texture that was sonically similar to the sound of the Swing Era, but used influences from the entire continuum of jazz. The result was a brilliant blend of fresh-sounding orchestration, ideas, compositions and inspired soloing. The Micros were one of the most celebrated of the many cutting-edge units associated with experimental music's best-known venue, the Knitting Factory, during the peak years of the "Downtown" music movement in the late '80s and early '90s. In 2006, Cuneiform reissued their four albums as two double CD sets, which gained stupendous praise, attention and sales and the Micros reunited to play a few shows to celebrate their release and had such a good fun that they decided to make it ‘an occasional regular thing’. So, the Microscopic Septet are back with their first album in 20 years! Their sound is the sound of jazz in America; ALL of it, from Ayler to Zorn, bebop to Basie, Ellington to Thelonious. The Microscopic Septet distill the essence of jazz into a sound that swings – a music that is intelligent, sometimes humorous, and always good fun. They aren’t afraid to have some fun with the great jazz tradition while also paying homage to it. Despite the long lay-off, I think this is their best album yet. Maybe jazz needs the inventiveness and good-humored, swinging fun of Micros more now than ever before...


Microscopic Septet albums available on Bandcamp:

- cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/friday-the-13th-the-micros-play-monk-2

- cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/lobster-leaps-in

- cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/seven-men-in-neckties-history-of-the-micros-volume-1

- cuneiformrecords.bandcamp.com/album/surrealistic-swing-history-of-the-micros-volume-2


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Cuneiform Records Washington, D.C.

Cuneiform Records is an independent record label releasing adventurous, boundary-bursting music by artists from around the world.

Founded in 1984.
Based in Washington D.C.

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