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Nov 18, 2017







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Joe Policastro Trio, Screen Sounds (JeruJazz Records)




Tyrannosorceress, Haunting Black Infinity (Tofu Carnage Records) 

Satanarchist, First Against the Wall (self-released)
OK, the gods have spoken, and they say it’s time to pick a random thrash metal band and see if I can listen to it without cracking in half. How do I know the gods spoke to me? Simple: Within 10 minutes I got the promo emails for two bands that have names that are funnier than usual, see above. I haven’t done a two-fer in years now, so this is a win-win-win all around: I make up for lost time covering the thrash-metal scene, Tyrannosorceress and Satanarchist get some press, and you get to know the names of two more thrash metal bands. Let’s go. Satanarchist, from Portland, Oregon, is a DIY project and it shows, with a ton of powerful riffage that could have sounded like early Mastodon (reportedly a departure from their earlier joke-band stuff, at least in the song-title department) but it’s a bit too raw. Dallas band Tyrannosorceress is into the Bathory goat-demon thing, and they’re OK, whatever they’re singing about. Everyone tired of winning yet? B- (for both) — Eric W. Saeger




Joe Policastro Trio, Screen Sounds (JeruJazz Records)
CD Reviews: June 1, 2017

06/01/17
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



Joe Policastro Trio, Screen Sounds (JeruJazz Records)

A Venn diagram representing the ideal target patron of this album would encapsulate three traits: fans of Quentin Tarantino soundtracks, TV and movie freaks, and people who dig Chris Isaak. Policastro, the bass-playing leader of this Chicago-based troupe, wears a lot of hats when he’s not releasing records, including lecturing jazz at DePaul, recording and performing with such names as Phil Woods and Pat Boone, and of course teaching, all of which spells serious motivation for making jazz his sole source of income. The setup here is guitar (the Al Di Meola stylings of Dave Miller), bass (Policastro) and drums (Mikel Avery) aiming to re-engineer famous soundtrack pieces, the first of which is the desolate, battered theme from the 1961 Japanese ronin film, obviously a telepathic cue from Policastro to Tarantino that mates spaghetti-Western guitars to Japanese art. An elevator version of “Everybody’s Talkin’” is here, as is the Godfather theme (which wouldn’t have been effective without Policastro’s use of a bow, but the acid test is the theme from TV’s Taxi, which, without a Rhodes keyboard, depends on Miller’s guitar to carry the melody, which works sleepily well. A — Eric W. Saeger





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