Exposé Online banner

Panzerpappa — Pestrottedans
(AltrOck Productions ALT-052, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-10-16

Pestrottedans Cover art

Even someone who spends as much time listening to music as I do can’t listen to everything that comes out, even if you constrain the possibilities to progressive rock and jazz. So I come into this Panzerpappa release having never heard the band before. They’re often described as inspired by or reminiscent of the Canterbury scene, and it’s definitely there, with the overall sound kind of like Samla Mammas Manna crossed with later National Health, or maybe Phil Miller’s In Cahoots with an accordion. Which is to say the arrangements are complex and quirky, based more on polyphonic interplay than chords, and live in a region somewhere between jazz and rock. Jarle Storløkken’s guitar and Steinar Børve’s saxophones and EWI get most of the lead melodies, with keyboards (mostly from Børve) prominent but mostly supportive. The group has lost a bass player along the way, with the low end filled by keys (and possibly guitar synth), but Trond Gjellum’s drums are very tasty without being flashy. The real stars here are the compositions and arrangements. While each track is unique and full of nifty twists and turns, they are of a piece, with a bright, cheerful sound, almost completely lacking in darkness or dissonance. In spite of the avoidance of overt dissonance, the harmonic palette is sophisticated, with rich voicings and unexpected harmonizations. The album is entirely instrumental and really a joy from start to finish — easily among the highlights of 2016.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Panzerpappa, Elaine Di Falco

Latest news

2018-02-18
Didier Lockwood RIP – Word reaches us today of the death of one of France's great jazz musicians, violinist Didier Lockwood. His playing bridged many worlds, from traditional jazz to fusion to progressive rock, and his talent can be heard on recordings by Magma, Clearlight, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, and many more. Lockwood was 62. » Read more

2018-02-15
10 Years of Fruits de Mer - The Incomplete Angler – Those of you who are faithful followers of Exposé will know that we have been promoting Fruits de Mer and its side labels and releases from nearly its first year. Now music journalist and author Dave Thompson has written a book chronicling the past ten years as a celebration of this milestone. » Read more

2018-02-14
Tom Rapp RIP – Singer / songwriter Tom Rapp, best known with the band Pearls Before Swine, passed away on February 12, at the age of 70, after a battle with cancer. » Read more

2018-01-30
Bill Bruford Ventures into Uncharted Territory – Drum master Bill Bruford, veteran of some of the most creative bands in history (King Crimson, Yes, Genese, etc.), is sharing some of what he's learned about being a drummer and a musician in his new book, Uncharted: Creativity and the Expert Drummer, out on University of Michigan Press. » Read more

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Muffins - Chronometers – A strange release at first glance. One CD, 70 plus minutes, 21 tracks, one track is 23 minutes long. Hmmm. This is a compilation of outtakes and general weirdness from 1975. The Muffins are often...  (1993) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues