Exposé Online banner

Revolutionary Snake Ensemble — Live Snakes
(Accurate Records AC-5065, 2014, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-07-22

Live Snakes Cover art

Saxophonist Ken Field’s Revolutionary Snake Ensemble is basically a seven to fourteen-piece portable jazz party, a big band sound with a huge nod to dixieland and numerous other styles, as well as some brilliant improvisation. The live setting makes this even more fun than usual; it’s hard not to find joy and jubilation in these instrumental grooves. A dozen live cuts – only a few of which have appeared on earlier releases, were drawn from four shows over a two year period, so the group membership varies from track to track, but one will find trumpets, trombones, alto and tenor saxes, flutes, acoustic and electric bass, and (usually double) drums in abundance, along with occasional tuba and additional percussives. Roughly half of the tunes here are Ken Field originals, the balance being superb interpretations of standards and traditional pieces. Among the latter are an inspired version of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan,” the traditional “Rock of Ages,” and the 50s pop hit “Que Sera Sera” made popular by Doris Day, although the RSE version presented here breathes a whole new life into that old classic. Of special note is “For Karen,” a seven-minute group improvisation that segues directly into “I’ll Fly Away,” a 30s piece traditionally played at funerals – the feeling morphs gently from melancholy to joy, these two pieces dedicated to the recently departed animated film producer Karen Aqua (1954-2011). Also of note are the last two tracks on the disc, which are remixes of other pieces recorded by the group. All taken, a very fun release that deserves to be heard by all.


Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Ken Field, Revolutionary Snake Ensemble

Latest news

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Discipline - Push & Profit – Discipline are a young five-piece band from Detroit, Michigan, whose instrumentation includes the usual bass / drums / keys / guitars with the fifth and front man doing vocals/violin/keys/guitar....  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues