Dragon Dave Meets Prince Black Knight From the Darkside of the Moon
US: 17 May 2011
UK: 20 Jun 2011
This is a case of the material not nearly living up to its title. Warren Smith’s Dragon Dave Meets Prince Black Knight From the Darkside of the Moon clearly has as its mark the boisterous, anything-goes spirit of Charles Mingus’ more experimental work. And Smith and his large ensemble do conjure up a bit of that feel on the few tracks that have some semblance of structure. The rest is a cacophony of gongs, dissonant horn blasts, and whistles. The whistles are sprinkled generously throughout the album, as if Smith believes each one is taking him closer to a Rahsaan Roland Kirk-like level of transcendence. No such luck. There are voices amid the cacophony, but it’s difficult to make out what they’re saying, much less follow a narrative. What Smith clearly intended to be profoundly shambolic is merely a shambles.
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