Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Garage a Trois
Outre Mer

Released 2005 on Telarc
Reviewed by David Cotner, 19/08/2005ce

Mike Dillon (vibes / percussion), Charlie Hunter (guitar), Stanton Moore (drums), and Skerik (sax) narrate, through their jazz, filmmaker Klaus Totine’s story of Etienne, a 45-inch-tall French man-boy who develops his mind to find the place in the world where he is not reviled as poisonously different – finding that place in Java using his array of inventions, he marries a 43-inch-tall Javanese girl, fathers(?) a son who’s later found by P.T. Barnum and billed as “The World’s Tallest Dwarf” on account of his 6’ stature. “A fantasy made flesh, his life was known to none as the fruit of a sad child’s dream.” Jazz scores in film don’t always work – better examples include “Lenny” (1974), Fred Katz’s score for “Creature From The Haunted Sea” (1964), or Art Blakey and His Jazz Messengers’ work on the 1959 Methodist driving safety film “Stop Driving Us Crazy!” – but here the New Orleans quartet are hot on spot, recorded perfectly as the vibes, tabla and vaguely Latin flavor of it all comes down like one of Etienne’s delivering naps. It’s a surging, confident, adventuring kind of jazz – the soundtrack one can imagine having behind oneself looking for tall cliffs to climb or danger to whip. Additionally, it makes one want to actually find the film – which has only been seen by a handful of French critics as of this writing – to see just where these chocolate chips fell. Standout passages: “The Dream”, with its vibe tones rising and falling like a vindicating ocean current, and “Antoine”, inner-city swagger choodlin’ on through until the Godfather of the Disco suddenly stops you and orders you to “Call the amb-yoo-lance, and tell them what he has hay-ad!” (David Cotner)

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