Curtis Hasselbring's The New Mellow Edwards - Big Choantza
"Big Choantza" is the second album by trombonist-composer Curtis Hasselbring and his all-star band the New Mellow Edwards. Like its predecessor (Skirl 03), "Big Choantza" features Hasselbring's highly refined and personal compositional language, informed as much by indie rock and classical composition as it is by all eras of jazz, and includes striking performances by NYC heavyweights Chris Speed (Human Feel, Bloodcount, yeah NO), Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle, John Zorn, Madlove) and John Hollenbeck (Claudia Quintet, Meredith Monk). "Big Choantza" is a set of carefully shaped compositions that balance contrasting shapes and textures: languid funk, asymmetrical bebop marches, spacious pop with shattered orchestration and tense ambient sonics along with a cover of the Sonic Youth tune "Youth Against Fascism." It is a unified statement by a composer with a strong personal voice played by a band with a well-defined sound and identity.