Shakers N' Bakers / Yearning For Zion
Album: Yearning For Zion   Collection:Jazz
Artist:Shakers N' Bakers   Added:Dec 2008
Label:Little I Music  

A-File Activity
Add Date: 2009-03-08 Pull Date: 2009-05-10 Charts: Jazz
Week Ending: May 10 May 3 Apr 26 Apr 19 Apr 5 Mar 29 Mar 15
Airplays: 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

Recent Airplay
1. Dec 16, 2021: Music Casserole (rebroadcast from Dec 11, 2021)
Even Shakers Get The Blues
4. May 28, 2011: Music Casserole
In Me Canoe
2. Dec 11, 2021: Music Casserole
Even Shakers Get The Blues
5. May 08, 2009: Memory Select
Even Shakers Get The Blues
3. May 30, 2017: Waste FM
6. May 01, 2009: Memory Select

Album Review
Reviewed 2009-03-01
Some soul jazz, some free jazz, lots of crazy preaching. Nice grooves paired against brightly chaotic jamming.

What makes this different are the two vocalists -- one is a woman with a high, sweet voice; the male singer has a raspy, growly, scat-like quality and just goes nuts sometimes. Weirdness abounds alongside good musicianship (Tracks 3 and 9 are great examples.) Did I mention electric harpsichord? ELECTRIC HARPSICHORD!

These are Shaker songs, transformed into the abovementioned jazzy forms. A couple of modern-classic tracks are in there, too, infused with Shaker texts: (2) is based on John Adams' "Road Movies Part 2," and (3) is based on Gyory Ligeti's "Hungarian Rock," while (9) comes from Arvo Part's "Spiegel im Spiegel."

As for the Shakers themselves, the liner notes say: "The Shakers were a religious sect and utopian experiment which was founded by Mother Ann Lee in the late 1700s, flourished during the 1800s, and diminished during the 20th century." Apparently a sect still exists in Sabbathday Lake, Maine.

The band consists of known NYC jazzsters:

Mary LaRose and Miles Griffith (vocals)
Jeff Lederer (sax)
Jamie Saft (electric harpsichord!, organ, piano)
Chris Lightcap (bass)
Allison Miller (drums)

Mark Feldman (violin; check out track 3!)
Andrew D'Angelo (sax, especially nutso solos)
Matt Wilson (extra drums)

1- Soul jazz and reggae. Upbeat chant rhythm at first; crazed, gnarled sax solo.
2- Slow but powerful, yearning, with wild experimental vocal that gets into a razzy, gutteral, but soulful mutation of jazz/blues.
3- Airy modern jazz lines w/violin and an "I will roar roar roar!" monologue. Opens edgy, with crazy drums and rubbery guitar.
4- Builds a slowish, reverent, peaceful sound amid avant-garde sax warblings. Like a mellower Albert Ayler.
5- Ayler-like chant and sing opening. Into a crazy jam with nonsense vocals and electric harpsichord! Wacky.
6- Slowish, with gospel soul and organ; nice vocals. Passionate.
7- Singing and clapping, into a cool fast sax solo.
8- Slow, reverent gospel. Lots of electric harpsichord!
9- A simple, placid, music box-like riff with sad violin... and nutso enthusiastic preaching. Weird intenseness, and it rhymes! It's 11 minutes long, but for some shows, it would be just perfect.

Track Listing
1. In Me Canoe   5. Chinese!!!
2. Even Shakers Get The Blues   6. Lay Me Low
3. The Roar Of G_D   7. Laughing John's Interrogatory
4. Scour And Scrub   8. Yearning For Zion
  9. Limber Zeal