~Meniscus Archives~
Winter 2003
Issue #2

November - February 2004

Link to Issue #2 Home


Bynum's Corner Word Games

The Dissapperance of Childhood
Sarah Trachtenburgh

There's something about Crystal Boots
Drayton Patriota
Debate/Retort by Little Lamb
The Apothecary and Mr. Cesnek
Chrystie Hopkins
A Stroll Down Shakedown Street
Caleb Estabrooks
Out of the Box, Into my Hands
Derek Gumuchian
Travel Log of a Colorado Girl
Erin Hopkins
Santa Fe
Chrystie Hopkins
How to find your friends at IT!
Rob Hansen
Meniscus New Years Picks
Sound Tribe Sector 9: Focusing the Light
-Jon Heinrich
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey: Take a Trip with the Wild and Wooly Masters of the Jam-Jazz Scene
-Brian Gagné
CD Review:
Solar Igniter
CD Review:
Cadillac Jones-
Junk in the Trunk
Through Glass
and Grain

-Aiden FitzGerald
four poems
-Brandon Rigo
-Pete Pidgeon
Art Model
-Julia Magnusson
-Julia Magnusson
Dead dog
-Julia Magnusson
-Julia Magnusson
Those games
we'd play

-Julia Magnusson
Ode de Toiletté
-Aron Ralston
-Stephanie Laterza
-Stephanie Laterza
-Stephanie Laterza
Meniscus is...
Meniscus Premier Launch Party
Zeitgeist Gallery
Cambridge, Massachusetts
August 14, 2003

Metro Saturdays hosts
Meniscus Portland Launch
Sky Bar @ The Roxy
Portland, Maine
August 30, 2003

State of the Art
Lounge Ten
Boston, Massachussets
October 23, 2003


CD Review:

Solar Igniter

Published 11/15/03

I sat at my desk with Solar Igniter on Monday morning, tired, skeptical, but listening. Remarkably their styles and influences are all over the place, consistently catering to the active listener. On one hand, “Getaway Float” has a neo-pop songwriting emphasis reminiscent of the Dave Matthews Band circa 1998. On the other, you’ll find the Blue Note family courting dub, and Cajun alongside Celtic. Regardless, it elated me beyond my Monday morning blues; it brought me to that happy place.

John Molo, on drums, lays down a rhythmic foundation for the quintet bringing influence from Bruce Hornsby’s band and Phil Lesh and Friends. Bobby Read, currently a horn player with Bruce Hornsby’s band, conveys tremendous texture with his sax, woodwinds, keys, and vocals. The remaining groove nucleus is U.S.C. music professor Tim Kobza on guitar, J.T. Thomas on keys, and Dan Conway on bass.

Keller Williams’ guest appearance on three songs, fits in like icing on the rich layer cake of music. His quick babble-skat vocals, crisp acoustic guitar, and fantastical groove entice the listener to join him floating among the clouds on “Travel by Balloon”. “Swaying to the sound, displaying the energy found!” he sings ecstatically. His enthusiastic harmonizing in “Celebrate Your Youth” reminds us all that we contain a fountain of youth; life is yours to be had if you can just tap into the energy within.

ModeReko clearly fits into the jamband genre, featuring both composition and improvisation. Molo provides lurking igneous space jams you’d expect to hear him play jamming with Phil Lesh. Read’s soaring saxophone is featured on the title track, “Solar Igniter.” “Seven Heaven” starts the disc off with a patient celtic jam—so patient it makes we want to fast-forward. Then satisfaction is delivered in full with many deep and distant realms of improvisational jazz.

Additional instrumentation brings a unique veil of texture, incorporating the use of flutes, clarinets, fiddles, vocals, and optigan (optical organ) interludes. Hardly noticeable hints of electronic samples are all but transparent, but give the band the flexibility to bring in genuine sounds from the Caribbean as needed.

Molo and Kozba have been laying down tracks since 1997 with the debut self-titled home-studio album produced by Verve in 1999. While they are very mature players, they explode with a fountain of youth that is refreshing and danceable. If I were going to load up my CD player for a cocktail party, I would definitely throw this disc in. ModeReko will be touring to follow the release of Solar Igniter, currently available from Harmonized Records.



Meniscus Magazine © 2003. All material is property of respective artists.