In a surprise move, Los Angeles based metal-jazz rockers Burning Ghosts drop a brand new album on New Year’s Day 2019. Recorded less than a week prior to the release, they return to their improvisational roots to deliver a raw, untethered, and passionate response to our current national experience on American Circus.
In a statement on social media, Burning Ghosts said:
Surprise New Year's album drop! AMERICAN CIRCUS is out now!
This album is so raw, even we didn't know we were going to do this. Last Friday (December 28th), we got together for the first time in 9 months and hit record. The first track on this album is the very first thing we played! Using only 6 microphones and going back to our improvisational roots, before we knew it we had almost 2 hours of awesome material. So, while we work towards our next big project, we wanted to share this with you: unedited, no extra production, pure raw expression!
Hope you dig it, and hope you have wonderful 2019!
Featuring Daniel Rosenboom on Bb trumpet and C cornet, Jake Vossler on guitar, Richard Lloyd Giddens, Jr. on bass, and Aaron McLendon on drums, American Circus is Burning Ghosts’s fourth release to date, and their second on Orenda Records. In 2017 they released Reclamation on John Zorn’s revered Tzadik label to much critical acclaim, and followed that in 2018 with an online EP release, Kakistocracy.
American Circus showcases the band’s improvisational prowess with “Escape from D.C.,” a zany and hard-grooving romp whose title is a not-so-subtle nod to the post-apocalyptic mayhem of the cult classic movies Escape from New York and Escape from L.A.. Following with “Fanfare for the End of Truth” Burning Ghosts turns their sardonic improvisational acumen to the modern American experience of shared cognitive dissonance, and the onslaught of lies flowing from our leadership. Finishing the set with an epic 33-minute exploration launched by Rosenboom’s compositional homage to Ornette Coleman, “Drowning on the High Ground” is a rousing, passionate, and at times hushed and subtle meditation on the uselessness of sanctimony.
Recorded, mixed, and mastered spontaneously in less than 72 hours, and using a grand total of only 6 microphones, American Circus is a testament to the raw power of improvisation as an artistic response to society. In a world where tweets send governments reeling, and the 24-hour news cycle is starting to seem a bit too long, the immediacy and poignancy of improvisational music is salient and exciting, and Burning Ghosts is simply on fire!