Jazz Da Gama

Posted on Jul 17, 2014 in Press

Read entire review here.

If MOBRO the beautiful album from John Ellis and Andy Bragen is an allegorical story based on the near-apocryphal voyage of the Mobro 4000, it is as likely to sound like life itself, or sailing along with the flotsam and jetsam of life and allowing the transformative effects of such a journey to influence the end of the journey. It bears mention that an artist must balance the abstract with the concrete in order to become accessible to the listener both in terms of the fable as well as the intended meaning of the actual event. In actual fact, the music in this recording is closer to the event—as the song-titles reflect—than might seem at first. The music is much more angular and oblique in its metaphor and idiom, even though the words often go towards making the incident come alive for those who remember the original voyage of the barge, or for those who research the fateful story. Mr. Ellis and Mr. Bragen have inventively captured the essence of that voyage without being too crass about its mission. Even more inventively they relate this experience to the way life hands out its blessings and its curses. The creativity begins with the selection of four voices used in together or separately to colour he lyrics from a gorgeous palette of colours.