Kamikaze Ground Crew
Gina Leishman-alto sax, bass clarinet, piccolo, accordion, piano, toy piano, vocals; Doug Wieselman-soprano, tenor & baritone sax, clarinet, E-flat clarinet, castanets; Steven Bernstein-trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn; Ralph Carney-alto & tenor sax, clarinet, harmonica, toy piano; Jeff Cressman-trombone; Danny Frankel-percussion, whistle; Bob Lipton-tuba
In Madam Marie's Temple of Knowledge, the members of the Kamikaze Ground Crew have succeeded in forging a musical language that is at the same time rife with familiar references and bristling with novel ideas and innovative constructions. In the ten years since they first came together as the horns-and-percussion pit band for the Flying Karamazov Brothers (often referred to as "six horns and a drummer."), they have expanded dramatically the original nouveau vaudeville vision of musical and theatrical collaboration. What has emerged is an extraordinarily eclectic ensemble that draws from a diverse array of sources for a variety of special projects, including concert performances, theater productions and recordings, including this, their fourth as the Kamikaze Ground Crew and their second on New World Records.
When these versatile musicians come together from their respectively variegated paths, the music they make is almost necessarily beyond definition, The compositions that Gina Leishman, Doug Wieselman and Steven Bernstein have brought to Madam Marie's Temple of Knowledge stretch the boundaries even more. The most creative music, whether or not it can be categorized, recognizes no borders. The Kamikaze Ground Crew shares a sense of adventure and exploration with such composers and ensembles as Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, Sun Ra, Carla Bley, the Willem Breuker Kollektief, and the Vienna Art Orchestra. But its music also springs from a generation whose experience has made eclecticism and multiculturalism organic components of its artistic understanding of the world. Although the name Kamikaze Ground Crew connotes an earthbound work force, performing mundane tasks in the service of hellbent daredevils on one-way aerial missions, this group is tracing its own risky and dauntless patterns across the musical skies.