Somnambule - Writing About Music

Yeah NO ~ Swell Henry

There’s overlap between this group and Jim Black’s Alasnoaxis, but Yeah NO is very much Chris Speed’s band and defined by his distinctive burnt umber sax and its interplay with Cuong Vu’s caroling trumpet. The magnificently titled She Has Four Throns begins the album in mournful mode reminiscent of Alasnoaxis, but the attractive melody of Last Beginning lightens the mood quickly before launching into enjoyable free passages. Clarinet and accordion create an east European folk feel to some tracks. Cloud Stopper is a lovely piece that simultaneously floats and descend in gradual steps. Flanked is a fast-paced dash, it’s only 1:49 long, but packs in as much incident as a Naked City thrash track: great fun. Yeah NO is a smart, flexible ensemble, able to deliver subtle surprises and sudden changes. This is their fourth release and it’s an attractive, ingenious beast whose flavours and depths reveal themselves gradually. Recommended.
Colin Buttimer
July 2004
Published by Jazzwise magazine