Avant Garage

bizarre and theatrical jazz / art-rock performance group lead by ivan zagni (who has collaborated with steve garden and don mcglashan, and also formed big sideways) and featuring mike laen (gat / vox), pamela gray (cello / vox), wayne laird (percussion, tuba), mark mcewan (bassoon), prasala (flute, sax), peter scholes (clarinet, bass, sax and tablas & backing vocals) and ben staples (percussion / vox). released an album and a self-titled ep in 1983 after receiving a council creative grant.

a jazzy-cum-classical nine-person ensemble with clarinets, cello, tuba and bassoon (in addition to guitar, bass and drums), new zealand’s determinedly oddball avant garage sounds like something zappa might have done in his dada orchestral phase. the music is generally pleasant (despite occasional skewed digressions, as on the instrumental “funky cockroach”); it’s the lyrics and vocals on songs like “garage sale” and “mr granite” that give this its modern, boundary-breaking character. intelligent, esoteric and fascinating.rn- ira robbins: taken from trouserpress.com

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