MELBOURNE drummer and band leader Allan Browne has set his quintet a challenging, literature- based musical task for their second album. The work, composed by trumpeter Eugene Ball and guitarist Geoff Hughes, is an interpretation of 19th- century French poet Arthur Rimbaud’s Le bateau ivre ( The Drunken Boat). In five suites, the music portrays Rimbaud’s hallucinatory story of an unmanned, humanised European boat drifting down American rivers through storms and prehistoric images amid disintegration and nostalgia, fuelled by a cargo of absinthe. Finally the boat becomes a worthless, waterlogged plank. This high- quality music can be enjoyed without reference to Rimbaud, but it’s rewarding to listen to the interpretations of titles such as Lost in the Furious Lashing of Tides , Dancing, Lighter Than a Cork or My Water Drunk Carcass . The compositions vary in style and atmosphere, from post- bop themes to ballads and ambient effects, all driven by Browne’s impeccable drumming. There are impressive solos too from Ball, Hughes and altoist David Rex in this memorable collection.
The Drunken Boat Allan Browne Jazzhead