The Chitinous Ensemble Directed by Paul Buckmaster: A Forgotten Gem of Jazz Fusion
The Chitinous Ensemble was a musical project led by Paul Buckmaster, a British composer, arranger, and cellist who is best known for his work with Elton John, David Bowie, Miles Davis, and many others. The ensemble consisted of a large group of musicians from various backgrounds and genres, including jazz, rock, classical, and avant-garde. The ensemble recorded only one album, titled Chitinous, which was released in 1971 by Deram Records.
The album features four tracks, each composed by Buckmaster and showcasing his eclectic and experimental style. The first track, Chitinous, is a suite divided into four parts: Mandible, De Blonck, Mushroom Dance, and Was-Eye The suite combines elements of jazz-rock, fusion, free improvisation, and orchestral music, creating a dynamic and unpredictable sonic journey. The second track, Aldebaranian Song, is a more melodic and lyrical piece, featuring a solo violin by Jack Rothstein. The third track, Dance, is a lively and rhythmic composition that blends jazz-funk, Latin percussion, and electric piano. The fourth and final track, RÃnkproat'tn, is another suite composed of four parts: 8 Fish-Eyes, Rockrott, Loopild, and Stoned. This suite explores more abstract and experimental sounds, using tabla, bassoon, bass clarinet, guitar feedback, and electronic effects.
The Chitinous Ensemble was a unique and ambitious musical project that unfortunately did not receive much attention or recognition at the time of its release. The album is now considered a rare and cult classic among jazz fusion enthusiasts and collectors. The album showcases Buckmaster's talent and versatility as a composer, arranger, and conductor, as well as the skills and creativity of the ensemble members. The album is a fascinating example of how different musical genres and influences can be combined to create something original and innovative.
Buckmaster's career as an arranger and composer continued throughout the 1970s and beyond, working with a wide range of artists such as Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Heart, Stevie Nicks, Lionel Richie, Celine Dion, Guns N' Roses, Taylor Swift, and many more. He also composed music for films and television, including Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys, Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, and the HBO series CarnivÃ le. He won a Grammy Award in 2002 for his arrangement of Train's song \\\"Drops of Jupiter\\\".
Buckmaster was not only a prolific and versatile musician, but also a passionate and innovative one. He was always interested in exploring new sounds and techniques, and incorporating influences from different cultures and genres. He was also known for his generosity and humility, as well as his respect and admiration for the artists he worked with. He once said: \\\"I always try to make sure that I'm not imposing my own musical personality on the artist. I try to make sure that I'm enhancing what they're doing.\\\"
Buckmaster died on 7 November 2017 in Los Angeles, at the age of 71. He left behind a legacy of music that spans five decades and countless genres. He also left behind a legion of fans and colleagues who appreciated his talent and contribution to the music industry. As Elton John said in his tribute: \\\"Paul was one of the most important people in my life. We did some amazing music together.\\\" a474f39169