Rich West, drums, composer, leader Scot Ray, tuba, didjeridoo Chris Heenan, bass clarinet, alto saxophone Bruce Friedman, trumpet Jeremy Drake, electric guitar from the liner notes: 'The sad thing about L.A. is that it's hard keeping people in the same room for extended periods of time.' Rich West The title is from a book by Nate Mackey, which I haven't read. However, in the spirit of Richard Meltzer's infamous 'previews' of bands to whom he's neither listened or talked prior to writing about them, I'll concentrate on the nomadic implications of Bedouin (from Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language); nomad, 'a member of a tribe, nation or race having no permanent home, but moving about constantly in search of food, pasture, etc.', and suggest that this band is composed of nomads as only an L.A. band can be. Luckily, Rich West was able to get them in the same room at least long enough to produce this exuberant album. It's not just that the tunes (he says, 'everyone had a hand in some of the arrangements') are strong and interesting (shades of Igor Stravinsky, Frank Zappa, Nino Rota), the playing -- both written and improvised -- is, too. A surprising variety of moods and textures is developed, ranging from the inviting and theatrical 'welcome to the show' feel of 'Tribology' to the especially attractive Gyuto-Monks-meet-Fellini scenario on 'Twang'. The sounds are oddly appealing in some non-traditional ways (murky trumpet, bell-like guitar). When it's all over, you feel as if you've been someplace new. I can't imagine any other five players who could play this music and make that happen. This is music (see individual bios for impressive credentials) that knows the difference between self-expression and self-indulgence, for which we should all be very happy. ----- Dorothea Grossman, Los Angeles, CA, October 2003.
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