Brad Dutz: When Manatees Attack (PFMCD042)


Paul Sherman: oboe, english horn

James Sullivan: bass clarinet, G clarinet

Rachel Arnold: cello

Brad Dutz: marimba, vibes, xylophone, congas, bongos, bones, cajon, riq, doumbec, darabuka, and other percussion products he hit when the computer was on

special guest
Jasper Dutz: Bb clarinet on Insulated Potato Wedges

recorded by Wayne Peet at NEWZONE studio july 24 and 25, 2006
mixed and mastered by Wayne Peet a bit later
thanks very much to these groovy companies for
product support and endorsements: Yamaha, Paiste,
Vic Firth, Roland (Aaahh! Steve Fisher), Factory
Metal Percussion, Mountain Rythym, Remo
cover painting by Kaoru – To Osaka Airport
graphic assistance Ted Killian

the tunes:
1. Spongy Bark (7:22)
2. I’m Thinkin’ About Buyin’ A Chainsaw (8:50)
3. Insulated Potato Wedges (5:52)
4. Mutilated Grass (13:55)
5. Biff The Salesman (9:21)
6. Soiled Palm (8:37)
7. Hiram Becomes Ulysses (10:26)
8. When Manatees Attack (8:48)
total: 73:32

all selections composed by Brad Dutz except Insulated Potato Wedges
by Jasper and Brad Dutz
© Copyright 2007 Leakyspleen Music, BMI
to contact brad about bookings or comments:



SKU: PFMCD042 Category:


  1. 0 out of 5

    This is percussion wiz, Brad Dutz, 6th disc as a leader on pfMentum, after having a couple on Nine Winds. Each disc that Brad has been involved with has different personnel and instrumentation. “Spongy Bark” has some wonderful, Zappa-like modern classical composing for marimba, two clarinets and cello, with a tap-dancing xylophone solo in the middle. While Brad’s spirited, crafty percussion is often at the center of each piece, his writing for clarinet, double reeds and cello is consistently engaging. One thing I like about Brad is that he doesn’t play a drum-kit, yet he always keeps the rhythm flowing on other percussion instruments like congas, dumbek, darbouka and marimba. There is something special about the sound/blend of a bass clarinet, oboe, cello and a marimba, that makes this both unique and consistently intriguing. It reminds me of the Oregon (the group) often combined various cultures and styles, thus becoming something unique and in between categories. At 73 plus minutes, I had thought that this disc might be too long, however it is quite rich, enchanting and provocative throughout. – BLG, Downtown Music Gallery

    Growing up with Warner Brothers cartoons created a subliminal soundtrack for life. Certainly the rising notes you heard in your head were for someone walking up a staircase, then there was the creeping-around-the-corner music. Later we learned this music was all produced with great thought and skill by Carl Stalling and an orchestra of highly skilled musicians, borrowing sounds from Raymond Scott and the visual storytelling traditions of Western classical music.

    Listening to the chamber pieces delivered by percussionist Brad Dutz on this disc brings to mind images of cartoons real and imagined. He does this through his grouping of various percussive instruments, chiefly the marimba, vibraphone, and xylophone with oboe, English horn, cello and various clarinets.

    This release follows the highly acclaimed Nine Gardeners Named Ned (pfMentum, 2005), an extended form piece with similar instrumentation. With Ned and Manatees, Dutz draws on his extensive soundtrack work for movies and television. He has also backed the likes of Rickie Lee Jones, Willie Nelson and Kiss. (Yes, Kiss.) He has also made music which should be more familiar to jazz listeners, including work with West Coast improvisers Vinnie Golia, Jeff Kaiser and Alex Cline.

    The precision of the compositions was what made Stalling’s music so special, and the same is true for Dutz’s music. He spaces the players’ notes into snapping order on the opening “Spongy Bark” to create a very picturesque landscape. The unique chamber’s sound conjures the natural movement of the mind’s eye.

    ” Biff The Salesman” is built on a repeated pattern Dutz lays down, to which plucked cello, horn and woodwinds remark. The mallets, clarinet, oboe and cello configuration of “Hiram Becomes Ulysses” makes for a restrained wrapping and unwrapping of ideas.

    The centerpiece of the recording is the nearly fourteen-minute “Mutilated Grass,” the least structured of Dutz’s compositions. Players slowly unfurl the piece, wrapping their rising sounds around each other, until the halfway point, where Dutz begins some hand drumming, which propels the others in a different direction. The members of the quartet, supplemented by Jasper Dutz, twists a double helix dance around each other in this propulsion of chamber energy. Here they replace the whimsy with a very heady listening experience.

    –Mark Corroto,

    When Manatees Attack is a peculiar album…which is nothing less than we would expect from Brad Dutz and and the almost-always-perplexing pfMENTUM label. On this album , Dutz plays a variety of odd percussion instruments and elicits assistance from Paul Sherman (oboe, english horn), James Sullivan (bass clarinet, G clarinet), Rachel Arnold (cello), and Jasper Dutz (clarinet). The compositions on this album are rather stark and slightly herky-jerky in nature…often sounding like the soundtrack to an avant garde cartoon. Our favorite track is the strange, lengthy “Biff the Salesman” which features some subtle and unconventional xylophone playing. Other bizarre compositions include “Spongy Bark,” “Insulated Potato Wedges,” and the title track. Brad Dutz never fails to entertain…and When Manatees Attack is another striking addition to his already impressive catalog. Intelligent and thought provoking. (Rating: 5+)


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