||"Forest Sunrise" Hannibal & Sunrise Orchestra
||"Lalune Blanceh" Steve Davis
Did you know that the noise a personal computer makes right when it's accidentally unplugged sounds remarkably like a vibraphone note? For a second, while listening to Paris Smith's "Pentatonia," I thought some remix was snuck into this compilation of experimental 70's jazz. All because of a loose cable. Much like today's purposeful electronic experimentation, artists like Stanley Cowell--on "El Space-O"--found ways of manipulating traditional sounds to make new ones. Amongst the muted trumpet, trombone and sax emissions, pie pans and coins reverberate on the piano strings, subtly distorting their sound. The tune morphs into something sinister and would not be out of place in the tenuous moments of a sci-fi film. And on "Funky AECO," Art Ensemble of Chicago takes a groovin' bassline and zaps layers of percussion, trumpet and saxophone
I swear that's a keyboard in there simulating spaceship sounds, though it is not credited.
The common underlying theme of the songs in this compilation, ironically, is
the traditional, though not in an American music sense. Alice
Coltrane, Travis Biggs and Rashied Ali among others, are best
known for taking traditional musics from Africa and East Asia
and incorporating their vastly different rhythms and tones. The
reworked, meditative "A Love Supreme" (with narration
by Swami Satchidananda), the violin, harp and synthesizers in
the down-tempo jam "Tibetan Serenity," and the enticing
Japanese flute and sparse drum/percussion talk in "Duo Exchange"
are a taste of what's on this two-disc collection. Accompanied
by Soul Jazz's signature page-turning liner notes, it's impossible
to keep on about this release without taking up the whole update.
Suffice it to say, if you liked the sounds of Art Ensemble's Les
Stances A Sofie, Alice Coltrane's World Galaxy or Phil
Cohran's Artistic Heritage Ensemble, you must own New
Thing! Borrowing from Art Ensemble coinage, "Great black
music, ancient to future." [LG]