Saturday, July 11, 2009

HurdAudio Rotation: Stand Strong

Chris Mosley Trio: The Miraculous Aspect of Time. 2006. Red Button Records: RBR-101.

Chris Mosley: guitar, fretless guitar, 36-tone guitar
Damian Erskine: electric bass
Drew Shoals: drums

With a rhythm section this tight, and material this well crafted, it's easy to miss just how multifaceted this music is. Chris Mosley has his ears wide open and it's not just the miraculous aspect of rhythm that pins this sound down as it is his sense of harmony. (The miraculous aspect of frequency?) The two "Interlude" pieces performed on the 36-tone guitar suggest a small opening into a sonic sound-space that beg for immersion. They also demonstrate Chris Mosley's searching outside the established fretboard for new contours well served by his intuitive approach.

Myra Melford/Be Bread: The Image of Your Body. 2006. Cryptogramophone: CG131.

Myra Melford: piano, harmonium
Brandon Ross: electric guitar, banjo, voice
Cuong Vu: trumpet, electronics
Stomu Takeishi: electric bass, acoustic bass guitar, electronics
Elliot Humberto Kavee: drums

Has anybody else noticed the body of works Myra Melford has steadily been recording and polishing with these great ensembles she's assembled? "Yellow Are Crowds of Flowers, ii" with Cuong Vu tracing the melody along side Melford's thorny counterpoint before launching into an explosion of free improvisation within the compositional frame is a thrill that both scratches and inflames the Myra Melford itch that has developed within these ears. Adding the guitar tone of Brandon Ross to this world is an excellent choice. The intense spiritual grounding of this music cannot be overstated.

Nicole Mitchell/Harrison Bankhead/Hamid Drake: Indigo Trio Live in Montreal 2005. Greenleaf Music: GRE-P-03.

Nicole Mitchell: flute, wood flute, vocals
Harrison Bankhead: acoustic bass, vocals
Hamid Drake: drums, hand drums

Three musicians tapping into a pulsating vein of creativity. A nice documentation of the brilliant qualities that come to the fore in a live setting. It's also a slice of the Black Earth Ensemble material that Nicole Mitchell has been composing and polishing for some time now. Material like this in the hands and ears of these players is well worth a listen. Music that pulls from a sense of pride of African roots and identity that opens up into a sound of empowering inclusiveness. Not to mention deep musicianship combined with feeling.

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