N to The Power - Autogenesis Music Album Reviews

N to The Power - Autogenesis Music Album Reviews
Covering Bill Evans and riffing on Moroccan gnawa and classical minimalism, the 10-piece Harlem band embraces a global vision infused with jazz’s searching spirit.

New York City teems with creative instrumentalists on the run—toward one another, and away from stylistic constraints. They seek tighter connections and a looser environment in which instruments don’t play assigned roles, electric and acoustic are not opposing factions, and “composition” means whatever ends up in the mix. This ideal is neither new (Miles Davis epitomized it a half-century ago) nor uncommon. Still, when realized with elegance and wit, as on Autogenesis, the debut release from N to the Power, it leads to fresh and distinct sounds that straddle our usual categories. This music embraces a global vision, conveying both the edge of experimental music and the buzz of electronica, all the while infused with jazz’s searching spirit.

This creative process began with informal jam sessions between multi-instrumentalists Blake Leyh and Tony Jarvis, who are Harlem neighbors. Leyh, who grew up in England, is best known as a film composer and sound designer working with the likes of John Waters and Jonathan Demme; as music supervisor for David Simon’s HBO shows, he was responsible for the lovingly curated live-music sequences in Treme. Jarvis was born and raised in Madison, Wis., where he studied early on with the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians co-founder Roscoe Mitchell. His professional experience spans enlightened punk (Tar Babies), updated funk (Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings), and straight-up Afrobeat (the Broadway musical Fela!).

Maybe there’s too direct a hit of Fela’s infectious, laid-back beats on the “Marrakesh Memosphere,” yet that track achieves the propulsion and buoyancy of the Moroccan Gnawa music that inspired it. This group shares Mitchell’s collectivist vision. Here, as foregrounds and backgrounds shift like savvy cinematography, the community comes off like an indie film’s ensemble cast, with Jarvis’ bass clarinet as the character we’re all rooting for. Rarely does one instrument steal the scene. “Supertonic” assembles a master shot sequence. Flurries of notes from Bruno Coon’s trumpet and Jarvis’ bass clarinet are processed into reverberant halos. Next, Coon, on guitar, sounds out rhythm more than melody, much like a djembe would. Patterns coalesce, lent shape and texture by terse figures from Leyh’s electric cello and glowing long tones from Yusuke Yamamoto’s vibes. Sonic murmurs and suggestive echoes frame the action, their sources manipulated beyond identification. The effect is simultaneously alluring and disorienting.

If that track’s overlapping cycles initially suggest minimalism (Steve Reich’s “Passing Trains”), they also shimmy well enough to shake off comparisons. Setting aside the force and grace of cellist Yves Dharamraj’s playing, and of Jarvis’ (primarily on bass clarinet, sax and flute), this music doesn’t stress technique: Many of these parts could be played with just rudimentary skills. The focus is on establishing and disrupting persuasive moods and inviting grooves through instrumental figures played in real time, then chopped and sculpted into charming, oddly shaped forms. Guitars and compelling rhythms abound, yet there’s hardly a chord heard, and no trap set in sight (beats come mostly from hand percussion, cymbals, and plucked strings).

This music relies on energy flows, sometimes suggesting rapid motion and other times repose. “The God Particle” starts with a simple flute gesture and grows into something like a New Orleans second-line parade in outer space, its beats heavy but its feel weightless. A 12-and-a-half-minute version of “Peace Piece,” which jazz pianist Bill Evans composed mostly upon a simple ostinato, is elevated by Dharamraj’s expressiveness on acoustic cello and Leyh’s tender touch on a fretted electric one. Its loops reinforce the circular nature of Evans’ concept. In 1962, Evans told a Time magazine reporter that, after playing it at a club, a teenage fan rushed up and said that “when he heard it he felt like he was standing all alone in New York.” This version, offered in the midst of forced social distancing, has the opposite effect: It suggests much-needed communion.
Share on Google Plus

About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
N to The Power - Autogenesis Music Album Reviews N to The Power - Autogenesis Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Thursday, September 17, 2020 Rating:

0 comments:

Post a Comment