A slice of airy, ethereal beauty set for a late April release... time to kick back and chill to sample big helpings of Sounds from the Deep Field (Biophilia Records). 1970s jazz head that I am morphing into bit by bit there is somehow a synaptic connection hidden in these intriguing sounds that take me hurtling back to Return to Forever and Light as a Feather on steroids certainly as a first impulsive thought. And yes they tick the box in terms of spirit if not quite the same mystical sense of atmosphere of that unique jazz-rock phenomenon. Actually Bryan and the Aardvarks are not that categorisable at all which is always a sit up and smell the coffee moment whatever the band happens to be. Vibes do poke through within the cosmic murk initially as an active ingredient (maybe in a Bill Ware vein when the band get down a bit more) on this studio album which was recorded in a small town in the Hudson Valley over in New York state. The band have been around a while, in an earlier incarnation smaller formed around our Bryan (bassist Bryan Copeland), vibes from dare I say veteran Chris Dingman, pianist Fabian Almazan (formerly with Terence Blanchard, eg on Choices) and the super quick highly reactive chops of drummer Joe Nero, and is now beefed up to include singer Camila Meza, guitarist Jesse Lewis, and saxophonist Dayna Stephens. The galactically curious Sounds from the Deep Field concept is partially inspired by the mind blowing innovations of astronomy. Meza telescopes in touches of say Gretchen Parlato in the very open bucolic sound she manages to fashion and there are some steaming keyboard runs from Almazan again that draw to mind electric Chick..
Aardvarks website. Listen, above, or also via this link
A giant of the music there is a tribute to pianist Misha Mengelberg, who has died, on the Reverb site. I fondly recall a brief, mind blowing, chat with him backstage at the Bath festival many moons ago. He will be greatly missed on the Netherlands avant jazz scene and far, far beyond. SG