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Ches Smith and We All Break, Here's the Light ****

Melding traditional Haitian Vodou music and loose modernistic improvisational sounds drummer Ches Smith and We All Break have come up with something very fresh and absorbing on 'Here's the Light' drawn from the upcoming Path of Seven Colors. The …

Published: 17 May 2021. Updated: 38 days.

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Melding traditional Haitian Vodou music and loose modernistic improvisational sounds drummer Ches Smith and We All Break have come up with something very fresh and absorbing on 'Here's the Light' drawn from the upcoming Path of Seven Colors. The piece features an altoist who has already impressed so much in different contexts, the great Miguel Zenón (see more when he was in an Ornette Coleman space or by contrast doing bolero in a brilliant duo from releases made earlier in 2021). The bluesy ache of his core sound is nestled within the busy flux of polyrhythm and the earthy chanting of tanbou drummer-singers Daniel Brevil, Fanfan Jean-Guy Rene and Markus Schwartz. It's an intriguing mix that bespeaks a community feel on the one hand but also harnesses some very avant passages on the outskirts of the core mood featuring fine avant piano playing from Matt Mitchell. Out on Pyroclastic on 11 June

Ches Smith and We All Break top. Photo via Pyroclastic

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Unscientific Italians, Rob Roy ****

Terrifically deep into the verdant pastures of Friselliana and with the blessing of Dear Bill himself and squiggling in via the cover art, there are three tracks streaming so far drawn from the Alfonso Santimone-led Unscientific Italians record …

Published: 17 May 2021. Updated: 38 days.

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Terrifically deep into the verdant pastures of Friselliana and with the blessing of Dear Bill himself and squiggling in via the cover art, there are three tracks streaming so far drawn from the Alfonso Santimone-led Unscientific Italians record Play the Music of Bill Frisell Vol. 1 that is to be released on Friday by the new Hora label. 'Rob Roy' is possibly the most exquisite of the three (but the standard is very high across what we have listened to so far: take your pick) particularly for its defty contrapuntal, luminous, airy feel and intuitive arrangement that avoids the clinical and instead embraces the humane. 'Rob Roy' appeared on Frisell's Wayne Horvitz produced album Where in the World? released by Elektra Nonesuch in 1991.

An ''idiosyncratic'' rewriting and orchestration that borrows Frisell's compositional and instrumental language is the official description of the Unscientific ones' approach, if a blurb on Bandcamp is indeed ''official'' speak. It's also both meticulous and simpatico drawing out a Copland-esque quality in the Frisell piece via the clarinet and French horn lines. Of the band trumpeter Fulvio Sigurtà is perhaps most known to UK audiences in recent sightings, for instance heard on Babel release Loredana and sometimes spotted in the finest London jazz clubs. This release you would hope will up the profile of everyone involved if there's any justice and yet it is a fine artistic statement that resonates regardless. SG

Hear more via this link to: Unscientific Italians Play the Music of Bill Frisell Vol​.​1