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Dopolarians, The Bond ****

If this were on TV it would be a drama not a soap or if a novel would be an epic, not a celebrity memoir. In its drama it does not take any short cuts or rely on cameo roles. In its script it has an intensity to it and characterisation certainly …

Published: 5 May 2021. Updated: 50 days.

If this were on TV it would be a drama not a soap or if a novel would be an epic, not a celebrity memoir. In its drama it does not take any short cuts or rely on cameo roles. In its script it has an intensity to it and characterisation certainly provided by all and significantly at times the wailing alto saxophone of Chad Fowler. The key interest however fundamentally within the collective ethos is Brian Blade's presence given his ability to lift any musical situation whatever the style and inject both power and a sort of poetry of his own. The Bond goes free several minutes into the long title track and yet when trumpeter Marc Franklin takes up the running it step changes again, Blade instead presents his own freeness via cascading passages propped by the detonating piano part of Christopher Parker. You don't really expect vocals when you begin to listen, Kelley Hurt's have a fracturing operatic quality and that works especially given the bass lines William Parker delivers beneath her exploratory, simmering trajectory. 'The Emergence' is even longer led off by blistering saxophone and it's even more direct. Scrabbling and very abstract Blade again is interesting. He sounds very different here to the way he plays for instance with Wayne Shorter but yet his open panoramic vision is always a factor within. There's quite a lot of anarchy in the sax and trumpet-playing sections underlaid by piano and that latter relative serenity makes the drama of the contrasts piquant. A stillness is again a factor from the piano in a solo section at the beginning of 'The Release' but we are left guessing where it eventually will go. And that is only part of the deep appeal of a group whose music you have to hear right now. SG. Out on Mahakala Music. Dopolarians, photo: Bandcamp

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Gerald Cleaver, Cooper-Moore****

Practically funky even given the avant context you'll know when the sprawling beat and a kind of ''one'' kicks in on this track 'Cooper-Moore' a tribute to the pianist the first track of a series of tributes. Gerald Cleaver, last heard by this blog …

Published: 5 May 2021. Updated: 50 days.

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Practically funky even given the avant context you'll know when the sprawling beat and a kind of ''one'' kicks in on this track 'Cooper-Moore' a tribute to the pianist the first track of a series of tributes. Gerald Cleaver, last heard by this blog playing live in a concert hall with Benny Golson and before that in a club with Lotte Anker and Craig Taborn but best of all just about ever on Wisława with David Virelles to whom tribute is paid here among other album tracks, looks at electronica via a different radical lens and explores his Detroit roots via modular electronics. Cleaver says: ''This is not meant to be a tribute record, just an acknowledgment of the circular nature of inspiration. It is very important to me to stress the importance of Tribe. Community is everything.” Convincing and compelling at the same time Griots is on Positive Elevation out on 4 June.