Singing the celestial blues there is a sense of the axis mundi with the cosmic soul of jazz in America down the years centring in again on Dwight Trible. He is apocalyptic and direct on 'Truth,' a hard hitting calling-out of the cheapness of talk. By the end 'Wind' has the unease and yet accepting humility of one human against the cosmos in awe and wonder. Trible has an extraordinarily powerful voice, part secular preacher, part shouter, retreater into himself, part poet and all-round seer. He soars on this Darrel Sheinman produced Sunset Sound studio album to places Gregory Porter can't quite reach. But these two sublime voices share the same prophet-like characteristics. But Trible is far more voice-in-the-wilderness - the way the actor Samuel L. Jackson can shake you out of your complacency.
'My Stomping Ground' - Trible's Los Angeles homage that has a dynamic spoken word monologue jutted up against tasty groove - finds Trible talking about chef Marilyn's on Crenshaw and Earle's hot dogs as he takes us on a kind of tour, reaching the heart of it all: Leimert Park, a place memorably paid homage to in recent years by the great pianist Billy Childs. Often a groove record but not one that needs groove to hide things in its slipstream, the Gouché bass guitar gets funky on 'Beach Vibes' (all about that bass, 'bout that bass, more Trible) and there is a riotous sense of release itching to get out on 'Derf Reklaw.'
I ain't got eye water to cry with, Trible sings.
Lyrics that speak volumes are by Trible and percussionist Megashia Jackson.
'Elements' is funky and a bit of a banger, the drum line sort of in a Sheila E. vein - the potential remixers will be circling in on, maybe.
The extraordinary Georgia Anne Muldrow feature 'Black Dance' is where Trible chops the beat up and the polyrhythms start to be folded in and where Muldrow conjures mystery and free flowing experimentation is set loose.
A livelier even dancier record overall then before, you get almost a highlife sense in some of the rhythms underpinning 'African Drum' and incredible pitch bending keys as part of the blend of inputs. When Kamasi Washington - The Epic - comes in, the feeling of softness as in a morning sunrise is inescapable.
Ancient Future featured guests are the iconic saxophonist Washington and avant singer Muldrow. Song titles and themes refer to such ideas of absolute verity, home, connectedness in the neighbourhood, the landscape of the beach couched as mood and place, blackness, an African sense and the overarching sense of witness and role the natural elements play. Drummer Greg Paul - also winningly on the excellent Jazz is Dead 2022 release Katalyst - is superb, boosting the beat manifoldly when needed, percussionist Jackson, electric guitarist G. E. Stinson, bass guitarist André Gouché, pianist John Beasley and percussionist Rene Fisher on 'African Drum' are in the personnel. Tunes are written by Trible, Beasley, Gouché, Paul and Stinson. Absorb all these sounds right away.
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