• Kod: DE599
  • Producent: Delmark (USA)
  • Kod producenta: 0038153059927
  • Wykonawca: Nicole Mitchell
  • Nośnik: CD
  • Cena: 59,99 zł
  • Poleć produkt

Soul Jazz / AACM / Avant Jazz
premiera polska:
kontynent: Ameryka Północna
kraj: USA
opakowanie: plastikowe etui

All About Jazz:
Flautist Nicole Mitchell's generous improvisational abilities are at the musical heart of Awakening. Not only does she move effortlessly from single-note lines and sliding honks to wispy, soft timbres, but she is equally comfortable moving from pure melodic phrasing to more experimental, free content. Coupled with an exceptional trio backing, Mitchell's album crackles with infectious spontaneity. Her music manages to be at once reflective and energetic, accessible as well as clever.

"Curly Top" kicks of the set in a laidback groove, with splendid give and take between lead flute and guitarist Jeff Parker's fluid comping. In fact, Mitchell and Parker's musical synergy is key to the album's success. Again and again they fortify each other's musical flights with perfect harmonic support, giving the music a wide sonic texture and cleverly making the most of its melodic landscape. Behind them, Harrison Bankhead's bass and Avreeayl Ra's percussion team up to lay down a funky groove, pushing each other along in creative, rhythmic accents. On "F.O.C." and the title track, the quartet also plays with a straight-ahead feel and rides out the melody for all it's worth, weaving loping, angular solos into an established song structure.

On other tracks, though, the band breaks more dramatically from straight forms and moves into avant-garde territory. Both "Journey On A Thread" and "Center of The Earth" incorporate progressive musical experimentation while retaining a semblance of melodic structure. And the band is as tight and unified in the experimental modes as they are in the more traditional aspects of the songs. This balancing act results in music both exciting and approachable, and makes Awakening a vibrant musical statement.

Well, I always get a few friends who ask me about jazz flute. Unfortunately most of them are joking (e.g. Will Farrell as Ron Burgundy in the film AnchorMan), but when it comes to jazz flute there are very few out there. Yes, there are a quite a few who double as sax players. But sax is usually the main instrument and flute comes second. So it was a bit of a surprise to receive the new album Awakening (Delmark) by Nicole Mitchell. I really don't own any of her recordings but I have a number of albums she's played on (including the recent Exploding Stars Orchestra, Mike Reed, and Anthony Braxton). Even more surprising was when I told my friends about her, they already knew about her and were shocked I didn't know. Apparently I'm the one who looks like the arse now.

Over the course of the decade Mitchell has been a stalwart on the Chicago scene (as a member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Music along with legend Fred Anderson and new trailblazer, Matana Roberts), as well as abroad. Her style is very spiritual, African and richly improvisational. Fans of the work by James Finn or John Esposito should definitely take a spin with Nicole Mitchell. Setting the tone for this project, Mitchell utilized a slightly stripped unit from her more complex larger ensembles. These groups also explored larger themes and motifs as you would expect. Awakening with its small group set up allows the quartet to experiment more with sound and space.

"Center Of The Earth" and "Momentum" both are illustrious and expansive pieces where Mitchell's flute is more like Coltrane on sax and not flute. Parker's playing is fluid and highly expressive. Bankhead and Ra keep a steady hypnotic groove that helps both tunes rotate with a real sensuality. "Momentum" contains a few lovely passages from Parker. This is another instance in which Mitchell allows her bandmates to explore structures on the own terms. At times throughout Awakening I felt as though I was listening to the Phil Ranelin era The Tribe, Doug Carn or poetic verse from 70s under-rated poet Wanda Robinson. I was thinking, it might even be nice to spin this at a party along side material from Soweto Kinch. What a way to throw a crowd straight into a history lesson, eh!?!

The quartet gets funky and humorous on "There", a solid number where Mitchell's calm playing guides the group into a rawer but subtle fusion style motifs. The title track "Awakening" closes the album in a midtempo groove with Parker and Ra having some stellar individual moments. Mitchell's playing rises above here with some strong and intense harmonic passages. When listening to Awakening you realize this group has taken a number of subtle but urgent themes and stretched them with excitement and beauty; this makes listening to Awakening a real pleasure. At the end of it all I became a fan in a matter of hours and then went back to a few of the albums I had where Mitchell performs to listen even closer to her vision. Wow. This Awakening is awesome stuff.
by Stephan Moore

Nicole Mitchell’s emergence as the jazz flutist of the moment-and Jeff Parker’s continuing ascension as one of improvisational music’s great young guitarists-is only furthered by their work together on Awakening. Featuring bassist Harrison Bankhead (Mitchell’s Indigo Trio partner) and drummer Avreeayl Ra, it’s an album of bold, earthy-to-ethereal mood shifts delivered with consummate ease.

As good as her broadly thematic long-form works with her larger Black Earth Ensemble are, they tend to hem in Mitchell the soloist. Here, floating freely in space, she gets to show off her full-toned intensity in all its shapes and textures, making sharp but sparing use of dark trills, slurred long notes and vocal effects. (On the steadily changing “Turning on a Thread,” her wordless intonations suggest the Donald Byrd choirs of the early ’60s.)

The tunes include the pithy opening swinger, “Curly Top,” the gorgeous lament “More Than I Can Say” and the Indian-tinged “Center of the Earth.” In unison and counterpoint, Mitchell and Parker suggest the comfort level of a seasoned dance duo. (Parker, a master of texture and tonality himself, ranges from chiming single-note lines and brisk, soulful chordings to Derek Bailey-like spiked phrases and electronic eruptions.) And while these four AACM veterans had never played as a quartet before, they sound every bit the long-running working unit.
By Lloyd Sachs

Editor's info:
Awakening features Nicole Mitchell's unique flute work in an intimate quartet setting, supported and stimulated by some of Chicago's finest improvisers: Jeff Parker, guitar; Harrison Bankhead, bass; Avreeayl Ra, drums. Named 2010 Flutist of the Year in the DownBeat Critic's Poll, Jazz Journalist Association and Jazz Italy magazine, Mitchell rides the wave into new compositions that explore many colors, moods and rhythmic grooves. Mitchell's earlier projects involved larger groups; Black Earth Ensemble, Black Unstoppable (Delmark 575 CD and 1575 DVD) and Black Earth Strings, Renegades (587). This smaller group setting opens the door for Mitchell to stretch out as a soloist more so than on any of her previous recordings.

Nicole Mitchell: flute
Jeff Parker, guitar
Harrison Bankhead, bass
Avreeayl Ra, drums

1. Curly Top (6:58)
2. Journey on a Thread (9:23)
3. Center of the Earth (7:04)
4. Snowflakes (2:24)
5. Momentum (11:37)
6. More Than I Can Say (8:55)
7. There (6:21)
8. F.O.C. (6:03)
9. Awakening (5:23)

total time - 64:40
wydano: 2011-07
more info: www.delmark.com
more info2: nicolemitchell.com

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