Exposé Online banner

CJ Boyd — Aerial Roots
(Joyful Noise jnr41, 2009, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Aerial Roots Cover art

I previously encountered C.J. Boyd with his group Sexxxtet (reviewed last issue), and while this recording features him without the cellos, there are definitely some musical similarities. The primary instruments featured are basses, both electric and acoustic, though given some of the playing, you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s a guitar in there as well. For a bit more variety, he adds in some harmonica, melodica, and percussion as well as a bit of singing and whistling. These three long pieces feature looped bass parts, usually short motifs, stacked one upon another, to build pulsing structures well-suited to a kind of alert-meditative mood. The looping bass parts fit together in a way that reminds me a bit of Achim Reichel’s ground-breaking work (and you could even draw a connection to something later like Porcupine Tree’s Voyage 34), though the lack of a drum kit tones down the rock element significantly. It’s a testimony to Boyd’s skill and taste that he can pull off what might be considered 45 minutes of noodling around, making it worth sticking with, though there is likely some planning involved here (maybe subconscious, as not all musicians work entirely on an intellectual level).


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): C.J. Boyd

Latest news

2018-09-05
Krautrock Documentary Seeks Funding – The next installment of the Progressive Warriors documentary series will focus on the vast body of music that falls under the banner of "krautrock." As most of our readers will know, previous films have tackled RIO and the Canterbury scene, as well as what we might call "mainstream" prog rock. » Read more

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Sylvian - When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima – A commissioned installation that might immediately strike listeners as the soundtrack for a diorama in its startling ability to create the sense of motion and event within a setting of largely...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues