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Colin Hinton — Simulacra
(New Focus Recordings Panoramic PAN12, 2019, CD / DL)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2020-10-29

Simulacra Cover art

Colin Hinton is a drummer, percussionist, composer, improviser, and educator living in Brooklyn, New York. Simulacra is his latest effort and contains pieces Hinton composed with specific musicians and composers in mind. For example, the mystic chord that provides the foundation for “Synesthropy” honors both Alexander Scriabin and Colin’s teacher Eric Wubbels. Similarly, the inspiration for his piece “Breath” comes from both Morton Feldman and Tyshawn Sorey. Simulacra is a set of six avant-jazz instrumentals, some listenable and others too academic to enjoy. Colin is joined by Anna Webber (tenor sax, flute, and bass flute), Yuma Uesaka (tenor sax, clarinet, bass clarinet, and contralto clarinet), Edward Gavitt (electric and acoustic guitars), and Shawn Lovato (bass) to realize and perform his compositions. The randomness of some of the pieces, such as the opening track “Obversify,” sounds more improvised than composed. Over its 18 minutes, quiet interludes evolve into loud washes of sound that ebb and flow. But this piece is too long for me and it is not an easy listen. “Synesthropy,” while still avant garde in nature, is closer to traditional jazz. The second 18-minute piece, “What Was,” is much easier to absorb with its gentle improv that has movement and compositional development. “Breath” is a gentle, slow, dissonant piece. And the album ends with another difficult to assimilate piece of avant-jazz, “Slab Warmth.” Recommended for only the truly adventurous listener.

Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Colin Hinton

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