Exposé Online banner

Dennis Rea — Views from Chicheng Precipice
(Moonjune MJR034, 2010, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Views from Chicheng Precipice Cover art

Classical Chinese poetry, like Japanese haiku, even in English translation, can be very evocative, carefully choosing certain details to trigger the mind to fill in an entire scene. For the most part using Chinese music (both traditional and modern) as an inspiration rather than actual source material, American guitarist Dennis Rea utilizes sparse instrumentation and superb musicianship to accomplish the same effect. With his various guitars, both electric and acoustic, at the core, and guests contributing other instruments, Rea creates aural spaces ranging from elegant melody to abstract noise. The Asian influence is pervasive but not a barrier to Western ears; other influences come from free jazz and electronic music of the more academic stripe (rather than popular dance styles). The result is paradoxically both personal and collective, clearly the product of Rea’s vision while featuring all the participants equitably. It’s a far cry from some of Rea’s other work, such as Moraine and Iron Kim Style, but the same questing spirit and open-minded creativity infuse the music with an intangible Rea-ness in spite of the vastly different sound. One track’s foray into bird-mimicking vocals may put off some listeners, but in general, this is highly listenable avant-garde music straddling genres to the point of making them irrelevant.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): Stuart Dempster, James DeJoie, Dennis Rea

More info
http://dennisrea-moonjune.bandcamp.com/album/views-from-chicheng-precipice

Latest news

2020-02-18
Jon Christensen RIP – Word reaches us today of the passing of Norwegian drummer Jon Christensen, a musician whose sensitive playing did much to help define the atmospheric sound of ECM jazz recordings. His work with Jan Garbarek, Bobo Stenson, Terje Rypdal, and many more was sensitive and varied, adapting to a wide variety of styles while maintaining a distinct identity of its own. Christensen was 76. » Read more

2020-01-21
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more

2020-01-15
Carlos Alvarado RIP – Carlos Alvarado, pioneering composer, multi-instrumentalist and pioneer of progressive rock and electronic experimental music in Mexico, passed away January 14th, 2020 at age 68 after a two year battle with cancer.  » Read more

2020-01-12
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more

2020-01-12
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Rick Wakeman - The Masters – Between 1982 and 1995 Wakeman released a staggering 35 recordings! None of these are known to more than a few people (I have only seen about four of them myself), so the convenience of this...  (2000) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues