Dennis Rea — Views from Chicheng Precipice
(Moonjune MJR034, 2010, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01Classical 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.
Related artist(s): Dennis Rea
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more