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Marilyn Mazur's Shamania — Rerooting
(Bandcamp Clap Your Hands CYH0004, 2022, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2023-01-27

Rerooting Cover art

In 2019 I reviewed Marilyn Mazur’s Shamania, which introduced the percussionist’s outstanding group of collaborators. For Rerooting, most of them are back on board: Mazur (percussion, balafon, kalimba), Josefine Cronholm (vocals), Sissel Vera Peterson (alto sax, vocals), Lotte Anker (tenor sax, soprano sax), Makiko Hirabayashi (piano, keyboards), Lis Wessberg (trombone), Hildegunn Øiseth (trumpet, goat horn), and Lisbeth Diers (congas, percussion). Ellen Andrea Wang is replaced by Ida Gormsen on bass, and Anna Lund is added on drum kit. The 16 tracks are generally concise, and range from atmospheric bubbling percussion to the tightly arranged horn lines of “Virtual Towers.” Throughout, the range of textures and timbres is expansive, with the great variety of percussion providing constant interest. There are tones produced by metal, wood, and stretched skin, along with shadings between. Aside from the electric bass, all of the sounds are natural and acoustic (I suppose it could be argued that a piano can’t really be called “natural” given the technical sophistication of the instrument, but that’s beside the point). All of the musicians are integrated fully into the arrangements, and have opportunities to shine. The short tracks serve as a beautiful journey through different landscapes, each with its own mood and ambience. The vocal parts are often wordless, and manage to project an air of calm beauty without sounding like cliched smooth jazz. The grooves are infectious, and this is one infection I hope to never be vaccinated against. Rerooting explores a fascinating side of jazz, and is both moving and fun to listen to.

Filed under: New releases, 2022 releases

Related artist(s): Marilyn Mazur

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